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Dokken Slays Bandwagon-Riders - 83%

DeathRiderDoom, May 24th, 2009

Dokken – Burning Like a Flame

Dokken is one band with an especially impressive catalogue of singles, with good coupling of tracks being a hallmark, along with some quality live cuts infiltrating the mix. This one features two top-notch cuts from their absolutely flawless album ‘Back for the Attack’ (an album I proudly wear the t-shirt of). Both are typical in their emotion heavy content that relies of soft melodies, sonic production values, ambitious complexity and guitar wizardry. Pretty interesting choice of songs, but both are stunners.

‘Lost Behind a Wall’ is a rhythm section-orientated piece with thick, rumbly bass and sharp percussionism throughout the number. Aside from the always flawless vocals of Don Dokken (the guy’s in the god-like category reserved for esteemed metal lords such as the never disappointing Rob Halford, along with Tate, Dio, Steve Grimmett and room enough for Jon Oliva), this ones emotional drive is made possible by the string notes and the soft riffage of Lynch. Great chorus effects and use of layering is your typical approach to the ballad-esque Dokken number, and is not strayed from here.

‘Burning Like a Flame’ is your commercial, upbeat number for mass consumption. It’s positivism means it lacks a certain emotional power that other Dokken ballads and love songs contain. However this one benefits from an incredibly thick and effective chorus (and I mean CHORUS) that has lots of layers and ‘jumps out’ of the text. Dokken harmonises with his own voice the way that only he and Halford can do. A well-written pop-single, this one shits all over any of the impostors that sprung up within the two or three years after this release. Dokken’s approach to the genre wasn’t as a mere hitcher on the bandwagon – they have their roots in late 70’s hard rock, and by this stage had spent a decade carving out a distinctive sound that is majestic and emotional, much the opposite of in-genuine acts like Trixter, or even the halfway decent Warrant.

Not their best single, but incredibly solid – very much carrying on Dokken’s tradition of commercial/more metal single orientation – a strong formula that undoubtedly sold them a lot of albums. Songwriting typically epic with all the production values you expect of a band of this stature. Worth a listen for sure.

-DeathRiderDoom