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Last In Line: II
Last In Line: II Music Review

Last In Line: II

Heavy Metal
3.5/5.0

For most, Last In Line needs little introduction. But, if your memory is a bit sketchy as mine can be, here's a recap. Formed some eight years ago as a DIO tribute band, Last In Line featured DIO players Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice, Claude Schnell, and Jimmy Bain, all of whom played on DIO's The Last In Line and Sacred Heart. With the addition of vocalist Andrew Freeman, the band performed many tribute shows. Later they decided to play as regular band, recording Heavy Crown, without Schnell who was dismissed from the band. However, prior to the 2016 release of the album Jimmy Bain died and was later replaced by ex-Ozzy bass player Phil Soussan. Now Last In Line returns with their second effort, aptly titled II.

Last In Line Photo - Click For Larger Image

Last In Line

Well, after that lengthy history lesson, you're probably wondering about the music of II. But before I say anything profound (or not), you should know, I never heard Heavy Crown, not a single song. So II is pretty much uncharted territory for me. First, Last In Line plays the hybrid sound of heavy metal rock. Also, they don't sound like DIO, simply because, to my ears, Andrew Freeman sounds little like legendary Ronnie James Dio. (Just like Jorn Lande, another Dio protege, does not sound like him either, but I digress.) Nevertheless, Freeman is a solid metal vocalist. After this, you can expect the power and groove of a terrific rhythm section. Vinny Appice is at his skin beating best. Within Last In Line, Vivian Campbell gets out of the shadow of Def Leppard's Phil Collen to offer some of his own creative and spry guitar work.

For the songs, you'll find some basic heavy rock with Blackout The Son, Love And War, and Give Up The Ghost, all featuring some tough riffs and big drums. Alternatively, you'll hear a bit more brisk heavy metal rock with Year Of The Gun and Electrified. Another interesting tune, Gods And Tyrants offers a more diverse arrangement where heavier parts vie with dialed down parts and the pacing is mixed, galloping along in the middle with a guitar solo. But, mostly, the defining character across the songs is simply steady heavy metal rock with a big beat and presence. My only difficulty, after a spin or three, was that no song stood out or seemed all that memorable, making it hard for me to imagine II being in frequent rotation at Dangerdog HQ. Nevertheless, I'm guessing, if you're a fan and liked Heavy Crown, you will dig this album as well.



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The Bottom Line

The defining character across II is simply steady heavy metal rock with a big beat and presence. My only difficulty, after a spin or three, was that no song stood out or seemed all that memorable. Nevertheless, I'm guessing, if you're a fan and liked Heavy Crown, you will dig this album as well.

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