"This is exactly what metal should sound like."
Following the well-deserved success of Dio's debut album, Holy Diver, Ronnie James Dio did not mess with that winning formula when he released the band's second studio album, The Last in Line. The album is full of heavy and hard rocking songs that draw upon the fantasy lyrics for which the band is known, lots of guitar solos and of course, Ronnie James Dio's distinctive and unique voice. The 1984 release was was the first Dio album to be certified Platinum. The line up on the album is the same as that on Holy Diver - Dio, Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain, Vinny Appice plus the addition of keyboard player Claude Schnell who added to the band's sound.
The album kicks off with "We Rock," a classic metal opener..it is fast, furious and indeed rocks! You can hear all of Campbell's nuances on the guitar, from harmonics to whammy bar divebombs. Jimmy Bain's bass playing comes forward in stunning clarity and, of course, Vinny Appice's drumming sounds brilliant. The title track which was a FM radio hit is next and may be the highlight of the album though the rest of the recording is a mixture of hard and heavy material such as "Breathless" and "Evil Eyes." There's the super-speed metal of "I Speed At Night," some melodic metal moments in "Mystery" and the epic riff that carries "Egypt."
As usual with Dio, you get great performances - he sings so well throughout the album trading off with Vivian Campbell's awesome guitar soloing, plenty of memorable riffs and choruses. This album really delivers quality, thinking-man's heavy metal.