THE BAND: Vinny Appice - drums
Vivian Campbell - guitar
Andrew Freeman - vocals
Jimmy Bain - bass [R.I.P. My Dear Friend (December 19, 1947 – January 23, 2016)]
TRACK FRAGMENTS: 1.) "Devil In Me" - This first measure consisted of Vivian and Jimmy playing four eighth-notes separated by a Vivian guitar riff. Underneath the eight-notes Vinny plays same notes on his cymbals. It is not only the fact that these three are great musicians or the fact that the three of them played together in the greatest heavy metal band of all time DIO for four years and recorded three albums ('Holy Diver', 'Last In Line' and Sacred Heart'). It is more the fact that 'Sacred Heart' was the last DIO album that the three musicians played together and it sounds as if in that thirty-one year span the three never split up. They sound as tight today as they did thirty-one years ago. There was a huge Vinny Appice snare drum fill connecting the intro with the main musical intro. Vivian used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the main body of the intro as the one that opened the intro. Vivian overdubbed a little lead guitar lick that connected the intro with the musical verse. Underneath Andrew's opening lyric there was a rhythm guitar change. It is not that Andrew sounds like Dio (cause no one sounds like the legendry DIO). However, the way he phrased the lyric lines of the verse was the same way Ronnie use to. There was a snare drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. Vivian used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical chorus as the one he used for the intro. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first musical chorus with the second musical verse. Underneath the second chorus there was a huge drum fill. After the second chorus there was a major lead guitar solo section. For the major lead guitar solo the band changed the arrangement. This track was completely amazing!!!!! Over the top of the coda there was several lyric lines over the top of a minor lead guitar solo. 2.) "Martyr" - This intro opens with a classic Vinny sounding snare/tom-tom pattern after this snare/tom-tom pattern there was a huge snare drum fill. The main intro consisted of a fast yet simple Vivian rhythm guitar arrangement. Over the top of the rhythm arrangement connecting the musical intro with the musical verse Vivian overdubbed a minor lead guitar solo. For the musical verse Vivian basically used the same rhythm guitar arrangement as the one for the intro. There was a snare/tom-tom fill Underneath the first lyric line of the chorus. Andrew sag a very short vocal accent leading into the opening verse. Connecting the first lyric line with the second lyric line of the chorus there was a rhythm guitar change. This rhythm change was just one time once the second lyric line kicks-in Vinny goes back to playing the regular rhythm guitar arrangement. To connect the second and third lyric lines of the chorus there was a minor lead guitar solo. The first and second choruses of this track were back to back. After the last lyric line of the second chorus there was a major lead guitar solo. The solo Vivian wrote for this song was amazing. For the coda the band slowed the b.p.m.(Beats Per Minutes) down. 3.) "Starmaker" - This track opens with two Vivian rhythm guitar riffs before the main body of the intro kicks-in. At the end of each riff Vivian plays a little lead lick. For the second riff he holds the lick out just a little longer. Though it is not much it does give the rhythm guitar rhythm a little bit of a dynamic feel. Over the top of the intro connecting the musical intro with the musical verse Vivian overdubbed a short minor lead guitar solo. Underneath the first lyric of the first lyric line of the musical verse Vivian change the rhythm guitar arrangement. In between the second and third lyric line Vivian overdubbed a blues lead riff. Then after the third lyric line through the rest of the verse he overdubbed several lead riffs. These overdubbed riffs were in the style of the blues, which matched Andrew's blues sounding vocal lines of the verse perfectly. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. The band switched to a heavier rhythm for the musical chorus. There was a short musical rest connecting the musical chorus with the opening lyric line. The lyrical arrangement was very reminiscent of DIO's lyric arrangements on Rainbow's first couple of albums (which in my opinion is some of Rainbow's best material). Two connect the first chorus with the second verse there was a rhythm riff change. This rhythm riff was just one measure long hen Vivian switches back to the original guitar arrangement. Underneath the chorus Vinny plays two signature tom-tom fills. There was a tom-tom fill connecting the first chorus with the second verse. Underneath the second verse Vivian overdubbed a second rhythm guitar arrangement. This second rhythm arrangement consisted of several lead guitar notes. Over the top of the rhythm arrangement connecting the second verse with the second chorus Andrew sang a few vocal accents. After the second chorus leading into the lead guitar solo there was a huge rhythm arrangement change. The solo for this song was amazing. After the lead guitar solo the third and fourth choruses were repeated. The coda consisted of a second major lead guitar solo. The only difference between the first solo and the second solo was the second solo was not as long. 4.) "Burn This House