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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, May 16th, 2014

Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life: Various Artists

dio tributeRonnie James Dio – This Is Your Life
Various Artists
(Rhino)

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Anthrax opens with a driving cover of “Neon Knights” on the 15-song Ronnie James Dio tribute, This Is Your Life. Tenacious D follows with an acoustic “The Last In Line” (at least it opens that way), but when things get rockin’ their attempt falls apart.

Lzzy Hale’s biting vocal and her brother’s very over-the-top but fun drumming sees her steer Halestorm through a tight sounding “Straight Through the Heart” and Motorhead with Biff from Saxon manage a good solid roll through “Starstruck.” Lemmy knows better than to try to emulate Ronnie, but his backing harmonies in the chorus are very effective.  The Scorpions’ “The Temple Of the King” has a great soft guitar opening and pretty perfect vocal — such a great band covering a great artist.

The band behind Rob Halford kicks ass on “Man On the Silver Mountain” and Jasta’s “Buried Alive” digital bonus is probably the heaviest here; it grabs and doesn’t let go in it’s think-a-thunk trashiness.

The highlights here have got to be an ageless Glenn Hughes singing “Catch The Rainbow,” with his high falsetto as lush as the strings behind him and great electric guitar work from the album’s title tune, a piano dirge killer seeing Ronnie at his vocal best, managing heavy metal Freddie Mercury-ism like nobody else.

At least Tenacious D tries slightly at the beginning of their cover to change things up. I would have liked some more interesting arrangements than just simply well-played covers on This Is Your Life.

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Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life: Various Artists