DORO - Forever Warriors, Forever United
August 22, 2018, a month ago
One of two new Doro discs, available separately or as a package, both offering a trio of bonus cuts, all told, 25 new compositions from the Metal Queen. Of the two, the label touts this as the most rocking of the pair, the second (as yet unheard) being more "emotive". Only time will prove the validity of the hype machine, but this one certainly sports more guest appearances. The opening, prerelease single, "All For Metal" wins by itself, hands down. Said track features gang vocals on the chorus of "metal!" from the likes of Mille Petrozza (Kreator), Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth), Chuck Billy (Testament), the late Warrel Dane (Sanctuary/Nevermore), Sabaton, Ross The Boss, Rock n Rolf Kasparek (Running Wild), plus guitars from Andy Brings (ex- Sodom) and former Warlock bandmate Tommy Bolin, who also toured the States with Doro, last time around. Could have been an album in itself!
Picking up the tempo, even faster (matching the intensity of "Revenge", "Metal Racer", "Burning The Witches" or "Earthshaker Rock") is speedy "Bastardos". Sure to be a new fave! Returning the favor (Doro guested on "A Dream That Cannot Be" off the Swedes' Jomsviking platter) Hegg adds his voice to mid-tempo duet "If I Can't Have You, No One Will", which starts as if destined to be a ballad, but once the Viking gets involved, you hears the maniacal, berserker glint in his eye. He even gets the last word. Been variations on the title "Soldier Of Metal", but never as a synthesized string ballad, Doro claiming the titular role, always fighting to the end. The autobiographical "Turn It Up" adopting a higher end guitar tone, recalls "Burn It Up". A slightly punk delivery, "Blood, Sweat and Rock n Roll" might as well be a reworking of Michael Monroe's "Dead, Jail Or Rock n Roll", with a more positive lyrical outcome.
A little Hammond organ, in the background, for a legitimate cover, Whitesnake's "Don't Break My Heart Again" (off the Coverdale clan's '81 album Come An' Get It). Despite the title, the tale of unrequited love isn't a ballad, "Love's Gone To Hell" riding a gritty, piano accompanied groove, but never revving beyond second gear. The German language "Freunde Fürs Leben" (meaning: friends for life) teases it will be "Für Immer" Part II, even mentioning those words, in hushed tones, before becoming a mid-paced toe-tapper. Proper disc finale, an ‘80s Scorpions-ish "Backstage To Heaven" introduces comedian/jazz man/actor Helge Schneider to non-German audiences, on saxophone. Top-to-bottom, the strongest Doro disc in ages, maybe since the Warlock days! Can't wait to hear the next installment. (Rating: 8.0)
Second of the simultaneously issued Doro platters (for purchase either separately, or in combination) offers more emotive fare, and like its Forever Warriors partner, features a trio of bonus tracks (not available for preview, although one is an instrumental), including an intriguingly entitled "Metal Is My Alcohol", bringing the total number of offerings to an even dozen. This disc includes just a single guest spot, guitarist Doug Aldrich (ex-Whitesnake/current Dead Daises) on "Heartbroken". Like the initial disc, there's a cover, this time a further smoothing over the rough edges of Motorhead's "Lost In The Ozone". Speaking of the Head, "Living Life To The Fullest" is dedicated to her friend, Lemmy Kilmister. It ends with a quip from the late bassist.
On any recent album from Ms. Pesch, "Resistance" would have be heralded as a return to rock, and while adequate, pales in comparison to several inclusions on the "other disc." In fact, this is an inferior album to its counterpart. In a different, sexist lifetime, this would be labeled/marketed as "the Girls album," filled with slower material/ballads and less guitars. Just second song in, there's a mellow, faded out "Lift Me Up", not really a ballad, but definitely a difference from Forever Warriors, which is characterized by the energetic, harder/faster tunes. Similar vein on slightly more upbeat, but not fully rocking "Heartbroken' (the single word comprising the vast majority of the lyrics) as Aldrich wails away. Piano accompanied "It Cuts So Deep" is another ballad about failed relationships, while "Love Is A Sin" sees Doro singing, "Without you, love is a sin," about having sex, as a bellicose voice-over periodically interrupts. The acoustic begun "1000 Years" gradually builds, the Metal Queen once more failed relations: "Took 1000 years of battle, 1000 years of war to make me love you more". Staccato "Fight Through The Fire", the final original, before the closing Motorhead cover, gets the motor revving, but with a dose of keyboards.
Must say, glad the two CDs are so night-and-day dichotomous, making it an easy choice: Yes vs. No! Know Doro likes to mix up the concert experience, but can hardly envision any of these surviving to the next touring cycle, whereas certainly hope at least a couple of Warriors tracks become perennial favorites. (Rating: 6.0)