Down" - This intro opens with Vinny playing a snare drum pattern. The mic was turned down real low and as it progresses the engineer slowly turns the mic up. Over the top of the rhythm guitar of the intro arrangement Vinny plays a minor lead guitar solo. There was a rhythm change for the musical verse. The way the arrangement was arranged lets Vinny's drums and Jimmy's bass line become the main instrumentation. There was an arrangement change for this amazing chorus. For the second verse Vinny throws in a few double-bass drum licks. Underneath the last lyric line of the chorus there was a backing vocals. There was a lead guitar solo after the second chorus. Underneath the first few notes of the lead guitar solo there was a Vinny drum fill. The last few lead guitar licks of the lead guitar solo ran underneath the first lyric line of the third chorus. Underneath the lyric lines of the third chorus there was several lead guitar licks. After the forth chorus there was a second major lead guitar solo. The coda ended with a Vinny drum fill. 5.) "I Am Revolution" - This track opened with a snare drum fill before going into a huge intense DIO influenced intro section. There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of just a drum line and bass line. As Jimmy is no longer with us I am so glad this song was written this way. Vivian kicks-in his guitar arrangement for the chorus. When Jimmy's bass tracks were recorded he had lung cancer and I am sure he felt bad. He still had the same dexterity and played with the same intensity has as he did on Rainbow's 'Rising' back in 1976. After the second chorus there was an amazing lead guitar solo. Underneath this third chorus Vivian played several lead guitar licks. The coda consisted of a chorus. This chorus consisted of a musical change where the band drastically slowed the arrangement down. This really showed great musicianship! The song ends with Andrew saying, "though we die today we live". Andrew saying this gave me chills!! 6.) "Blame It On Me" - This track opens with Vivian, Jimmy and Vinny playing eighth-notes with a whole-note rest in between. The musical verse opened with five heavy Black Sabbath influenced rhythm guitar riffs. The last Sabbath riff consisted of an eighth-note. Underneath Jimmy's quarter-notes and eighth-notes of these Sabbath sounding riffs Vinny plays these huge ass cymbal crashes. I mean he drills the shit out of them. On the next measure, the drum line kicks-in. The drum rhythm Vinny played on the opening musical verse sounded just like his brother Carmine. For this measure along with the next one Jimmy and Vivian continue to play the same arrangement of the intro. Appice's drum rhythm was a loud to become the main focus of the main body of the intro. There was a short lead guitar lick leading into the opening lyric line of the first verse. The guys used the same rhythm arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the intro. Once you hear the heaviness of it, you can hear why! Andrew's lyrics along with the lyric lines themselves have an eerie feel and sound to them. Underneath the last lyric line of the first measure of the verse there was a small lead guitar lick. Underneath the next lyric line there was a baking vocal. In between the first and second lyric line of the second measure Andrew chuckles just a little. As the lyric lines of the end of the verse progress Andrews vocals gets a little aggressive sounding. For the drum line of the musical verse Vinny throws in a few double-bass rum licks just o keep you on your toes. There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus. For this rhythm change Vinny switched to more of an early DIO sound. When Andrew sings the lyrics "shame" there was a baking vocal attached to it. Underneath the rhythm arrangement connecting the third and fourth lyric lines of the second verse there was a huge signature Vinny Appice drum fill. After the second chorus there was a drum fill that connected the second chorus to a breakdown section. After the breakdown there was a short repeat f the musical intro. Over the top of this arrangement Andrew sing a few vocal accents. This lead to a major lead guitar solo. Ohh My God the last few notes of the solo was amazing!! Underneath the third chorus there Vinny played one of his signature drum fills. This drum fill started out of the left speaker only then ran through both going out the right. This was song engineering 101 kiddies!! In between the vocal accents and the rhythm guitar of the coda Vivian overdubbed a few lead guitar licks. 7.) "In Flames" (Japanese Bonus Track) - This intro consisted of two measures of Vinny, Jimmy and Vivian playing the same rhythm twice separated by a whole-note musical rest. There was a huge snare/tm-tom fill connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The band used the same rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro. After each other lyric line there was a rhythm guitar change. The chorus for this track was very simple. For the third verse there was a rhythm change. This rhythm change was just for that one verse. After the third chord Vivian double-tracked his lead guitar solo. At times, this song has almost a mid-nineties metal feel to it. After the fourth chorus there was a second major lead guitar solo. The first half of the solo was singe-track the last half was double-tracked. In between the lyric lines of the last chorus Vivian plays minor lead guitar solos.
