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Doro - Raise Your Fist

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2012
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


Seems my gripes have been answered, complaining about the formulaic nature of the last couple of Ms. Pesch’s efforts: mid-tempo track, full-blown ballad, power ballad, song sung in German, repeat. Amongst the baker’s dozen included on the new album (including a pair of guest appearances), there are no less than four fast/heavy numbers and both the opening title cut and ‘Victory’ have an electronic/industrial tinge, similar to Machine II Machine (’95). ‘Rock Til Death’ is one of those quick hitters. There’s a similar urgency in the aptly named ‘Take No Prisoner’. There’s a loose, punky quality about ‘Little Headbanger (Nachenbrech)’, but the best is the Teutonic train (clickety-clack) of ‘Revenge’. I vote now for this one to kick-off future live shows! This time around there’s also a trio of Deutche tongued lyrics (in part, or entirely), including the synthesized orchestral strings accompanied ‘Freiheit (Human Rights)’. The acoustic begun ‘Hero’ (dedicated to Ronnie James Dio) closes things out, gradually building as it goes, before ultimately ending much as it started. The much ballyhooed guests fall flat. While Ozzy/Firewind guitarist Gus G. is otherwise unrecognizable on ‘Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)’, the ‘It Still Hurts’ ballad with Motorhead mastermind/bassist Lemmy (long a Doro supporter) is painful, mostly down to his spoken monotone delivery.

 

“The Conspiracy Of Love” follows the first self released album, “2012”, from 2010, with the inclusion of brother and sister, Vincent and Caitlin James trading off lead vocals and harmonies. Gothic piano and Caitlin’s bright smooth tone opens ‘Heart Of Stone’, rapid guitar and drums follow (seem a bit urgent), and Vincent joins in for the chorus. Not bad, but the flow and tempo (blast beats?) transitions seem uneven for me. ‘Plain hearts’ is much better and a more cohesive listen, very nice Nightwish-ish verses with the accompanying keyboards and moves smoothly into the chorus. Another solid piano piece starts ‘Love Is Not’, not sure though if the chugging riff works. There’s a nice Celtic influence from Blind Guardian in ‘Un-Happily Ever After’ and again piano is well placed (think I like it better than the inclusion of the keys). The middle eastern tinged (which is nicely creepy) ‘Dissolve’ includes splashes of Dimmu Borgir circa “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”, the whole arrangement smoothly transitions a couple tempo (the drums get real crazy and it works) and melody changes with a strong chorus. One of my favorites. ‘Beauty. Lust. A Fake Love’ includes a very big dramatic keyboard reminisce of Phantom (Of The Opera). ‘One With The System’ breaks the albums symphonic vibe with the opening riff and straight forward arrangement (which is ok), still I think the male voice by itself here works better without the female inclusion (I felt the same way what Dimmu did on their last album “Abrahadabra”).

Tour dates for Feb 2013 have already been announced, hoping a few of these newbies make it into the set.

 
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