DORO
"Forever Warriors, Forever United"

(Nuclear Blast Records)

"Forever Warriors":

01. All For Metal
02. Bastardos
03. If I Can't Have You - No One Will
04. Solider Of Metal
05. Turn It Up
06. Blood, Sweat And Rock 'n' Roll
07. Don't Break My Heart Again (WHITESNAKE Cover)
08. Love's Gone To Hell
09. Freunde Fürs Leben
10. Backstage To Heaven

"Forever United":

01. Resistance
02. Lift Me Up
03. Heartbroken
04. It Cuts So Deep
05. Love Is A Sin
06. Living Life To The Fullest
07. 1000 Years
08. Fight Through The Fire
09. Lost In The Ozone (MOTÖRHEAD Cover)

RATING: 7.5/10

Consider 2018 a banner year for The Queen of Metal. For her 35th anniversary in the scene, Doro Pesch will be inducted into The Hall of Heavy Metal History in a ceremony at this summer's Wacken Open Air Festival. While the Hall is still relatively young, many fans would opine that Doro should've been a gimme inductee off-the-bat.

Storing up a bucket load of tunes since her last album, 2012's "Raise Your Fist", Doro makes her 20th solo album a double-your-pleasure outing: "Forever Warriors, Forever United". Of course, a Doro Pesch solo album seldom strays from its usual course of anthems, power metal marches and ballads, which create the loyalty she enjoys from her fans—that, and her unabashed humility.

Thus, to overly embellish a review of "Forever Warriors, Forever United", despite its cavalcade of tracks, is to commit a slight bit of overkill. What we can say is that the Queen is in her regal splendor with a new arsenal of stand-up-in-the-name-of-metal cuts designed to justify umpteenth touring renditions of WARLOCK's "All We Are", "Fight for Rock" and "Fur Immer".

This is not to mock or slight the incomparable Doro Pesch in any fashion. She's still the best at what she does, and "Forever Warriors, Forever United" is like that reliable MOTÖRHEAD album you're gonna buy automatically—just because. If there's any real differentiation between the two albums, perhaps it's to say "Forever Warriors" is heavier, though the meatiest number, "Fight Through the Fire", actually comes on "Forever United".

Story continues after advertisement

There is some hype to discuss about "Forever Warriors, Forever United" for megafans who will go bonkers at the opportunity to hear Doro perform again with former WARLOCK guitarist Tommy Bolan. Superstar slinger Doug Aldrich also contributes to the project. There's a beauty-and-the-beast-themed duet with AMON AMARTH's Johan Hegg, "If I Can't Have You - No One Will", plus an exciting guest list, including Mille Petrozza, Chuck Billy, the SABATON crew and a posthumously released track with Warrel Dane, who helps her out on the lead single, "All for Metal".

Doro musically grieves for her longtime friend, Lemmy Kilmister on "Living Life To The Fullest", which Doro penned on her way to his funeral, not to mention dropping a heartfelt cover of MOTÖRHEAD's "Lost in the Ozone". Her cover of WHITESNAKE's "Don't Break My Heart Again" is likewise purportedly in tribute to Lemmy. Hey, when you have Doug Aldrich in court, right?

So, let's flag the rally cry cuts for this round: "All for Metal" from "Forever Warriors" is strategically the "All We Are" moment for this round, and it's whoa-oh-oh lofts and "METAL!" gang shouts will immediately summon Doro's flock to her cause. Ditto for the loud and proud pumps of "Turn it Up", "Resistance", "Blood, Sweat and Rock 'n' Roll", "Fight Through the Fire" and "Backstage to Heaven".

"Forever United" being the gentler and more introspective of the album coupling, Doro loads it with bittersweet balladry in the form of "Lift Me Up", "It Cuts So Deep" and "1000 Years". From "Forever Warriors", there's the occasionally loud if somber "Soldier Of Metal", "Love's Gone to Hell" and the rousing "Freunde Furs Leben".

If there's any real problem to "Forever Warriors, Forever United", it's that the sum of all parts is too much of the same helpings in one sitting. To the point even the band is, at times, rolling through the motions. "If I Can't Have You - No One Will" is unfortunately awkward and garish, though Doro is to be commended for shaking things up. Positively, "Bastardos" is shocked with speed and hellfire, and Doro rolls through it with champion vigor. She snarls deliciously on "Turn it Up" and she tragically makes you feel what she's feeling on "Heartbroken", one of the best tunes in the set.

All being said, this is still the sound of a legend with a tigress soul and showing no sign of quit. Doro forever...

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).