The high of ‘’Holy Diver’’ is continued with ease on the follow up release 1984’s ‘’The Last In Line’’ Once again Dio the man and DIO the band combine to flex musical muscle on a selection of tracks that bear the trademark golden and hallowed voice of Ronnie James and some of the finest riffs the DIO band have come up with. .
Opener ‘’We Rock’’ is a Heavy Metal statement of intent if ever DIO needed to give one. The razor sharp riffing of guitarist Vivian Campbell lets rip whilst Ronnie James reaches out with that voice determined not to let the guitarist hot shot steal the limelight. The title track is a Metal classic closely followed by the trio of ‘’Breathless’’ ‘’I Speed At Night’’ and ‘’One Night In The City’’ which all heap riff upon riff into the ring. The SABBATH and RAINBOW connections abound but only on album number two DIO had already found his pace and sound. Old campaigners Bain, Appice and Schnell provide the back bone which is a solid as an old oak table. It might not be spectacular but they are watertight throughout and Dio’s voice is once again hard to fault. Reports suggest that Campbell never saw eye to eye with the main man but a bit of friction never hurt and the young Irishman’s guitar playing is spot on and perhaps the best work he’s put his name too. ‘’Mystery’’ is a dip in form but ‘’Eat Your Heart Out’’ is an old school Rocker and the final track ‘’Egypt (The Chains Are On)’’ is yet another DIO classic.
Along with ‘’Holy Diver’’ it is easy to hear just why ‘’The Last In Line’’ has reached and deservedly so, classic album status. (Online October 23, 2005)