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Released: 2016, Frontiers Records
I love the fact that nearly six years after his death (at the time of this writing), Ronnie James Dio’s many past band members are still creating music that could easily be cuts from an unreleased Dio album. This month we have two album reviews that will always be linked in my mind because of their ties to RJD; Last In Line’s debut album HEAVY CROWN, and this self-titled release by Resurrection Kings. Feel free to enjoy both reviews here on MR.
Resurrection Kings is the new band project by none other than ex-Dio guitarist Craig Goldy. Along for the ride he’s brought along consummate Dio drummer Vinny Appice. On bass we have Sean McNabb, ex-member of Dokken, Quiet Riot, and many others. The all-important vocalist slot is filled by somewhat unknown man Chas West. West may not be a household name to metal heads, but he’s spent time in bands like Red Dragon Cartel, Lynch Mob, Diamond Head, and Bonham, so he’s not some inexperienced kid.
Wrapped in a gorgeously awesome album cover, RESURRECTION KINGS opens with “Distant Prayer” which begins with some trademark licks from Goldy before rolling out into slashing hard rocker that shows off West’s strong pipes. It’s heavy, but more in a hard rock vein than heavy metal. “Livin’ Out Loud” is a groovy, slow stomping cut which gives the all-star rhythm section plenty of breathing room before cutting back into another fast rocker in “Wash Away”. By this point, it’s clear that Goldy’s writing is not focused on being Dio-revivalist as these songs are much more commercial than what you’d get from RJD. That’s a good thing – the band is obviously not trying to live off past glories.
Moving through the album, “Who Do You Run To?” is a bit too mid-paced commercial to be effective, although West’s performance gives it some life. The song is a sign of things to come though, as the next few songs are in the same vein and seem stuck in mid-paced blues-rock conventions (although “Never Say Goodbye” is a quality ballad). Of the remaining songs, only “Had Enough” and “Don’t Have to Fight No More” ratchet up the aggression, while the rest continue mining the bluesy terrain of earlier cuts. Your mileage may vary, but it all started to blend together a bit for me, despite the excellent performances from the whole band, and Goldy in particular.
While RESURRECTION KINGS starts stronger than it finishes, it’s still a very good album produced by long-time rock veterans.
1. Distant Prayer
2. Livin’ Out Loud
3. Wash Away
4. Who Do You Run To?
5. Fallin’ For You
6. Never Say Goodbye
7. Path of Love
8. Had Enough
9. Don’t Have to Fight No More
10. Silent Wonder
11. What You Take
Chas West: Vocals
Craig Goldy: Guitar
Sean McNabb: Bass
Vinny Appice: Drums
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