Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 30 years ago today, Dio released the followup to his legendary Holy Diver, and called it The Last in Line.
Just yesterday we spoke about the greatest albums of 1984, and of course, this is one of them. This is the follow-up to Dio’s beloved Holy Diver. It’s an album that I feel doesn’t have as many famous, crowd chanters as Holy Diver, but has songs that are just as great, if not better. In fact, I like this album more on a track-by-track basis. The lineup remained the same, and Vivian Campbell gives some really great riffs on top of his solid lean work. Vinny Appice’s drums are as heavy and pounding as always, and Dio’s performance goes without saying. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” is my favorite track by Dio from his solo band. The riff almost harkens back to his darker Sabbath days, but it’s beautiful and melodic too. “One Night in the City” is another great track that has a lot energy, and a lot of fun. The title track has a perfect balance of Dio’s amazing melodic voice, and his powerful fire too. “We Rock” is one of the tracks on the album that calls back to Holy Diver’s crowd chanters.
Even though I like this album more than its predecessor on a track-by-track basis, this one might not quite be as great as Holy Diver as an entire album. I’ve never been very fond of “Evil Eye,” and while I think “I Speed At Night” is a lot of fun, it’s another track I never got into. “Mystery” might be a liiiittle too cheesy at times, too. On a final, funny note, even though I love the song “Breathless,” someone once pointed out that, for the chorus, it sounds like “your breakfast – ready to burn,” and I can’t unhear that now.
Favorite Tracks: “Egypt (The Chains Are On),” “One Night in the City,” “Breathless,” “The Last in Line,” “Eat Your Heart Out,” “We Rock,” “Mystery.”
This is definitely an album you should pick up if you haven’t yet already. There’s a great flow to the album, and it has a really solid variety of song feelings. It has that passion and intensity that only Ronnie could provide. It’s one of my favorites of Dio’s solo career, and an absolute worthy successor to the groundbreaking Holy Diver. Check this one out for SURE.