Doro - Raise Your Fist

Doro - Raise Your Fist

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(CD, Nuclear Blast US, 2012)

When a new album is released from a favorite band of yours you kind of know what to expect. I mean, the quality is there like it has been in most of the previous albums, so in reality there are no surprises for the die-hard fan. This effect is magnified when dealing German bands that are well-known for not changing a lot in the already winning recipe. This could be the case for Doro who has been a reliable source of Metal, delivering high quality albums that always produce a couple of hit-songs, able to stand in live setlists. But this time I feel that in “Raise Your Fist”, Doro and her band did things differently, so let me tell you why.

Of course, the title track did not give me any heads-up for what was about to follow since it is a rather DORO-typical song with a groovy rhythm section and sing-along chorus perfect for a live set. No question about the Metal Queen’s vocals that always make me use the cliché expression saying “her voice is like old wine”. As soon as “Coldhearted Lover” has kicked in, I understood that there is something different here; first of all, the guitars carry that WARLOCK heaviness with distinct leads and a killer vibrato. I don’t know if this was done intentionally but there is a vintage feeling in the songwriting that I am sure will make you crank up the volume a couple of notches. The double bass drum action and the killer guitar riff of “Rock Till Death” continues on the same path, giving a perfect excuse for some headbanging, while keeping a clenched fist up in the air to salute the Metal Queen. Now, I see why Doro speaks very high of this album and not just like everyone does whenever a new album is about to hit the stores.

One of the signature characteristics on DORO albums is the power ballads. Every tracklist features at least two slow songs where Doro shines via her expressional with a bit of harsh vocals (do you remember that she was called the female version of Udo?) So, “It Still Hurts” is a ballad but it’s more than the typical one, since Doro has teamed once again with the one and only Lemmy and I won’t even try to comment on this singing duet apart from saying it’s a killer.

Apart from Doro, the rest of the band members seem to be on top of their game; as I said the guitars are awesome, so many kudos to Luca Princiotta and Bas Maas for soaking their riffs and leads with 80s aesthetics and it would not be too much to say there is some well-hidden NWOBHM layers there. Take for example the driving “Take No Prisoners” (where there is some serious bass guitar action here) or the jaw dropping “Revenge” that is super heavy and so WARLOCK-esque that will get you in a headbanging mode in no time as the bass-drums solid as hell rhythm section (DORO is still considered as a German band, so having a solid rhythm section is not such a great discovery).

Gus G. makes a guitar-guest appearance in “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)” laying down some nice leads in this rather typical German tune and I swear I found some RUNNING WILD references in the main riff (I know this is kind of far fetched but if you listen carefully, you’ll agree with me). I am already picturing Nick Douglas holding the bass line as the backing ooohs will look over the ACCEPT singing-along ritual. “Victory” is a mood-lifting and fist-pumping song, emitting all around positive attitude, something that we all need being caught in this spirit-crushing situation fueled by media selling the economic crisis to the bewildered audience. “Hero” is the icing on the cake where the band pays respect to the unique personality of Dio who was way more than a great songwriter and singer.

“Raise Your Fist” is an impressive album that is above the usual DORO high quality level and I hope the nowadays Metal scene will embrace it, since the Queen’s fans are already queuing for pre-ordering. No question, you should get this one and prepare yourself for the upcoming live dates for some serious sing-along and headbanging to honor this band that always gives 100%. DORO are still going strong and have nothing to do with all these Metal bands that have sat on their success during the 80s, have forgotten how to write good music and, most importantly, have lost contact (and the passion for communication) with their fans.

9/10 


Links:

www.DoroMusic.De
www.MySpace.Com/DoroBand
www.FaceBook.Com/DoroOfficial


Tracklist:

01. Raise Your Fist In The Air
02. Coldhearted Lover
03. Rock Till Death
04. It Still Hurts
05. Take No Prisoner
06. Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)
07. Engel
08. Freiheit (Human Rights)
09. Little Headbanger (Nackenbrecher)
10. Revenge
11. Free My Heart
12. Victory
13. Hero


Lineup:

Doro Pesch - Vocals
Nick Douglas - Bass
Johnny Dee - Drums
Luca Princiotta - Guitars, Keyboards
Bas Maas - Guitars