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DLC Week of 11/10: The Dark Element and Dio

“The Serpent’s Setlist”:

Artemis is a snake with a taste for the darker elements of life when it comes to her music. This week’s Rivals Challenge: “The Serpent’s Setlist” offers up two powerful metal bangers. The new DLC coming this Thursday to the Rock Band Music Store – The Dark Element “The Pallbearer Walks Alone” and Dio “Rainbow In The Dark” – are moody and muscular enough to satisfy Artemis!

The Dark Element’s “The Pallbearer Walks Alone” is a standout track from the band’s sophomore album, 2019’s Songs the Night Sings. Anette Olzon and Finnish guitarist-songwriter Jani Liimatainen are the creative engine behind this project with bassist Jonas Kuhlberg and Rolf Pilve providing an expressive, rock-solid rhythmic foundation for some of the finest gothic power-metal out there. Beginning with sparse, but impactful kick and tom hits and a tuneful, minimalist guitar lick filtered through midrange-heavy EQ (think “telephone effect”), “The Pallbearer Walks Alone” then bursts wide open with tons of hook-heavy riffage and powerfully seductive synth work. The atmospheric vastness and rich, layered arrangements are the perfect setting for Olzon’s emotive, clear vocal stylings. Somewhat less grandiose than her previous band, this approach to songwriting really allows her voice to shine, whether in the melancholic, dulcet verses or the sugary pop choruses. Meanwhile Liimatainen’s masterful fretwork and top-notch production keeps things both aggressive and accessible from start to finish. The Dark Element brings all of the ferocity and passion of metal, topped off with a bright, melodic sheen. If you seek an electronic/metal crossover that fires on all eight cylinders, look no further. Towards the conclusion of “The Pallbearer Walks Alone,” Olzen sings about some songs not having to be sung. It may be true, but you’ll be glad she sang this one!

Horns up, RB4ers! What could possibly remain to be said about Dio that hasn’t already been expressed in countless accolades and through millions of albums sold and concert tickets purchased? When Ronnie James Dio launched his solo career, his legend was truly cemented. Released as the second single from Dio’s 1983 debut disc, Holy Diver, “Rainbow In The Dark” peaked at #12 on the Album Rock Tracks in October of that year. Right out of the gate, fellow metal architect Vinny Appice’s chugging drums, Jimmy Bain’s rumbling bass, and aggressively A-minor synth stabs provide the suitably moody backdrop for then-up-and-coming guitar whiz Vivian Campbell to show off plenty of distorted crunch and pinch-harmonic acrobatics. RJD is, as always, in impressive form – soaring, pitch-perfect, passionate, powerful. Pick your superlative to describe the pinnacle of archetypical heavy metal singing and Dio delivers. Beauty and brawn in equal measure define this landmark track. It’s long been understood by diehard fans that Ronnie James Dio’s initial impressions of “Rainbow In The Dark” were decidedly negative – with the enduring rumor being that he even needed to be talked out of destroying the track’s master tapes by band members and management. “I was quite deeply into the heavier side of things… I thought that the song became just a little bit poppy and that was my problem with it,” he explained in an interview conducted shortly before his passing in 2010. Happily, RJD quickly came around to the cut and remained a fan of “Rainbow In The Dark” throughout his career, noting that it, “became so synonymous with the band… I enjoy doing the song very much now.” You’ll very much enjoy trying to master this stone-cold tour de force, too!

The Dark Element “The Pallbearer Walks Alone” and Dio “Rainbow In The Dark” are available for $1.99 each.

  • The Dark Element – “The Pallbearer Walks Alone”
  • Dio – “Rainbow In The Dark”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 11/10: The Dark Element and Dio



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, November 10th.