Doro Pesch, a metal legend from Germany who came to prominence with the band Warlock in the mid-eighties, is just about to release her thirteenth solo album via Nuclear Blast. It’s an amazing accomplishment in a world that discounts anything that’s not mainstream as irrelevant. What’s more bold is that it’s a double album containing twenty-five tracks of intense vocal dexterity and massive power.
This is no self-indulgent affair, though. The first album – Forever Warriors – showcases Doro’s wild metal side, while Forever United is a little more inward thinking than one would expect.
Opening with the anthemic singalong All for Metal, a straight-faced ode to a much maligned musical genre. While bands like Steel Panther revel and cash in with their irony, Doro plays it right down the line and pulls it off with aplomb. As we move through the tracks – which range from balls-out rockers like Bastardos to the almost ballad-esque Soldier of Metal – we can admire how the Queen of Metal’s voice has actually improved with age. Her German accent still as prominent and commanding as ever, but there are nuances that kick like a mule when needed.
A change of style comes with If I Can’t Have You – No One Will, which has Doro trade vocal duties with Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth. It’s a beauty and the beast pairing that surprisingly works.
Another surprise comes with a cover of Whitesnake’s Don’t Break My Heart Again, with David Coverdale’s blues tones replaced by Doro’s sharp and impassioned range. It shouldn’t work, but it does. The track has the ‘Snake seal of approval, too, with former guitarist Doug Aldrich making an appearance.
The album’s production is crisp and completely relevant – enough to silent even the most stick-in-the-mud critics of modern rock. Love’s Gone to Hell could easily be a breakthrough hit with the right exposure, but who are we kidding, this will be a smash in the right circles, and that’s all that matters.
The second album – entitled Forever United – opens with the powerful Résistance. While there are still some hard rocking tracks here, as mentioned, it’s a much more introspective set of songs.
It Cuts So Deep is as beautiful as it comes. Another mainstream winner in another life, perhaps. We can imagine the sea of lighters (or is that mobile phone screens) lighting up festival fields to this for years to come. Close your eyes and it could be 1986 again. 1000 Years also has a similar tone, but is a powerhouse tune in its own right.
Another cover, Lost in the Ozone, emphasises Doro’s connection to the much-missed legend of rock, Lemmy Kilmister. Originally on Motörhead’s 1983 LP Bastards, it showcases Doro’s range and is as impassioned as it comes.
It’s a brave decision to release so much new material at once, but as she enters her 35th anniversary as a recording artist, Doro has nothing to lose and likewise, nothing really to prove. She’s adored by her fans and deserves every accolade that can be awarded.
The new album is released by Nuclear Blast on August 17th and you can buy the double CD from Amazon. Forever United is released on a special limited edition 3-sided etched double vinyl edition also available at Amazon.
UK fans can catch the Metal Queen live as the main support to Saxon in November – Bath Forum 8th, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall 10th, and Newcastle City Hall on the 11th. She returns to the UK in 2019 for a pair of headline shows – Manchester Rebellion on March 12th and London Underworld March 13th that promise to be something special. For more details, head over to https://www.doromusic.com.