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Musicians remember late, great Dio

Rainbow in the Dark…Holy Diver…Heaven or Hell… These are just a few of the masterpieces from the career of Ronnie James Dio. Dio is considered one of the greatest metal/hard rock singers of all time, with a voice so distinct, even those who don’t know anything about him would recognize his voice. He was a member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and his self-named band, Dio vocal tone is rough and his high notes legendary. Essentially, if you were to look up ’80s heavy metal in a dictionary, you’d see a picture of Dio. In his career, he had several hits—like those mentioned above— with every band he performed with. The majority of his lyrics are based around medieval themes.

On May 16, 2010, the rock world lost Dio due to a heart attack. In honor of him, some of the biggest, most popular bands today recorded a tribute album: Ronnie James Dio: This is Your Life. The album features Metallica, Halestorm, Anthrax and Scorpions, along with many others.

The album opens with Anthrax’s cover of “Neon Nights,” a heavy metal song that features a thrashing guitar and screaming lyrics. With the vocals ranging from low verses to 80’s screaming vocals during the chorus, Anthrax nails the emotions and technique of Dio. Plus, they throw in a killer shredding solo… twice.

I bet you didn’t expect to see Jack Black in this article, but Tenacious D did a cover of Dio’s “The Last in the Line.” The comical actor nails Dio’s vocals throughout the song, including the screams, vibratos, and even the random ‘YEAHS!’ The band even throws in a flute solo. How awesome and unexpected is that?

Corey Taylor, lead singer for the band Slipknot, is featured on the song “Rainbow in the Dark,” which is arguably one of the greatest songs from the 80s. With loud guitars and flawless vocals, the song is perfect. The lyrics focus on the depressing topic of being alone ,lost and never found, yet the music gets you pumped up. It’s a blast with the windows down kind of song. They add a killer solo that completely complements Dio’s style, without overdoing it like many artists do with covers.

Next, Halestorm performs the song “Straight Through the Heart.” Headed by Lzzy Hale, the vocals have a perfect balance of melodic, ballad style singing and 80s screaming. The guitars and drums as loud as they could be, the song couldn’t get any better; a fantastic Dio- style cover while throwing in their own style. It’s a flawless cover that should be modeled by rising musicians.

Motorhead performs “Starstruck.” , a song that features a thrashing guitar and loud vocals. Dueling guitars open the song into an upbeat heavy rock song, which later turns into a shredding solo.

Scorpions are featured playing the song “The Temple of the King,” which is basically the album’s rock ballad. With melodic vocals of a medieval traveler searching for the temple of the king, a lightly distorted guitar and an unorthodox chord pattern makes this song legendary. A mix of ballad, heavy metal and pop-rock makes this song challenging and memorable for everyone. With dynamics reaching both extremes of loud and soft and fast and slow, this song is one of the better tracks on the album because it nails the emotions and feeling of Dio’s style.

Killswitch Engage performs Dio’s most popular song “Holy Diver.” Matching Dio’s intensity, KE makes the song a legendary heavy metal cover full of loud pinch harmonics, rough screaming vocals and shredding solos. They attempt to keep the same style as the original to maintain Dio’s style, but they also throw in their own twists.

Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) perform “Man on the Silver Mountain.” This song is one of the heavier rock songs on the album, mostly because it has one of the greatest singers and greatest guitarists jamming together throughout the entire song. The guitar riffs are crazy and the solos are shredding masterpieces.

Metallica performs a medley of Rainbow songs, including “A Light In The Black,” “Tarot Woman,” “Stargazer,” and “Kill The King.” The song is nine minutes long and is full of heavy guitar riffs, shredding solos and impressive vocals. Metallica keeps Dio’s style intact while also adding their own distinct style, which includes powerful drums, loud guitar harmonies and solos behind the vocals. This song is the best song on the album because of everything that it combines: the classic Metallica sound, Dio’s influence, loud guitarsand killer solos.

The album includes “This is Your life,” which is sung by Dio. It’s an all-piano ballad with an orchestra and beautiful vocals that display Dio’s talents as a singer.

The album is a great record, not to mention a great tribute, and definitely worth picking up to enjoy for years to come.

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Musicians remember late, great Dio