49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
The Dio tribute album is one of those albums that's tough to decide if you should review based on what it is or what it isn't. For the most part, I think it's a fantastic collection of covers, most by legendary heavy metal performers, and covering many iconic titles in the Dio catalog. The album has thirteen covers and one original from Dio, the track "This Is Your Life," which ends the CD. All of the artists offer covers that range from fantastic to good. I won't say that any individual song is poorly done, but I definitely favor some over others. To start, I think most of the legends contribute gems. Anthrax, Motorhead and Biff from Saxon, Scorpions, Doro Pesch, Glenn Hughes, Jimmy Bain, Rob Halford, and Metallica all deliver with faithful, ass-kicking renditions of some great Dio tunes. Halford maybe comes off a little low-key in his "Man on the Silver Mountain," but he pulls off some classic Halford howls near the end of the track. Other than that, the rest of that list turn in stellar performances. Anthrax's "Neon Knights" is spot on, Motorhead and Biff do great justice to "Starstruck," Scorpions and Glenn Hughes sound amazing covering the softer side of Dio with "The Temple of the King" and "Catch the Rainbow," respectively; Doro sounds like a true '80's rock goddess on "Egypt (The Chains are On)," Jimmy Bain does a tremendous job with "I," and Metallica round out the covers with an epic medley consisting of parts of "Tarot Woman," "A Light in the Black," "Stargazer," and "Kill the King." All eight of these songs make the album worth having for any Dio or heavy metal fan, so for the value of those songs, it deserves at least 4, if not 5 stars.
Now for my few nit-picks. No tribute album can be free of newer artists, and this one includes Tenacious D, Corey Taylor, Halestorm, Adrenaline Mob, and Killswitch Engage. Okay, so not all of those names are necessarily "new," but none of them have the status of legends. This wouldn't be such a big deal, but they cover Dio's most recognizable, popular songs. Tenacious D gets "Last in Line," Corey Taylor has "Rainbow in the Dark," Halestorm does "Straight Through the Heart," Adrenaline Mob plays "Mob Rules," and Killswitch covers "Holy Diver." How much more epic would this album be if Iron Maiden played any of those songs instead of the artists chosen? Or any other actual iconic heavy metal bands or singers? For their part, I think Halestorm and Adrenaline Mob actually do a great job, and they help pull the album up to 5 stars. On the other hand, it's hard for me to listen to Jack Black sing "Last in Line" and take it completely seriously. I know Tenacious D has a strong fan base, but it sounds like a half-parody to me even though it's good musically. Corey Taylor is passable on "Rainbow in the Dark," but he's just nowhere near the league of Dio vocally, so it's not a standout track on a song that should be a highlight. Not even any keyboards! That leaves "Holy Diver," and I've never been much of a fan of Killswitch's previously released cover. I don't like what they do changing the drum beats and the riffs, and I can't stand the screamo section. It just doesn't sound right on a Dio song. Last but not least....where's "Heaven and Hell"??????? I like "I," but if we're going to cover Sabbath songs, c'mon!
Despite my few nitpicks, I do think this a 5-star tribute to Dio. For what it is, you get fourteen quality tracks, including the classy ending with Dio singing "This Is Your Life." Even though I'd personally have liked seeing a couple of other legends representing, it's a fun album to listen to, and the songs are almost all faithfully executed. I think just about any Dio fan will agree that 90% or more of the album is excellent, and the other 10% is still not bad. Great job for the most part, especially by the legends.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2014
I usually don't buy covers or tribute albums, but being such a big fan of Dio's entire career and seeing some of the bands represented here, I couldn't pass it up.
This album is full of both the good and the bad (heaven & hell :)). Some songs I thought would be great are not, other artists really surprised me and sort of stole the show. Like another reviewer stated; Do I review what it is or what it isn't? Or could've been?
Well first let's cover the really good:
Anthrax's cover of Neon Knights is flawless. One of the best songs ever recorded is done justice by Belladonna and crew. They really couldn't have done anything better. Great job guys, you really did indeed pay tribute to RJD.