8.) "Already Dead" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro section. The musical verse consisted of a very simple rhythm arrangement. There was a rum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. For the musical chorus there was a drastic music change. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. Over the top of the first few notes of the solo there was a few vocal accents. This rack had an amazing musical arrangement to it that really showed the guys musicianship. 9.) "Curse The Day" - This was an amazing ballad that really shoed the band's musicianship along with the chemistry they had already mastered together. 10.) "Orange Glow" - This intro opens with Vivian playing a rhythm guitar riff. Underneath the rhythm guitar riff Vinnie and Jimmy play eighth-note cymbal and bass accents. After four measures the band switches to a sixteenth-note hi-hat rhythm for the musical verse. Though it is not much it shows how tight the original members of DIO was on those thirst three DIO releases ('Holy Diver', 'The Last In Line' and Sacred Heart'). Over the top of the rhythm guitar arrangement leading into the opening lyric line Vivian plays a few minor lead guitar licks that connected the opening lyric lines. There was a drum fill contenting the musical verse with the pre-chorus. After the pre-chorus there was a musical rhythm change. After the second chorus there as a heavy DIO influenced lead guitar solo. Andrew carries the last note out of the last lyric line of the third musical verse showing his vocal ability. Underneath the choruses of the coda Vivian overdubbed several lead vocal licks.
11. ) "Heavy Crown" - This song was a little on the abstract side.
12.) "The Sickness" - This intro opens with a Vinnie playing a snare fill underneath a Vivian rhythm guitar arrangement. As the intro progresses the band slowly turn the son up louder. As the intro progresses it gets heavier. Over the top of the rhythm guitar Vivian plays a minor lead guitar solo. There was huge DIO rhythm guitar riff connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The lyrical verse was very well structured. There was a rhythm guitar change for the short musical chorus. After the second chorus there was a blistering Vivian lead guitar solo. Vivian plays the solo up to the third chorus. The third chorus was arranged in an almost breakdown section. After the fourth chorus Vivian plays several lead guitar licks.
13.) "Heavy Crown" (Acoustic Remixon Japanese Edition Only) - Same as track eleven only an acoustic version.
Along with vocalist Andrew Freeman the three original members of DIO's first three releases, Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain (19 December 1947 – 23 January 2016, My friend my you Rest In Peace ) and Vinnie Appice ('Holy Diver', 'Last In Line' and 'Sacred Heart') have re-united to created the ultimate tribute. Let me say first, though Wendy has stated "she does not like what they have done and Ronnie would be spinning in his grave." As someone who knew DIO for a very short time I think he would feel very different!! Initially The Last In Line was a chance to have a blast on the old songs to see if there was still some mileage before creating new material. Once you hear the opening note of track there will be no dout that not only was there enough gas in the tank that they didn't even need the gas. I heard the same intensity from the members of as I did in '83! Now does Andrew sound like DIO? Well, that is a dumb ass question! Now one sounds like DIO! Andrew does not sound like Ronnie however, because it is the original DIO band and most of the songs are written in a DIO musical style the lyrical phrasing has a DIO feel to them. Almost as if, he had written them himself. However Andrew was a great choice and does an amazing job! At times they are so close you could argue the point of they was songs Ronnie wrote however never used.
It has been a very longtime since I have heard musical structure such as this. You are not a metal fan unless you own this!!!!