By Mike Alahverdian, Rock At Night New England
Review: “This Is Your Life” Reimagined – Release date May 19, 2023
Mention Ronnie James Dio to any hard rock or heavy metal fan, and they will tell you that he was one of the great voices in music.
Sadly, when Dio ( Ronald James Padavona) died from stomach cancer in 2010, the world lost one of its most influential heavy metal vocalists.
But thanks to music veteran Greg Armstrong, the memory and music of Dio will continue to live on, as well as supporting Dio’s Stand Up And Shout Foundation.
Mr. Armstrong was motivated to help after watching the 2022 documentary Dio: Dreamers Never Die. So he decided to re-record Dio’s “This Is Your Life,” initially recorded with only piano and strings, in 1996.
But an idea was born when he decided to record it as Dio would have with a full band.
With the help of Robert Mason (Warrant) on vocals, Todd Sucherman (Styx) on drums, Angus Clark (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) on guitar, Brian HBK (Hairball) on bass, Tommy Barbarella (Prince) creating the string section, and Matt Kirkwold (Majesties) on harmony guitar solos, this project was bound to be successful. In addition, adding veteran producer Chuck Alkazian to co-produce was a great move, as he is one of the best producers in the music industry today.
With the efforts of these outstanding musicians, this project’s final result is a complete success. Wonderfully produced, with excellent vocals and musicianship, this single and video will exceed expectations for even the biggest Dio fan. The guitar work of Clark and Kirkwold is as good as you will hear anywhere, while Sucherman and HBK stay in the pocket and hold everything together. Likewise, Armstrong and Barbarella’s piano and string arrangements are top-notch. Best of all, Mason’s vocals sound as good as I have heard from this gifted vocalist.
The video, showing the musicians going thru their motions, is interesting enough, although they are all in separate locations. (reminds me of the way people recorded during the peak Covid days).
But I love the personalities and commitment of each one of these gentlemen. And, of course, I, along with so many others, appreciate their time in helping to bring this very worthy project to fruition.
Sometimes it only takes one person to help change the world. Here’s hoping this effort will bring awareness to the Stand Up And Shout Foundation and keep the legacy of Ronnie James Dio alive for years to come.
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