Adrenaline Mob-The Mob Rules, This song was also on their EP Coverta along with another Dio cover. Russell Allen sounds like RJD at times and the rest of the band really pull this one off well.
Halestorm's Straight Through The Heart cover was one of those surprise songs, I didn't really expect much from them, I've heard a few of their songs here and there, but they're really just not my thing. But they make this their own, Lzzy's (no I) got a real powerhouse of a voice--phenomenal. She really reminds me of Pat Benatar and Anne Wilson of Heart. great pipes, great cover.
Scorpions--The Temple of the King--yet another surprise hit. Never been a huge Scorpions fan, didn't really know what to expect here, but wow they sound like THEY wrote this song. Flawless performance, one of the better tracks by far.
Doro--Egypt (the chains are on) Never knew a whole lot about Doro or warlock either, I grew up in the 80's but never paid much attention to them. So again I didn't know what to expect here...but HOLY CRAP does she do Ronnie James justice here. I love this track, I already loved the original song, but this is just like a whole other dimension, Doro--you sound absolutely amazing.
Metallica--The Ronnie Rising Medley. There are several tracks here that upon listening you feel as if that band could've written that song, is it just Dio's colossal influence upon the worlds of rock & metal that shines through when they perform one of his songs? Listening to Metallica play this medley of Rainbow songs, esp. Kill the King, makes me realize that even the mighty Metallica had influences once upon a time, didn't they? And Ronnie was a part of that. Hetfield and the boys are on fire here, I've always loved their cover songs and this is another great one, fist pumping, head banging good.
that's it for what I consider the really good ones.
Honorable mentions would include Catch the Rainbow by Glenn Hughes (his voice gets to me sometimes, not in a good way) and Dio's latest line-up, Goldy, Sarzo, Wright, Warren and I (Oni Logan, Bain, Robertson).
Man on the Silver Mountain could have been great, but ends up being so-so. What happened to Halford? There is a glimmer of hope at the end but not enough really.
The rest including Motorhead and Saxon's Biff Byford, Killswitch Engage, Corey Taylor and Tenacious D are just not up to snuff. They either could've tried harder or just declined and let someone else give it a try. There's tons of other bands that would've jumped at the chance.
Like I said it's Heaven & Hell, but worth the money for Anthrax, Doro, Metallica and the Scorps covers, and the cover art--I hope they make a poster, I'll buy it.
Oh yeah, it closes with, This Is Your Life by Dio, from his Angry Machines album, great choice BTW, gives the song new meaning now that he's gone, almost brings a tear to the eye.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
I am a loooong time Heavy Metal music fan. Dio for me was close to the top of my favorite artists, not my favorite, but up there and respected as a godfather and genre contributor to classic Heavy Metal music. I saw Dio a few times in concert and each time it was outstanding. Dio was a true performer, a talented Heavy Metal artist, dedicated friend to many, and mentor for many many bands. His songs and vocals across his solo career and the other bands he fronted are amazing.
For or my review I will take into account that Dio was a great man, 100% of the monies received from the album by the RJD Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund goes directly into cancer research, and that the music contained on this CD is in the long run really great.
The EXCELLENT: The Cover Art (YES!). And, most every song on this CD sounds as if the contributing artist put their full effort into recording. The performance by Glenn Hughes on Catch The Rainbow is unbelievable, you can feel the emotion in his voice. Likewise, the Scorpions do an excellent job on The Temple of the King. Motorhead with Biff Byford, excellent. Anthrax, excellent. Adrenaline Mob, excellent.... I, by Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, and Brian Tichy, excellent! The song This is Your Life by DIO, excellent.
The GOOD: Metallica and Rob Halford. Good, but not excellent. I think there could have been more effort put into their recordings. Halford should have listened to the Glen Hughes track and the Oni Logan track and took notes before recording his version of Man On The Silver Mountain.
