by Jenn Carbaugh
– Columnist –
It’s been four years since we lost one of the most memorable voices of metal history to a battle with stomach cancer. Friends and musicians, who continue to have the upmost respect for Ronnie James Dio, have gathered together for a tribute album titled This Is Your Life, which will be released by Rhino on April 1. All proceeds from the sale of the album will go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. This album features some mega musicians such as Motörhead, Metallica, Anthrax, Halestorm, Rob Halford, Scorpions, Killswitch Engage, Corey Taylor, Tenacious D and many more. They pay tribute by covering the greatest songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio.
The songs that are featured on the album span across the different eras of the music legend’s career. Dio’s time with Rainbow is spotlighted immensely with several legendary bands tackling some of the most well-known tracks. Metallica performs a nine-minute, epic “Ronnie Rising Medley.” This is a combination of “A Light in the Black,” “Tarot Woman,” “Stargazer,” and “Kill the King.” The description of epic does not even begin to cover the complex and hearty medley. Also, the final lineup of Dio’s solo band is joined by Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath for “Catch the Rainbow.” The vocals and slow melody are homage in their own right, because they are played with such heart precision. Anthrax and Adrenaline Mob tackle the Dio-era Black Sabbath. Anthrax covers “Neon Knights.” The track is the opener for the album, and it starts off with high amounts of energy.
This overwhelming tribute also covers songs from the platinum albums Holy Diver and The Last in Line. Halestorm does a phenomenal job with covering “Straight through the Heart” by excelling with female powerhouse vocals. Corey Taylor and Satchel keep the classic “Rainbow in the Dark” sounding smooth and grand. Killswitch Engage’s cover of “Holy Diver” isn’t a new one for the books, but its popularity illustrates the success of the cover. One of the shining songs that stick out is performed by Tenacious D, which consists of Jack Black and Kyle Gass. The comical musicians featured Dio in their movie The Pick of Destiny because he is one of the ultimate rock idols. Their signature style is ideal for “The Last in Line.” It was a surprisingly soulful track.
The final part of the album works out amazing, because the finale is left for Ronnie James Dio. His moving performance of “This is your Life” is hauntingly immortal. This album was produced by longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio. She wanted this album to prove that there will never be a voice like that of her husband’s. She also wanted the bands to pick and choose the tracks that they wanted to perform. All of the bands were honored to play such a role in a combination of heavy metal powerhouses. This isn’t just an album were well-known artists are thrown into a hodgepodge of famous songs. This is the ultimate tribute to Dio, and it couldn’t have been executed any better. This is definitely a recommended album because it commemorates and aids in a legend living on for musical years to come.
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Track Listing/Bands Included:
01. Neon Knights – Anthrax*
02. The Last In Line – Tenacious D*
03. The Mob Rules – Adrenaline Mob
04. Rainbow In The Dark – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher*
05. Straight Through The Heart – Halestorm*
06. Starstruck – Motörhead with Biff of Saxon*
07. Temple Of The King – Scorpions*
08. Egypt (The Chains Are On) – Doro
09. Holy Diver – Killswitch Engage
10. Catch the Rainbow – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren*
11. I – Jimmy Bain, Oni Logan, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy*
12. Man On The Silver Mountain – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren*
13. Ronnie Rising Medley (featuring “A Light in the Black”, “Tarot Woman”, “Stargazer”, “Kill the King”)– Metallica*
14. This Is Your Life – Dio
Hardrock Haven Rating: 10/10