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After parting ways with her former compatriots in Warlock, Doro elected to take the road that most travel and kept on making fun Judas Priest styled 80s heavy metal in the same fashion that she’d already been doing. The differences between this album and “Triumph And Agony” are pretty minor, mostly manifesting in a greater helping of fanfare rock songs as opposed to the speed metal that was heard on earlier Warlock releases, and a larger emphasis on guitar solos and the chops of the extremely talented woman fronting this outfit.
Doro’s work has usually been fairly radio friendly both in its sheer simplicity and duration, but it works well for her in most instances because the few ideas that get put into the songs are always good ones. Even semi-ballad intros to songs like “Mission Of Mercy” and “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” or all out power ballads like “River Of Tears”, all of which feature fairly standard ideas, work well as they give Doro the chance to put the focus completely on her voice and unload the endless stream of passion from her vocal chords onto the ears of the listener.
While this isn’t quite the amazing feat of Metal energy that “Hellbound” was, or the extremely consistent balance of attitude and accessibility that “Triumph And Agony” was, it is basically equal in quality and staying power as any release that Warlock may have put out. When you hear faster rockers like “World Gone Wild” and “I Am What I Am” or the dark Black Sabbath meets AC/DC heaviness of “Hellraiser” you can’t help but bring your head up and down multiple times at varying speeds while throwing the horns in the air like your at a Manowar concert.
If I had to pick a favorite or a truly kick ass song on here that really stands out from the rest it would definitely be the speed metal frenzy “Under The Gun”, mostly because it’s right out of the Warlock playbook and rocks out with the best of what was heard on “Hellbound”. In many respects it’s comparable to one of Accept’s faster songs in terms of riff approach and pacing, although Doro’s vocal interpretation is very different, though just about as aggressive as what Udo is known for.
If you are a fan of the German variety of heavy metal with a good healthy dose of Judas Priest to boot, this is a good purchase to complement your collection of Warlock albums. It basically is a Warlock album with a couple different instrumentalists standing in for the ones that were on previous releases. Doro is known for her consistency and loyalty to her Metal principles, baring maybe one or two misguided experiments in the mid-90s, but such things even happened to the likes of Rob Halford so it’s completely forgivable. Whether you be a metal veteran and a newcomer; the spirit of the 80s lives on through this album.
Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on November 29, 2008.