The OKAY, But Could Have Been Better: Corey Taylor / Halestorm / Tenacious D. I agree with other's criticism as to why pick these bands to perform these particular songs. However, Corey Taylor and Halestorm do a very good job of putting their stamp on their respective songs and see my previous point that it seems they put full effort into doing a bang up job. So I respect their efforts, but still would have liked to see bands performing these songs with a bigger legacy behind them - the producers risked pushing this down to a low tier tribute album, but I think the performances by Corey Taylor, Halestorm, and really the rest of the CD saves it. Tenacious D..... really? Okay I somewhat get it, I mean Jack Black is all about this style of singing and performing and it starts out good, but then this flute or something comes in and thought OMG this is going to tank fast. In the long run the Tenacious D is what it is, Jack Black gets off on The Last In Line and we move on. In the big picture, I can't blast the entire CD for these OKAY items, but it is enough to deduct a star in my opinion especially combined with the utter mistake of putting Killswitch Engage on this CD... see next point (The NOT SO GOOD).
The NOT SO GOOD: Killswitch Engage - I agree with other's criticism on the selection of this band to perform such an iconic song. This to me is the biggest error on this tribute.
In conclusion and in my opinion, the OKAY and NOT SO GOOD aspects of this release justifies it as a 4 Star Release. It is definitely a must buy if you are a Dio fan or a fan of good classic Heavy Metal. I am glad I have it in my collection and it will get many listens.
R.I.P. RJD \m/ \m/
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
First, I don't mind paying a little extra than the normal $9.99 for this since a portion of the proceeds go to Dio's Stand Up and Shout cancer charity. I would have bought the album either way, but it's nice that you get to help a charity at the same time.
I think the quality of the songs presented were kind of uneven. None were bad so to speak, but for instance "The Man on the Silver Mountain" was only ok and could have been amazing had Rob been able to sing it at full volume and as a straight cover. There were some flashes of what it could have been near the end of the song, but really, DIO and Rob Halford were contemporaries and arguably among the best metal singers of their era. It should have been epic. I also agree with first reviewer on the Killswitch cover of "Holy Diver". Beyond whether or not you like the cover, it's been released at least twice before. I'd rather not pay for multiple copies of the same song in my collection.
The stand out tracks for me were "The Mob Rules" by Adrenaline Mob, "The Temple of the King" by Scorpions, and "Neon Knights" by Anthrax <--unexpectedly great.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2014
I recently saw an article which posed the question, Which is the best Ronnie James Dio fronted band? For some it will always be Rainbow, for others maybe Black Sabbath, but for me it was always the band that carried his name, Dio. Holy Diver, The Last In Line and Sacred Heart are three of the greatest metal albums ever in my opinion, but we could debate this all day and never agree. What all fans of RJD can agree on is this … he was taken too soon. We all know the songs and we all know the legacy which he has left behind, on This Is Your Life some of the biggest names in rock and metal combine forces to pay homage to one of the greatest metal performers of our time.
It goes without saying that to kick off an album of this nature celebrating the life of metal royalty you would need to pull out the big guns from the get-go. Those guns come in the form of a cannon with Anthrax getting this show rolling with Neon Nights. This sets the bar very high for the rest of the album and I wondered if the other artists here could match Anthrax’s strong performance. On The Last In Line, Jack Black’s Tenacious D do their best to cover this iconic song. Now this is probably just me, but every time I hear Jack Black sing I can never take him seriously. My mind always flashes back to School of Rock, sure a great film, but you know? I would have liked someone else to cover this. Adrenaline Mob takes on The Mob Rules, which is a seriously awesome version. I can’t say I expected much from Corey Taylor’s version of Rainbow In The Dark, again another favourite, but I was pleasantly surprised. Taylor has managed to score a massive home run here and his respect for RJD is evident. I think one of the hottest properties in hard rock right now is Halestorm, this band kicks serious ass and their version of Straight Through The Heart is out of this world. Singer Lzzy Hale is a very classy performer and this track suits her style perfectly.
