Last In Line - II

Last In Line II cover
Last In Line
Frontiers Music Srl
Last In Line consisted of the early lineup of Ronnie James Dio’s band, including drummer Vinny Appice, with who Dio collaborated up until his untimely death in Heaven and Hell, also Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, with whom he had a well-documented and unresolved feud, bassist Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol etc.), replacing the late Jimmy Bain, on bass and American vocalist Andrew Freeman, who has a pretty nice husky voice that seems to work well enough with what the band comes up with.
While the band’s debut album sounded a little confused about the direction where it was headed in, “II” decides to lose any baggage of these expectations, early on, sounding decidedly “American” contemporary sounding hard rock, rooted in the 80s style, but not being “stuck” there stylistically. The result ain’t a million miles away from reunion era Winger or Black Country Communion, not quite achieving the same height, but not trailing to far either.
There’s a bunch of decent songs on offer here, namely the thumping opener “Blackout the Sun”, the rockier “Landslide”, the more infectious “Year of the Gun” or the relatively epic and groovy “Sword from Stone”, with the rest not being filler either. There’s variety and definitely a lot more focus here, than on the first album; it sounds a lot more than a band and a lot more convincing, but I am just curious how far can this project go and if they’ll constantly have to play the former backing band of Dio card, or would ultimately get recognized for their own contributions in rock. They have taken a small forward step in that direction as far as I’m concerned with this sophomore effort. Let’s see…