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Dokken – The Hunter
This great little single by what is probably the absolute best ‘hair metal’ (a term I loath) band ever contains two of my favourite Dokken tracks. I first got into Dokken in the early 2000’s and got the album ‘Under Lock and Key’ first, which I thought was f**king phenomenal. This single is no exception, containing two strongly memorable, and thoroughly different cuts from those sessions.
‘The Hunter’ is a phenomenally powerful and emotive slower-paced number. Its chorus section is incredibly melodic, with Dokken really giving it his all with his incredible voice, and great lyrics. This melodic chorus is underscored by a distinctively Lynch ‘metal’ yet incredibly emotional simple riffs progression. Really a heartfelt number which I have always rated highly. I particularly enjoy the finish which combines a long-held note by Dokken himself with a mixed-down wildfire technical guitar solo thrown in for good measure. Strong way to go out. The verse lyrics are particularly emotive and are probably the highlight of the song for myself.
‘Till the Living End’ was one of the first Dokken songs I remember being fixated on. It’s got it all – plenty of pace and technical melodic power guitar mixed with the pure emotiveness and explosive romanticism of Dokken himself – an absolute dynamite combination. I remember repeatedly putting this side of the single on and never getting sick of it. I was blown away by the skill and sound of Dokken’s voice, with the chorus serving as a showroom of his ability to hold soaring notes with ease. The title of thrack could be considered somewhat ‘metal’ in nature, but it’s really a mask for another love-related song by the romantic Don Dokken – it’s about a rocky relationship. This track would serve as an excellent first introduction to Dokken – it’s good – but they have tonnes more equally as good as this arguably. Its got that perfect bland of straight up energetic 80’s metal and guitar prowess, packed with the romanticism common in the melodic or ‘hair metal’ scene.
Overall, a phenomenal single – two great songs; a slower one and a faster one, showcasing two different sides of Dokken, moulded into one convenient package. Listening to it again, I can’t believe what a great product it is – two true gems of melodic 80’s metal. A metal number thrown in to appease the longhairs, and a commercial, though equally as amazing number on the opposite side. Dokken is truly a band like no other, on a platform of their own with a unique sound and feel - not to mention a staggering amount of technical competence. This single is probably common enough to track down, with Dokken having more commercial success than many other 80’s greats – so is well worth looking out for.