Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:
Heavy Crown' is the first album of former members of Dio: Vivian Campbell; Vinny Appice; Jimmy Bain and Andrew Freeman and consists of eleven new songs (twelve on the luxury CD/DVD version) of original material. Despite the fact that the band was originally set up to perform Dio songs that the band originally recorded when they were members of the Dio band there are no covers on the album and it's an album of tremendous quality and depth. The songs don't sound like Dio, but it's good old fashioned metal that Dio would have loved and he would have been proud to have inspired this album we are sure.
'Devil in me' the single and first track on the album starts as the band means to go on with monster riffs and deep rich vocals, there are no talk of castles and dragons but the sound is just as epic as any Dio album you care to mention. 'Martyr' is faster paced, but Andrew Freeman easily manages the pace while still keeping up the intense quality of his voice. 'Starmaker' is a jewel of the track and we like to think that given Dio's history of promoting lesser known musicians and recalling his many acts of kindness including rescuing a young Craig Goldy from the street that this track 'you've always been a giver not a taker' is a track of gratitude from the band to him. Aside from that it's one of the best tracks on the album and another keeper. "Burn this House Down' has a great catchy refrain "Light it up, Light it up, Light it up' before a killer solo typical of the awesome classic guitar playing on the whole album. 'I am Revolution'' is a great punch your fist in the air anthem song which should play very well live. 'Blame it on Me' has the kind of epic riffs beloved of good doom metal. 'In Flames' is the bonus track only available on-line or on the CD/DVD special edition. It fits well with the rest of the album and is a good meaty track so I guess it's meant to be an incentive to buy the luxury package which includes the videos for the singles and a making of documentary. 'Already Dead' is another showcase for great guitar and vocals, whilst being a good song amongst good songs. 'Curse the Day' has another grand chorus in the doom metal mode delivered with great passion as the song closes with an earlier melodic verse providing some light and shade. 'Orange Glow' with its 'the sky is falling' lyric is typical of this album's somber tone, however the passion of delivery means, as with the rest of the album, it's thoroughly enjoyable despite some quite serious themes. 'Heavy Crown' 'Long Live the King, Never may he die', the title track, reminds us of Dio again and takes us to 'The Sickness' a cleverly constructed closer with a solo for guitar lovers everywhere.
This album has the familiarity of being an old school album, but the songs are utterly original without any sense of deja vu. It is retro in sound, but is an amazing example of an album that could have been from twenty years ago, but would remain ageless and classic and on everyone's playlist. What a shame that Jimmy Bain has died without a chance to follow through. The band has said they will tour in honour of Jimmy Bain to support the album. It's what he and the album deserves and we very much hope Last in Line will continue after such a strong debut.
Hair Metal Mansion will have Joe Schaeffer Photography covering LAST IN LINE @ The Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles on May 25th.
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com