Last In Line - Heavy Crown

Last In Line Heavy Crown cover
Last In Line
Heavy Crown
Frontiers Music Srl
Well apparently the guys from the early incarnation of “Dio” did jam out back in 2011 for whatever reason and they found out that a fair bit of their “band” chemistry was still there. Obviously by that point Dio was gone and as of last month so is the late Jimmy Bain (bassist for both Dio & Rainbow)… casting a bit of a shadow of a doubt over the “future” of this “band”. A tour is probably gonna happen, but I would not be 100 % certain about more albums, unless there’s a contractual clause. Vinnie Appice introduced the band to Andrew Freeman, a fairly decent vocalist with a decent timbre and a good range, who however has to “try” and sound gruff and “mean” something that in the case of the late RJD was much easier to do due to his darker and richer timbre. All in all, he’s a fair “addition”.
The band has the sort of sound of early “Dio”, but it’s more hard rock oriented than heavy metal, although the line between the two is kinda hard to tell, since a guy like Ronnie James started from one to become a figurehead for the other… anyhow…
“Devil in Me” is a fair mid-tempo that’s pretty good, but lacks of an absolutely blinder of a chorus to make it “mega”.
“Martyr” is a two and a half minute blitz that sounded to me a lot like the fast material that Doogie White would do with a variety of bands, obviously fairly influenced by Rainbow etc…
“Starmaker” tries to be an epic and has a good verse or two, even starts with a nice riff, but gets lost in the middle and the processed vocals really show a fairly befuddled band that tries things out to see what works and what doesn’t… ultimately it feels like a waste of a couple of good ideas on a song that’s not really as good as the sum of its parts.
“Burn This House Down” is reminiscent of mid-era Dio with a slant of the later “Sabbath” works and a vocal approach that at times it is a little reminiscent of the also late Gary Moore. Not bad, but not perfect either, but the lead in there is quite tasty.
“I am Revolution” is a fast-paced and rather simple track that has some charm and immediacy and uses a few “production tricks” from back in the day, but all in all, it wouldn’t stand a chance if it was pitted with a bona-fide track from the “era” ie “I Speed at Night”
“Blame It on Me” has another nice riff and almost gets some of the atmosphere right, but I dunno, much of this feels like a mix of “Dio” with say some of the more misguided but always decent mid-era “Lynch Mob” efforts.
“Already Dead” pretty much recycles a riff and makes another half decent rocker out of it that tries, but however close it might come, gets no cigar…
“Curse the Day” is more of the same, but with a slower bluesier tone and while it doesn’t really excel the more soulful and warm tones, it is more pleasant than a lot of its predecessors.
“Orange Glow” and “Heavy Crown” are more Zeppelinesque and more rocking and as you might have guessed they feel more organic and possibly a bit better, they don’t have to “try” too hard or to try to sound like throwbacks to a sound, from 2-3 decades ago… anyhow…
“The Sickness”, thankfully isn’t a disturbed cover, but a nice song that possible sounds like a plea to the divine” to set things right… nice little lick in there and a superb solo...
This is a largely uneven album by a bunch of people who used to be Ronnie James Dio’s band, which doesn’t make the “dio”, but a band that features a number of original members of that band. The songwriting is good or average and the performances are as expected: quite good, but I’d rather invest in a new band that tries to go somewhere with that sound than a band of veterans that doesn’t rise above mediocre/good.