Various Artists To Heaven Through Hell-A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio
Released: 2011, Backstage Metal
On May 16th of this year, (2014) it will be the 4th anniversary of the death of Ronnie James Dio. In April Rhino records released a tribute album called THIS IS YOUR LIFE. The amount if media hype about this album was unbelievable and frankly a bit puzzling. This was just sixth (or seventh depending how you count) Dio tribute on the market. Why was everyone so excited about this one? How does it compare to the five previous ones? Of course being a true Dio fan I own all of them so I decided to pull them from the vaults and review them. They are, in chronological order of release…
AWAKEN THE DEMON-TRIBUTE TO DIO (Dwell, 1999)
HOLY DIO-A TRIBUTE TO THE VOICE OF METAL:RONNIE JAMES DIO (Century Media, 1999)
DIO (Jorn) (Frontiers 2010)
MAGIC-A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO (Magic Circle Music, 2010)
TO HEAVEN THROUGH HELL-A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO (Backstage, 2011)
RONNIE JAMES DIO-THIS IS YOUR LIFE (Rhino, 2014)
The Jorn album DIO was already reviewed by our very own Waspman back in July of 2010 so feel free to check out this review as well as part of this feature/tribute. Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.
This tribute is the least known of all the Dio tributes. Backstage Metal is a small, independent Record label. They seem to have been web-based and may not even be active anymore. I have not seen any press or rr;aged info from them in a couple of years. Back in 2011 they pulled together a tribute to Dio called TO HEAVEN THROUGH HELL. It is a noble cause and apparently they were going to issue the digital only album in digipak but I have never seen a copy of it.
While the sentiment is noble this tribute is one of the weaker ones. There are really no known Metal artists at all, in fact there are really no bands to speak of on this tribute. It seems that about 30 people from the various Metal Forums and Chat rooms, kind of cobbled this Frankenstein album together. There are people from all over the world on this album, making it by far the most international in flavour of all the Dio tributes. The main organizer or participant is Max Morton from the Ukrainian Power Metal band Morton.
There is a nice cover, featuring of course Murray, Dio’s mascot. The 13 track album is pretty long at 73 minutes and best of all it is a free download as well. You can’t go wrong! The choices of songs to be covered are all great songs but also not very original. All the usual 1975-1987 Rainbow/Sabbath/Dio songs are picked but they do end very strong with three songs a nice version of ‘Stars’ ‘Dream Evil’ and ‘All The Fools Sailed Away’. It was nice to see a chronologically progressive track list starting with Rainbow and moving on.
The versions are all very competent but don’t add much special to the already massive list of Dio cover songs. I’d have to say because of the obscure nature of this project, this is one of the less-inspired Dio tributes.
2. Long Live Rock N Roll
3. Gates Of Babylon
4. Kill The King
5. Children Of The Sea
6. Heaven And Hell
7. Stand Up And Shout
8. Holy Diver
9. Rainbow In The Dark
10. We Rock
11. We're Stars
12. Dream Evil
13. All The Fools Sailed Away
Various Artists-over 30 artists from around the world.