CD Review: Dio Various Artists – This Is Your Life
An ear-perking tribute to the history of Ronnie James Dio
By Russell Eldridge
I hadn’t heard a lot of the songs on This Is Your Life even though I’ve known of Ronnie James Dio since I was a teenager. He wasn’t someone I reached out to listen to during the many years that nothing really existed for me but Metallica. I believe I bought the album Lock Up the Wolves at a used CD store called Rocket Records, but I never got that into Dio.
I bought Lock Up the Wolves at the time because the guitarist on that album was Rowan Robertson (Robertson plays on “I” ) and he was 17. As a kid, seeing someone so young making it in music meant a lot to me. I wasn’t a fan of the guitar tone at the time, so I never made it past the first track.
Since I hadn’t heard a lot of the songs on This Is Your Life, I can judge the songs without prejudice. Some bands try to perform the songs close to the original recording, while others put a new spin on it. I am sure there are diehard Dio fans who will buck at some of the versions on This Is Your Life.
Anthrax performing “Neon Knights” starts the collection off as exciting and something I wanted to continue listening to. Anthrax’s guitar sound has always been easy to listen to and Joey Belladonna can sing anything.
When I saw that “Last In Line” was performed by Tenacious D, I turned my nose up a little. It’s difficult for me to take Tenacious D seriously even though Jack Black and Kyle Gass are very talented musicians. The intro for “Last In Line” was very ear perking, but the solo on what I think was a flute was a little odd.
The hot spot for the CD was definitely Anthrax, followed closely by the Killswitch Engage version of “Holy Diver.”
Fans of Dio, may love or hate This is Your Life. Some may love the song “This is Your Life,” while some may wine about the band Dio doing anything without Ronnie James Dio. Either way, I am sure the all the artists were thrilled to be a part of the album and a part or Ronnie James Dio’s history.