Motorhead are joined by Saxon’s Biff Byford on Starstruck. Now while I’m not a fan of Motorhead, I do like Saxon and found this to be a great combination which worked well, this is a fun track. As the album rolls on the names keep getting bigger, with the Scorpions covering The Temple Of The King, metal queen Doro contributes the brilliant Egypt (The Chains Are On), Glenn Hughes offers up Catch The Rainbow, while Killswitch Engage put their spin on Holy Diver. Towards the end of the album comes the real high point, apart from RJD himself, when you say metal I say Rob Halford. Here the Metal God does Man On The Silver Mountain and I couldn’t think of anyone better to do this track. The album winds up with an outstanding performance from Metallica on their 9 minute epic Ronnie Rising Medley and then finishes, appropriately with the man himself on the beautiful piano ballad This Is Your Life.
I can’t imagine such a collection of artists coming together to celebrate the life of one person the way they have here … maybe for Ozzy. Well done to everyone involved, I think Ronnie would be proud of what you have achieved.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
I am in Bagram, Afghanistan, waiting impatiently for this. It did not disappoint me! Extremely good and excellent choice of interpreters.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
This Is Your Life is a tribute album to the late Ronnie James Dio, which is full of covers by various artists. I'm sure many people coming in will feel automatically that no one can do it better than Dio. I recommend leaving that close-minded mentality at the door, because if it is true that no one here was able to surpass Dio's performances; at the very least he was matched a couple of times. Anthrax proves this with their cover on Neon Knights which I consider one of the greatest songs to ever open up an album. The guitars, drums, and bass matches the energy of Black Sabbath rather well, but it's Joey's performance that is nothing short of amazing. It seems as if Dio is running through him at that very moment. This is easily the best cover. Doro is breathtaking on Egypt (The Chains are on) giving an atmospheric, eerie, and captivating performance.
Motorhead and Biff Byford were extremely on point with Starstruck, and considering their stay in music they were qualified for this. Not a fan of Corey Taylor at all, but his cover on Rainbow in the Dark is pretty good. Satchel of Steel Panther is a surprise here with a nice solo. For some reason Rob Halford has been catching some heat for his performance on Man On The Silver Mountain. This is not a Judas Priest album; he does a splendid cover and I love the closing with letting Dio finish his own song in the fading background. So sad yet at the same time so awesome.
Halestorm's cover on Straight Through the Heart succeeds only due to Lizzy's vocals, because the guitars and drums are in your face weak and are nowhere the level of Vivian Campbell and Vinny Appice. "I" was great, while The Temple of the King, and Ronnie Rising Medley deserve some type of mention.
Now this album definitely has its lows that stood out to me so much that I can't call this a truly great album. Adrenaline Mob delivers a louder, rowdier, and guitar crunchier version of Mob Rules. Unfortunately the song feels over-produced and the playing overshadows the lyrical content. This is actually a bad thing because along with being a great singer it was Dio's substance, fantastic metaphors, and Dungeons & Dragons imagination he was known for. The song isn't a fail, unfortunately it does not properly showcase Dio's brilliant imagination either. Killswitch Engage's cover on Holy Diver is a listening struggle. I heard it completely only once, but I can't go through it again. It's way too over-produced with unnecessary screams and just bad playing. It's style over substance despite Dio's band originally providing a 50/50 mix. If you want to hear a splendid cover of this song that is far superior to KSE, then check out Holy Mother's cover. Mike slays all day on that track as if Dio possessed him, and it should have been here. While looking at these two songs though and the things that disturb me about them; I'm glad Heaven & Hell and Sign of the Southern Cross weren't covered, because they probably would have been botched. Iron Maiden should have been on this album taking one of those legendary songs.
Overall, this is a fine tribute album and I'm glad to own it, but it could have been much better than this. In any case, give this album a listen if you're a fan of Dio, metal, or music in general. Please do not just download this for free.
