Ronnie James Dio Tribute – This Is Your Life


Review by Rich Ward


Release Date: 31 March 2014

It’s hard to believe that it is nearly four years since Ronnie James Dio was taken from us, but the legacy he left the world of music is insurmountable. Over forty continuous years at the coal face of hard rock and metal, he kept on chucking out iconic classics from his time with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell and Dio.

Ronnie’s humble, down-to-earth nature earned him huge respect from fans and musicians alike, and that is none more evident than looking at the roll call for this tribute album. It’s a veritable who’s who of both old school and modern artists not only paying their respects to Ronnie but also helping to raise funds for a good cause. Profits from the album go towards the ‘Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund’ Charity set up by Ronnie’s wife Wendy.

Anthrax kick off the album with a tight and heavy run through of ‘Neon Knights’, which sticks pretty close to the original. Jack Black’s presence on the Tenacious D cover of ‘The Last In Line’ will obviously help sell a few albums, but in reality this is by far the weakest moment of the album. Vocally left wanting and a misguided recorder solo leave you wondering whether it’s a tribute or a piss take. Having long been a feature of their live set, Adrenaline Mob’s faithful take on ‘Mob Rules’ gets thing back on track.

From here on in the quality and variety don’t let up. Halestorm’s take on ‘Straight Through The Heart’ makes interesting listening. Biff Byford joins Motorhead for an inspired take on Rainbow’s ‘Starstruck’, which forms one of the stand out tracks on the album. The Scorpions and Rob Halford also make their presence known.

Glenn Hughes fronts Dio’s last touring band for a moving tribute with his unique take on ‘Catch The Rainbow’; the song which he chose to perform at Ronnie’s memorial service. ‘I’ also proves to be a welcome cover from the often overlooked Dehumanizer album.

The final track is left to Ronnie himself singing ‘This Is Your Life’ with just a simple piano accompaniment. Originally a track from his ‘Angry Machines’ album, it seems to be a rather sombre and depressing song to finish off what otherwise is a celebratory album.

7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Neon Knights – Anthrax
  2. The Last In Line – Tenacious D
  3. The Mob Rules – Adrenaline Mob
  4. Rainbow In The Dark – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher
  5. Straight Through The Heart – Halestorm
  6. Starstruck – Motörhead with Biff Byford
  7. Temple Of The King – Scorpions
  8. Egypt (The Chains Are On) – Doro
  9. 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

Ronnie James Dio Cover Art