Frontiers www.frontiers.it [Release date 19.02.16]
How poignant that, as I write this review, it is just hours since the news broke that bass player Jimmy Bain has died. A member of Rainbow, Thin Lizzy and a pivotal part of Dio, it is this album that will be his last recorded work.
The band features guitarist Vivian Campbell, drummer Vinny Appice alongside Bain, the three of whom had been players and co-writers on the massively successful Dio albums “Holy Diver”, “Last In Line“ and “Sacred Heart”, and was originally put together to pay tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio. Due to the success of this, and the fact that fans wanted more, the band soon signed to Frontiers and set about creating debut album “Heavy Crown”.
The addition of vocalist Andrew Freeman is a great one as the band has a great chemistry and whilst he does not mimic Dio, Last In Line stay faithful to the legacy of the band. The album was produced by Jeff Pilson, who has done a sterling job of capturing the band’s energy and spirit while still retaining the raw heaviness of the material.
As you would imagine from a band of this calibre there is not a weak moment amongst the album’s 11 tracks with “Devil In Me”, “Starmaker”, “Burn This House Down”, “I Am Revolution”, “Blame It On Me” and “Curse The Day” standing out as highlights.
With “Heavy Crown” Last In Line have produced a great debut album and one that does justice to the band’s history, and whilst this project may be edged in sadness – whether it be the death of Dio himself, Vivian Campbell’s ongoing cancer issues throughout the album’s making and now Bain’s passing, one can only hope that this is just the first of many albums to come. *****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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