LAST IN LINE - Heavy Crown (Review)

information persons: 
Produced By: 
Jeff Pilson
Release Date: 
Musical Style: 
Hard Rock
Friday, February 19, 2016
The hyperbole has been high and I must admit, on paper the idea of Vinny Appice and Jimmy Bain (RIP) joining Vivian Campbell in a Dio-inspired new material project was very tantalizing.
I mean, who wouldn’t be excited at the prospect of Vivian returning to his roots and really getting a chance to shred again?
But try as I may, I have not been able to get into this album. I’ll take some heat for that, but it’s all about personal taste and my opinion is that this album hasn’t worked in a couple of areas.
First – Andrew Freeman. Monster voice and commanding frontman, but I just don’t take to his vocal style on this album. Too much shouting, it’s just not gelling with me.
That’s not so say it’s not an impressive performances, but I just can’t warm to it.
Second – pacing. As is the case with a lot of Dio material, the overall tempo favors a slow, methodical pace with occasional forays into something more uptempo.
But in most cases, I really struggle with albums that plod along.
The album opens mid-pace with the impressive rocker Devil In Me and immediately launches into the fastest track of the album with Martyr. That’s my kind of pace.
Starmaker is haunting and has potential, but I struggle with the vocals and the ultra-slow pace, which continue into Burn This House Down.
I Am Revolution hits the fastest mark of the entire album with a flurry of guitars and a rapid beat. This is what I was hoping to hear more of, cool track.
But then Blame It On Me heads straight back to ultra-slow plodding heavy metal. Already Dead tries to break out of that pace but doesn’t manage it for long.
Curse The Day has an interesting moody and somewhat melodic hook, but still remains relatively slow moving.
The next two tracks pick up the pace a little, but not enough.
The Sickness is a slow metal ballad or sorts. Some cool riffing, but not enough to save the second half of the album.

Jeff Pilson handles production responsibilities with his usual professional aplomb, and fans waiting to hear Vivian Campbell shred again are rewarded with some fine performances here.
I know there will be a great many that love this record and it isn’t without merit. It’s just one of those records that despite the obvious quality, hasn’t made a lasting impression to these ears.