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The rawness of the first two albums are gone, and the more effect based "commercial" direction from True As Steel are still here: but man! This album just reeks of perfection. The first album was a simple speed metal effort, a very good one. With one of the best "non-gay" metal ballads. The second was a little rawer, but not as good. True As Steel had it moments, but overall a flawed album.
But this album changes everything. It kinda blends the rawness of the first albums, with the polished production of the album before. Their best song ever is appearing here too: Touch Of Evil. This was released a few years before Priests epitome Painkiller, and they both have a song called exactly the same... But seriosuly this song could have been a Painkiller masterpiece. Imagine this song with Rob on vocals: Painkiller material all the way through. It completely kills Priests Touch Of Evil. But anyway, it's just great that somebody puts up some great competition to one of the best bands in history (ok, one of the best bands with one of the most inconsistent discographies ever).
Touch Of Evil completely crush your skull, as well does Three Minute Warning, Cold cold world, East Meets West and I Rule The Ruins. All We Are is the obligatory headbanger of steel and Für Immer is actually a very good ballad...
But Make Time For Love just plainly sucks. They could have made another great speed metal anthem right there but waste vinyl space for a shitty ballad, that's not even inspiring. Without You from the debut is a GREAT ballad, and I normally hate ballads. It has "balls" enough to be a great ballad. Just like Priests Out In The Cold or maybe even Skid Rows 18 And Life, which maybe not go under the "love ballad" category. But Make Time For Love fucking sucks.
The whole album is totally overproduced, but I like that. I rather listen to something that sounds amazingly good than a tape recording of a norwegian trve kvlt black metal project.
Overall it's a great recomendation for anyone who likes 80s metal. Skip the ballad, and everything is juuuuust dandy.
My objection is obviously not to this album, which is essentially one of the better non-NWOBHM albums to attempt to capture the same spirit of heavy metal, but to 2 brands of controversy surrounding it. The obvious objections launched by wacko-Christian fundamentalists is hardly worthy of responding to, but the 2 various musical criticisms that have risen up in the years following its release. Of course, to fully understand this it is necessary to understand the music that has been attacked.
“Warlock” was a German Metal outfit whose sound could be categorized as a hybrid of Judas Priest style NWOBHM and older hard rock influences such as Kiss and AC/DC, although female front person Doro Pesch has a rough edged voice that is appropriate to the Metal genre, yet flirts with sounding like a more polished and sober sounding version of Janis Joplin at times. “Touch of Evil” is probably the most over-the-top vocal performance I’ve heard out of anyone. It occasionally sounds like Brian Johnson or Rob Halford minus the testosterone, but the ending set of screams would probably have rendered both of them mute.
On the heavy side of things we have a large collection of solid tracks that could shack up to the “Killing Machine” and “British Steel” era of Judas Priest. “I rule the ruins” and “Touch of Evil” have the edge in terms of vocal performance and riffs. “East meets west” and “Cold cold world” follow up close behind, occasionally having some “Point of Entry” flirtations with the cock rock sound, but avoiding the more mushy aspects of the sound. “Three Minute Warning” and “Kiss of Death” stand out quite prominently in the flock, the former for its speed, and the latter for a dark atmosphere that rivals the intro to Priest’s “Nightcrawler”.
On the lighter side of things we have a rather curious collection of songs that are somewhat uncharacteristic of the metal style. “Für Immer” (German for “Forever”) is quite a poignant ballad with some inspirational lyrics sung in German. The overall atmosphere, the harmonic progression and the military snare beat are highly reminiscent of Scorpions classic track “Crossfire” off the Love at first Sting release. “Metal Tango” is a novelty song that sounds a bit more cock rock than Tango, but still in good fun. “Make Time for Love” is our token 80s cheese ballad, featuring a quite acoustic verse, a louder chorus, and some sappy love lyrics that still somehow manage to touch me. Perhaps it’s my sense of sentimentality towards the 80s, which was a happier time than what I went through during my teen years.
The most well known track off here is obviously both the subject of consternation and ridicule, but from me it simply gets an enthusiastic “Hell Yes!” “All we are” is one of those fun anthems cut from the Twisted Sister style that you can’t help but sing along with. The chorus is simple, the lyrics are cliché, and we have a meager 4 chords comprising the lion’s share of the song. Metal purists may call it shallow, boneheads like Tipper Gore may decry it, but I fucking love it.
Now as to the criticisms thrown at the album, the first obviously comes from a younger generation of metal fans who have little sense of history. I’m not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination (I condemn all forms of collectivism as it is hostile towards individual achievement), but damned if Doro didn’t just kick the living shit out of every cock rock singer from Cinderella to Motley Crue. She makes Don Dokken sound like a sissy. As far as the accusation that this music is dated, I assert that it is timeless, it’s not quite a “British Steel” or a “Killing Machine”, but it comes pretty damned close.