Pros: Some amazing covers for the most part, Anthrax, Doro, and Motorhead
Cons: Small amount of missteps and it could have been better
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2015
Fortunately, however, I'm not limited to two words. Yes, it rocks. But why? For starters, how about listening to one of the great voices in the history of hard rock, Klause Meine of the Scorpions--who, by the way, incredibly turns 67 in May of this year--sing Rainbow's "The Temple of the King," which featured Ronnie James Dio at his all time best in terms of melodic beauty. The same could be said of Deep Purple's Glenn Hughes covering Rainbow's "Catch the Rainbow," and also featuring longtime Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, and Simon Wright. Or, if you prefer to kick out the jams, then you can't go wrong with Lemmy and his Motorhead comrades, fronted by Saxon's Biff Byford, doing a rendition of Rainbow's "Starstruck," which sounds like it was ground out in a garage after a few beers. And, of course, what would a Dio tribute be without his longtime mate Jimmy Bain, who leads a great-sounding version of Sabbath's "Dehumanizer"-era "I."
But if all that isn't enough, how 'bout arguably the highlight of the entire compilation: the legendary masters, Metallica, performing a 9-minute composition of four Rainbow classics entitled "Ronnie Rising Medley," which contains a blistering--and I do mean blistering--edit of "Kill the King" at the 4:30 mark of the mix.
Those are just a few samples of the ear candy contained in this dynamic collection. You also get Priest's Metal God himself, Rob Halford, performing Rainbow's "Man on a Silver Mountain," a sampling of additional Sabbath covers including "Neon Nights" by none other than Anthrax, "The Last in Line," by Jack Black's Tenacious D, and "The Mob Rules" by Adrenaline Mob. Other Dio (the band) classics included are "Straight Through the Heart," by Halestorm, "Holy Diver," by Killswitch Engage, "Egypt (The Chains are On)" by Doro (yes, she's still rocking after all these years!), and "Rainbow in the Dark" by Corey Taylor and a few of his cohorts.
Finally, you get one more sampling of Ronnie James' later-career voice as he performs the ballad which fittingly serves as a title for this album, "This is Your Life." As a side note, if you pick up the MP3, you also get a bonus track, "Buried Alive," by Jasta.
If you're a Ronnie James Dio fan, this is a must have. Get it and enjoy!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
A class act was Ronnie James Dio. He was very professional with his music and took great pride in it. Great to see the proceeds going to fight cancer which affects so many lives today. We need to pray to Jesus for these people who are suffering from this dreadful disease. Great CD which great musicians. Love Doug Aldrich from Whitesnake. A great purchase for any metal fan.
God bless. Romans 10:9
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
This is a fitting tribute to one of metal's all time legends. Anthrax, Metallica, Halford, Motorhead, songs with Dio's old bandmates of various eras (Craig Goldy, Doug Aldrich, Rudy Sarzo, Jeff Pilson, Vinny Appice, Simon Wright, Scott Warren, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson)…this album absolutely RIPS!!! As many reviewers have already mentioned, the Anthrax cover of Neon Knights is amazing! Joey Belladonna really shows his stuff and the song is so true to Dio. I also like Tenacious D's Last in Line. Dio would have wanted them on here, imo, and while it may not be the greatest rendition of the song in the world, it's incredibly heartfelt by one of Dio's best friends and biggest fans, Jack Black. I like it. The Mob Rules, Rainbow in the Dark, and I were other standouts, Ronnie's Rising Medley by Metallica is awesome.
There were a couple of things that could have made the album even better, imo. For example, I would have liked to have heard Lemmy singing on the Motorhead song (Starstruck) and wish Halford would have just let his voice rip Priest-style on his song (Man on the Silver Mountain), but all in all, both songs were still good. Ending with Dio's This Was Your Life was a fitting way to end the album. Man…Dio could just flat out SING.
I highly recommend this album to all fans of metal, especially fans of Dio or any of the acts on it. Epic tribute. RIP RJD