Archive for December 8, 2009

Doro – Fear No Evil (2009, AFM Records)

  1. The Night Of The Warlock
  2. Running From the Devil
  3. Celebrate (*features guest vocalists)
  4. Caught In A Battle
  5. Herzblut
  6. On The Run
  7. Walking With The Angels (featuring Tarja Turunen)
  8. I Lay My Head Upon The Sword
  9. It Kills Me
  10. Long Lost For Love
  11. 25 Years

Band Lineup:
Doro Pesch – Vocals
Nick Douglas – Bass
Joe Taylor – Guitars
Johnny Dee – Drums
Oliver Palotai – Keyboards & Guitars
Luca Princiotta – Keyboards & Guitars

Guest Vocalists:
Tarja Turunen (Tarja, ex-Nightwish)
Biff Byford (Saxon)
Sabina Classen (Holy Moses)
Floor Janssen (After Forver)
Angela Gosow (Arch Enemy)
Veronica Freeman (Benedictum)
Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes)
Ji-In Cho (Krypteria)
Liv (Sister Sin)
Kim McAuliffe, Jackie Chambers, Enid Williams & Denise Dufort (Girlschool)

Producers: Andreas Bruhn, Doro Pesch & Torsten Sickert

Country: Germany

Total Time = 47:59

Doro
Dor0 MySpace page
AFM Records

With all the emphasis, and success, being laid down at the feet of female-fronted Metal bands, it’s only right to call Doro Pesch the true reigning queen of Heavy Metal. Think about it…..most fans would give Lita Ford that title but her lack of output for a decade plus negates her claim. Doro continues to release new album, EPs, live CDs & DVDs and tour constantly, she is one of the hardest working artists in Metal and I think she never gets enough credit. I remember buying the first Warlock album (BURNING THE WITCHES) on tape back in ’84 after reading about the band and Doro in Metal Forces magazine and I have continued to follow her career as it’s continued past 25 years.

FEAR NO EVIL is Doro’s tenth studio album and it basically follows the same formula as most of her back catalogue: Teutonic styled Power Metal, a few power ballads, a track sung in her native German and a few guest appearances from other Metal stars. The subject matter is the same as other Doro releases celebrating the right to Rock and enjoy Metal music with anthemic songs like a Manowar or Accept would use, beautiful love torn ballads and pure Power Metal. Aside from the guests that play on her albums, the formula and the sound is usually the same. It works for other bands like AC/DC, U.D.O. and Saxon in their careers and it does for Doro also, the main difference is always the quality of the writing. FEAR NO EVIL follows the Doro formula with Metal anthems like ‘The Night Of The Warlock’, ‘On The Run’ and the standout ‘Celebrate’, a song that features Biff Byford, Girlschool, Floor Jansen and many more on guest vocals. These tracks and the rest of the faster tracks are basically what you expect and have heard before…..they are fast, they are heavy, there are great guitar solos and Doro’s vocals are powerful. The problem is that they all sound a bit too much like each other. I’m not saying the songs are bad, they are pretty good actually but there isn’t much variety. If you’ve heard a fast Doro rocker on her previous couple of albums, FIGHT (2002) & WARRIOR SOUL (2006), then you know what to expect on this record.

Where I think Doro shines is on the ballads. ‘Herzblut’ is the first ballad and is sung in German…..of course, I have no idea what the words mean but I can definitely say that Doro sings with great power and emotion. Same thing with ‘It Kills Me’, the performance (this time in English) is superb, Doro may be the reigning Queen of Metal but she also can sing love-torn ballads with plenty of emotion. The best ballad of the album is the duet with former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen, ‘Walking With The Angels’. If you’ve ever heard Tarja’s voice then you know it’s beautiful and operatic so her performance is really good in a subdued way, she doesn’t go full opera on the lead vocals but just sings. Not to be outdone, Doro puts in a brilliant soft vocal as well and the two singers compliment each other perfectly. I also like the operatic backgrounds Tarja added. Definitely the best song on the album and my personal favorite.

The only major problem with this album is the mix. On the whole, I’ve listened to the album with headphones and it sounds good but when I’ve put the CD in the stereo I can definitely hear a problem with the way it was mixed. On most of the songs, Doro’s vocals sound more out front than the band, the instruments sound like they are played in the background. I would say that this happens on half the album and mostly on the faster songs.

Bottom Line:
FEAR NO EVIL is exactly what I expected from a new Doro Pesch album. There are plenty of Metal anthems to raise your fist and sin along to and there are also a few excellent ballads that showcase Doro’s more emotional side. It’s Power Metal through and through so if you’re not a big fan of the genre then you’re going to find the album repetitive and clichéd. I’m a big fan of Power Metal so I liked the album…..it’s when I compared it to some of Doro’s previous albums that I wanted a little more variety, songs that explored some new musical territory. For me the highlights were the three ballads with ‘Walking With the Angels’ being the best of the trio.

Favorite Songs:
”Celebrate’, ‘Walking With the Angels’, ‘On The Run’, ‘Herzblut’, ‘It Kills Me’