Various Artists, "Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life" (Rhino)
One of the greatest heavy metal vocalists, Ronnie James Dio left an indelible mark on the genre through his work with Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his solo career. The tribute album "Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life" brings some of the biggest names in metal to honor Dio, who died in 2010 of stomach cancer. Proceeds from the album go to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.
Tops here is an epic 9-minute medley by Metallica that starts and ends with "A Light In The Black" and weaves in "Tarot Woman," "Stargazer" and the frenetic concert opener "Kill The King," probably Dio's best Rainbow song. Adrenaline Mob's cover of "The Mob Rules" sounds so much like Dio it's scary and Anthrax adds a molten version of "Neon Knights."
Germany is well represented, with the Scorpions covering "The Temple Of The King" and Doro adding "Egypt." And Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) adds a tender cover of the ballad "Catch The Rainbow."
A big disappointment is Judas Priest singer Rob Halford fronting a Dio solo band lineup on a low-octave version of "Man On The Silver Mountain," where you keep waiting for vocal bombast that never happens. And was there really No one better than comedian Jack Black to cover the classic "Last In Line?"