Doro - Fight

Year of Release: 2002
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: 74102
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:27:00

This is not a progressive rock release, but it sure does rock. Ballsy, snarling rock is not totally the domain of men, as Doro proves here on Fight - especially with the Judas Priest-like "Chained" the nearly generic rocker that comes near the end of the album. I've not been familiar with Doro except by name only, so there were no expectations on my part. Well, other than I didn't expect prog. As a vocalist, Doro reminded me mostly of Pat Benatar ? in tone, that is; her style of singing takes that tough chick "don't play games with me" attitude up several notches, her voice literally rough around the edges. While Benatar might knock the jerk flat on his ass with a well-timed right hook, Doro seems just as likely to run him through with a sword, twisting it as it goes in. You have to admit there's something a little sinister about the lyric "There ain't no tomorrow / I will drink your blood like old red wine" as she sings (and sounding a bit like Melissa Etheridge in this case) on "Sister Darkness" (which isn't quite so sinister as that lyric suggests, however). And yet, on the other hand, we get the sparse (bass [Nick Douglas], subtle guitar [Joe Taylor or Oliver Palotai], and voice), fragile, breathy "Undying" and the balladic "Fight By Your Side," and the mellowish, western-styled "Legends Never Die" ? perfect for the end credits for some western with a pop soundtrack (e.g. Young Guns, or the like). It's appealing enough that I'm sure it'll end up on a "best-of" down the road

It seems obvious to say that the album comes out fighting with "Fight," but it's not mere "cleverness" ? it truly does. The title piece was written for German female boxer Regina Halmich and thus has bravura energy and just a bit of a swagger as it screams in your face. Benatar comes to mind mainly on the catchily rhythmed "Always Live To Win" which drives with the same kind of energy as, say, "Heartbreaker." Same kind of thing with "Wild Heart" which mixes "pretty" verses (with nice piano like keyboards from Oliver Palotai) with fiery, snarly exhortations of the chorus. And we might say the same thing about "Hoffnung" ("Hope") that closes the album ? a song mixes German verses with English choruses which falls more into the power ballad category.

On the slowly burning "Descent" Doro duets with the deeply demonic-voiced Pete Steele (Type O Negative). It's his voice that is dominant in the mix, and there is something darkly appealing about this track, one that makes you want to peel back the layers and do a bit of dissection.

Whether truly recorded live or the audience noise was added after the fact, two of the tracks are given a live feel ? "Always Live To Win" and "Rock Before You Bleed" (which had me thinking of Benatar again, specifically of "Invincible" in a very broad sense). This latter track doesn't quite have the kind of power that you'd call fist-pumping, but the certainly that's what the arrangement is working for ? the booming bass and drums (Johnny Dee) are too subdued in the mix to draw that from the listener and the chorus a little too melodic for that. Which doesn't make it a bad track, but one would expect something a little punchier given some of the earlier tracks.

Doro's been at this for 20 years, since Warlock's 1984 release Burning The Witches. Some of this material seems? well, typical for this style of release. Well, maybe not the ultra-mellow ballads, but then again, one of the compilations in her catalog is The Ballads, so? perhaps not. I guess one would think, 20 years on, that the music itself wouldn't seem to be 20 years old ? there is very much an 80s metal feel about it (and the 80s were Benatar's heyday as well, so that all fits). The vibe you get from this album is of your wilder older sister who, because of that very wildness, is probably having more fun than you, and yet, down the road may be filled with bitter regrets (not speaking from experience, of course; neither I nor my sisters are rebels? in the classic sense ? I rebel by being a prog fan). You know, momentarily meaningful flings with married men (being a free spirit it avoids being tied down); drinking and hard living; the (archetypical) life of a "rock star" you might say. It's the new image that Britney's trying to affect, but she hasn't lived it. You can hear in Doro's voice that she's lived it. And I'd take her voice of Britney's any day.

Anyway, as an album it's good and likeable. Unless you're already a fan, I don't feel it's a must have, but it's solid enough to not be a "throwaway" album? fairly good and holds up after repeated listenings. It does lose a few points though on the muddy production ? which until I noticed a few other reviewers mention it, thought it was just my stereo (or my ears). Which might explain why the songs that should be punchier aren't. Doro wanted a "rawer, earthy, totally rooted to the soil" sound? well, wet soil is mud, so? "[?] no loops, hardly any effects, but a lot of pure energy and passion" she continues. And that part is true is as well.

Fight (4:09) / Always Live To Win (3:01) / Descent (4:02) / Salvaje (2:47) / Undying (4:06) / Legends Never Die (5:21) / Rock Before You Bleed (4:22) / Sister Darkness (4:46) / Wild Heart (4:32) / Fight By Your Side (3:49) / Chained (4:15) / Hoffnung (4:37)

Doro Pesch ? vocals
Joe Taylor ? guitar
Nick Douglas ? bass
Johnny Dee ? drums
Oliver Palotai ? guitar/keyboards

Pete Steele - vocals
Russ Ballard ? guitar
Jurgen Engler - e-bow
Christopher Lietz - bass, guitar, keyboards
Chris Winter ? keyboards
Andreas Bruh ? guitar
Chris Cafferty ? guitar

* aside from Steele, which is credited on the promo, this is from what I gather from other sources.

Warlock - Burning The Witches (1984)
Warlock - Hellbound (1985)
Warlock - True As Steel (1986)
Warlock - Triumph And Agony (1987)
Force Majeure (1989)
Doro (1990)
True At Heart (1991)
Rare Diamonds (1991)
Angels Never Die (1993)
Doro - Live (1993)
Machine II Machine (1995)
M II M, Electric Club Mixes (1995)
A Whiter Shade Of Pale (1995)
Love Me In Black (1998)
The Ballads (1998)
Best Of (1998)
Warlock - Earthshaker Rock (1998)
Calling The Wild (2000)
Fight (2002)

Genre: Traditional Metal

Origin DE

Added: January 11th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1119
Language: english


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