The other criticism of this album is thrown out by post-80s Grunge and Alternative “lifestyles” Rock fans. I purchased this album at “The Wall” (before it went under), along with Yngwie’s first two albums and Judas Priest’s “British Steel”. The person at the cash register was some Kurt Cobain worshipper who gave me a really funny look and then commented “Aren’t you a little young for this stuff? Shouldn’t you be checking out the new Pearl Jam release?” Now as this was 1997 and I had all but hated Grunge for the past 2 years, it took a lot of effort to simply state that it was not my thing rather than tear into how much Pearl Jam had sucked since “Ten”. But to all of you out there who haven’t heard this album; it kicks the shit out of Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, and all of the other female artists of the early 90s.
To all interested in finding all but forgotten classics that resemble the NWOBHM, this would be a good album to have. Although opinions vary as to how worthy of a homage it is to Judas Priest’s material, it is a fun and entertaining listen nonetheless. Sadly I have yet to purchase any of Doro’s solo material or any other Warlock albums due to an obsession with Power/Prog that I’ve been stuck in since 1999. I plan to remedy this forthwith of course.
This is the last true Warlock release, Triumph And Agony (1987 Vertigo VERH 50), and you can tell that things just aint up to par in alot of ways. Such a fitting title, as this album has allusions towards a triumphant, old Warlock sound, but mostly was agonizing for long time fans unable to appreciate the bands more modernized Glamed out, Poped up, main streamed sound. By the time this album was gonna be written both original guitarists Rudy Graf (last appearing on Hellbound), and Peter Szigeti (last appearing on True As Steel) had left Warlock, and I think both of their loses really show on the songs here. Oddly enough though, just goes to figure, this was the only Warlock album to make the charts (peaking at 50 in the UK, and 80 in America), and also was easily their most mainstreamed album at that. Its sorta obvious just from looking at the band photo on the inside booklet that things werent the same..., the group looked more like it was an L.A. Glam band than a German Heavy Metal act, but such was the way towards riches, and super stardom back in 1987.
Musically this is probably over produced, even for 1987, but mostly in step with its contemporaries. Also, if you dont mind some excessively cheesey parts, and a totally straight forward popular Heavy Metal sound your nearly guaranteed to like atleast some of the material on here. With said, the material is definitely a bit more generic than earlier Warlock albums, and probably more fit for an MTV time slot too, but still its some decent material that does in the very least surpass the majority of shit that was on the same level of international acclaim.
Just listen to "I Rule The Ruins", that intro riff is chrushing, and Doro's voice goes from rough, and aggressive to a soft, and mellow almost Popish sweeping dominant vocal melody in the chorus... the solo, and the break down kickass in this song also, by the way. Its just a perfect little package, highly accessible, and created by talented song writers, but its just that the need for diversity on an album like this (one geared towards a mainstreamed audience) leaves alot of the other tracks a bit less than stand out tracks, some what lusterless, and to some toss away tracks. I guess I'm trying to say some of these songs are definitely not for everybody (e.g. Make Time For Love, Fur Immer) because their obviously geared towards larger audiences. Tracks like "I Rule The Ruins", "Touch Of Evil", and "Three Minute Warning" are why I like this album so much (also, check out the awesome screams in "East Meets West").
Also, it goes with out saying all the musicians performing on here were definitely each highly skilled musicians. Doro's voice is, as always, in perfect form, and is always a highlight. The guitar work is very competant, and the songs loaded with great leads, and solos giving the songs, and chorus' an individual feel. Utilizing great melodic structures, and progressive melodies even on the worst songs these are still interesting tunes, its just some are fucking cheesey as shit, and basically Glam Rock in parts. So obviously if you cant appreciate any Cock Rock elements this isnt the best Warlock album to pick up.
I recommend this to fans of total 80's glamed out Heavy Metal, and Rock music,... other than that this is more miss than hit with most people I would assume.
What do you get when you blend the riffing style of Judas Priest and Dokken and add vocals of Lita Ford??? Answer: You get Warlock. Triumph and Agony became the last Warlock album, after the band split up and Doro went with her side project. Triumph and Agony packs a screaming punch of heavy metal.
I like to break this album down into two sections. The first section is the cool songs, riffs, etc. etc. There are a lot of good songs on this album, and we see that immediately as the album starts off with All We Are. All We Are is a very catchy and powerful song, definitely one of the best Warlock songs. Songs like these produce a lot of cool guitar riffs, lead parts, and specially wild drum beats. You will either be head banging to this tune or tapping your foot. The album then takes off with a couple other cool songs I Rule the Ruins which has a cool intro riff. Kiss of Death is the second best song on this album. You want to talk about Doro's vocals? On this album she rules; while mostly singing in a medium to low range, with an occasional scream. On Kiss of Death, Doro's voice starts off smooth and melodic, and then by the chorus the power rages through until she hits "By the Light..." This is just amazing and beautiful. Some other good songs are Cold, Cold World and Metal Tango.
The second section of this album is the bad part. There are a lot of filler songs on this album. It is like the band doesn't even try to lift the spirit on these songs. You will be head banging and then gradually stop. Total lack of ambition or something. Doro's voice gets kind of sloppy on some of the songs, like on East Meets West, where most of it is just screaming. The guitar riffs manage to stay cool, but most of them are straight forward power chords.
Though there are a lot of fillers, there is enough good songs on this album for every metal head to want to seek out this album. Doro's voice is amazing, and if you've never heard it then you are missing out.