Friday, November 20, 2015
Throwback Thursday: The Last in Line, by Dio
In 1984, metal titan Ronnie James Dio's fairly newly formed solo band Dio were burning hot with energy gained from the success of their debut album Holy Diver and the tour that followed it. That said, the band used that built up momentum to write and record something that reflected this: their arguably better sophomore album The Last in Line.
The Last in Line is just as heavy, melodic, and spellbinding as Holy Diver if not more so. You can really tell that the band was REALLY into what they were doing at the time and having fun. Everything is so passion filled, down to the last note. It really feels like it is more of a band playing these songs rather than just Ronnie and some backing musicians. The tracks range from cutting loose down an open road to big epics about mythical lands of the past. The band draws you in with riffs and solos, but Ronnie captures you with his mesmerizing voice and intricately crafted lyrics.
The title track of The Last in Line is one of Dio's most encouraging songs to souls who feel down and lost. Its powerful weaving of metal and brass with Dio belting out powerful messages to the downtrodden about their worth as people are enough to bring anyone to their feet no matter how far gone they may seem. It is everything a metal/rock epic needs to be: grooving, powerful, melodic, and meaningful. Plus, guitarist Vivian Campbell tops it all off with some devastating guitar solos that anyone can easily find themselves air guitaring along to.
Mystery as far as I am concerned is one of the most under rated songs in all of Ronnie James Dio's career. I don't know why it didn't do better as a single, honestly. It has punching riffs, profound lyrics, and powerful yet memorable vocal melodies that stick with you long after the song has finished. Hell, it even had enough synth in it to appeal to a wider demographic. It's a fun song that in my opinion is great to drive with your windows down to on a sunny Friday afternoon when you have no place else to go.
I could go on and on about more great tracks from The Last in Line because there are absolutely NO fillers. Every last one of them in my opinion is a classic. It's a must have for any fan of Ronnie James Dio - new or old. In an era where hair metal and dance pop were really starting to take over the main stream, Dio stayed true to his way of making music. It all rocks and makes no effort to be a corporate selling piece. I definitely recommend it to any fan of metal.
The Last in Line, by Dio receives 4.5 out of 5 stars.
1. We Rock
2. The Last in Line
4. I Speed at Night
5. One Night in the City
6. Evil Eyes
8. Eat Your Heart Out
9. Egypt (The Chains Are On)
Buy the album on Amazon: