Dio/Inferno: The Last In Live

Inferno: Last in LiveInferno: Last in Live is a live album released by the heavy metal band Dio. It was recorded on their Angry Machines tour in 1997/98. Released in 1998 on Mayhem Records. Tracks from the Ronnie James Dio eras of Rainbow and Black Sabbath are included in addition to Dio’s own material.

Disc One:

Intro: This rather long intro seems to meet its desired effect as the crowd becomes more and more frenzied waiting the arrival of The King Of The Silver Mountain….the build-up is almost maddening but we are soon enjoying the opening strains of…..

Jesus, Mary And The Holy Ghost—-This song is huge…the bass seems to shake the arena and, admittedly, Dio sounds a bit aged compared to the first two solo release I just listened to…none the less, this is remarkable…the guitars are aggressive…the drums are awesome although the high hats seem to be annoyingly high…the vocal is crisp and clean and shows age and maturity in the best way. The band all but drowns out the once boisterous crowd and you get things you find hard to get anywhere else…guitar solos and drum highlights. Really great.

Straight Through The Heart—-For me, this is even better than the original. The band sounds beefier and a lot deeper…which really works and the drums are HUGE. The voice is remarkable…even sounding a bit older and a lot more used, it was the delivery that always made Dio a star and that is in full effect. His phrasing is what makes the song so large…this is fantastic. And let me add…when the band sings together…it is fantastic.

Don’t Talk To Strangers—-Dio allows the crowd to simmer for a bit as he regroups…the insanity is hyper…Dio announces the live recording and he treats this Chicago crowd to the opening slow strains of this track that are pretty Sabbath inspired. The slow and gentle guitar…the heavy bass and the plodding drums only make you even hunger more for the opening up the song. When it hits, the crowd is ready and the song is off and running. Dio sounds great…the band is great…this is ..well…great!!

Holy Diver—-The crowd literally goes ballistic for this song…it is surprising to be….I’m not sure where this was recorded, but it sounds rather small. The delivery of the song is fresh and electric…you would never know that Dio has probably sung this song 1000’s of times. This is still fantastic…the mystical lyrics…the grand sweeping motions of Ronnie’s voice and the darker, heavier band in the backdrop…who could ask for more!!!

[Drum Solo 4:04]

Heaven And Hell—-Dio re-emerges and the band dives head first without introduction into the bass heavy dirge of Heaven And Hell….this sounds even larger than when I heard it with Sabbath…this is the same kind of lay out….as Live Evil…getting the crowd to respond and interact…and boy do they ever. This is one of the best versions of the song I have heard….really great!

Double Monday—-From the release ‘Angry Machines’. Dio says this is about the worst day of your life X’s 2……the Metal is aggressive from the onset and you realize that the instrumentation is a lot heavier than anything you have heard from the band thus far…still, Ronnie manages to match the pace of the music with incredible vocal theatrics that only serve to solidify the ‘golden’ voice moniker. This is fantastic…I really need to pull this release out and listen to it again….

Stand Up & Shout—-With no introduction, the song begins rather abruptly and the crowd seems stunned for only a moment. This is a faster and slicker version of the original…the leads are incredible and the entire rhythm delivery is in perfect tandem…this is a practised band and you can see it with your ears!!!

Hunter Of The Heart—-Again from the Angry Machines CD, the bass at the beginning is just a showcase for the slicker sound of the new Dio….this is fantastic…the deep sound of the song will literally rattle your ear drums……the slick aggressive sounds of the lead makes the sound instantly modern and up to date…Dio meanwhile…is almost inconseqeuntial…this is a really great Heavy Metal song…even without a vocal. Love this!!!!

Disc Two:

[Guitar Solo 3:41]

The Last In Line—-With a nice intro from Ronnie, the song is pretty much textbook to my ears…the vocal theatrics are in full effect…Dio makes himself seem so large with his voice….this is incredible. The instrumentation is pretty much as it has always been…I was truly hoping that new Angry Machines sound would cross over a bit and update a few of the older songs…this is fantastic none the less…I could not ask for more.

[First Encore]

Rainbow In The Dark—-Sounding so large in this live setting, the synth line that I love so much in this song is even more pronounced. Again, Dio sings this song like it was the first time he had ever performed it and with just as much gusto. This is classic…sounding extra ordinarily clear for a live recording. Excellent.

Mob Rules—-Again, delving back into the Sabbath days, the song has a surprising upbeat and heavier sound…the leads seem more modern and speedier….this is even better than Live Evil…there is an energy from the crowd or the new band or whatever…at any rate, it produces a classic version of this song that I prefer over any other. Thanks Ronnie!!!

Man On The Silver Mountain—-Back to the Rainbow days, Ronnie pulls out a classic…although this is a standard live song, this incarnation of the band makes the song even fresher and more modern in sound. This is a huge superset that would have made me crazy if I had been there. Dio seems magically transported back to the days of this huge band and when the band sings together it works tremendously well. This is fantatic….jeez I love this song.

[Encore Two]

Long Live Rock N’ Roll—-Giving us a very early Rainbow song delivered with an amazingly fresh musical rendition, this is just a big fun song. Combining a nice blend of Rock N’ Blues, this managed to help catapult the entire Metal movement…this is underappreciated and often overlooked.

We Rock—-This is a remarkable blistering rendition of the original. The delivery is faster and sleeker…there are some guitar squeals and the drums literally knock you off of your feet. This is vocally better than the first three songs by 100%….as if Ronnie was truly warmed up by this point….fantastic end to a phenomenal live recording.

***** out of 5


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