Nuclear Blast [Release date 17.08.18]
Doro Pesch celebrates thirty five years in metal with the release of her twentieth album and to mark this special occasion it is a double album called Forever Warriors, Forever United. Her band remains that of guitarists Luca Princiotta and Bas Maas, bassist Nick Douglas and drummer Johnny Dee. Joining her are various guests including former Warlock guitarist Tommy Bolan and Doug Aldrich of Whitesnake, Dead Daisies and Dio fame.
The ‘Forever Warriors’ album is more metal, none more so than the first single ‘All For Metal’ which features members of Kreator and Sabaton. Another highlight on this album is the duet with Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth on ‘If I Can’t Have You, No One Will’. Doro’s vocals work well with the growling menace of Hegg, who sounds a darn sight more scary singing in a slower range! It is not all great though as lyrically ‘Bastardos’ and the ballad ‘Soldier Of Metal’ repeat the same phrases over and over. Mind you ‘Turn It Up’ is a good head shaker and destined to be played live.
The cover of Whitesnake’s ‘Don’t Break My Heart Again’ is not bad either, keeping the original’s organ riff and adding heavier guitar riffs. The album even features some sax playing on ‘Backstage To Heaven’, a decent mid tempo rocker and like many songs on here benefiting from big production musical arrangements.
‘Forever United’ is more ballad led with ‘Lift Me Up’ and ‘It Cuts So Deep’ pick of the album. The latter has a big string arrangement and subtle guitar playing, a definite highlight and one of Doro’s best ballads to date. She really pours passion into her heartfelt tribute to Lemmy ‘Living Life To The Fullest’, and speaking of Motorhead she covers ‘Lost In The Ozone’.
With nineteen songs (twenty five on the bonus edition) there are a fair few songs that fail to spark and perhaps one album with a few bonus songs would have been received better. Still, there are enough songs to enjoy with ‘All For Metal’ and ‘Turn It Up’ showing Doro has no signs of getting quieter after thirty five years in rock ‘n’ roll and she still has a metal heart when it comes to making music. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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