The Goddess Of Metal celebrates 25 years of being true as steel. Three years after her last full-length studio magnum opus, incessant touring, and quality EPs & DVD releases, this warrior soul still fears no evil, or shows no sign of stopping.
Beginning with epic narration, The Night Of The Warlock sets the pace for what seems like a hell bound triumph of earth shaker rock, but results in my mortal agony. I honour Doro for everything she has accomplished, but it is with great dismay, vain expectation, and force majeure, that I find this new release to be subpar, and not highly prized or treasured.
There are some outstanding rare diamonds in the rough, but not enough to merit the marriage, sound the thunder spell, or creep into my brain - true at heart.
Celebrate - the first single released - features famed femme fatales such as Angela Gossard (Arch Enemy), Sabina Classen (Holy Moses), Veronica Freeman (Benedictum), Floor Jansen (Ex - After Forever), Liv Kristine (Leaves Eyes), and the running wildcat legacy of Girlschool. When this EP came out last Halloween, I was stoked. The song, the music, the message, and the mettle of the leading ladies united, had me so excited, eagerly anticipating the new album.
The second single - the German Ballad of Herzblut, in the vain of Für Immer - had my lifeblood flowing forever, that is until I watched the video. The conceptual storyline is convoluted, depicting Doro, who's hair is blue, sadly singing sympathetically about disillusionment and despair.
25 Years showcases Doro's abundant appreciation to her fans for all their die-hard dedication through amazing joy, pain and tears. Unfortunately, this is not a rockin' song, rather, it is more gothic and haunting in its performance; although, honest, sincere, and graceful in it's intent.
Walking With The Angels is a dulcet duet sung with Tarja Turunen, and it sends chills down my spine. Tarja sounds like Sarah Brightman - my favourite non-metal, classical vocalist. I just might wish she return to her former motion borne band, but I think she has found her true calling, elsewhere. When her and Doro exchange such celestially charged vibrating voices, I'm led to lugubrious lamentation. Angelologists such as Doreen Virtue or Terry Lynn Taylor should employ a song like this in their empowering lectures.
Following this emotion detector, the pacifistic - I Lay My Head Upon My Sword - adjusts accordingly. This epic song has a real Warlord meets Warlock seal of passive resistance. On The Run is a bit more punchy, but less passionate, and more repetitive. Filler like Running From The Devil and Caught In A Battle, with its grainy production hiss, are not what one would expect from the Queen Of Metal. The brooding dark heart of It Kills Me belongs on a Type O Negative album, not here! Long Lost For Love is more attentive, but still not up to Mrs. Pesch's potential.
This album is incommensurate with very few fist pumping anthems, ever so prevalent on Warrior Soul, Fight, and Calling The Wild. Most of the lyrics are mundane, boring, and banal, and seldom evoke any mettle connection, save a few aforementioned, awesome cuts.
The digipack bonus track Wildfire is a great arena rock favourite,, but it too is riddled by muddy production values. The boring ballad You won My Love is pure dross.
Dear Doro, for 25 years you have won my love and affection, but please more might and mettle on your next album, and less posh pretense, modern affectation, and poor production!