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T&N - Slave To The Empire

Published November 14 2012

=Staff's pick

Slave To The Empire
Sweet Unknown
Tooth And Nail
It's Not Love*
Rhythm Of The Soul
When Eagles Die
Into The Fire*
Alone Again*
Mind Control
Kiss Of Death*
Jesus Train
Access Denied

Genre Heavy Metal
Jeff Pilson
Tracks 12
George Lynch
Running time 66 Min.
Jeff Pilson
Acoustic guitar
Label earMusic
Jeff Pilson
Release 29 October 2012
Brian Tichy, Mick Brown
Country USA
Jeff Pilson
Producer Jeff Pilson
Similar artists Dokken, Lynch Mob

Additional lead vocals: Doug Pinnick, Robert Mason, Sebastian Bach, Tim Owens.

What do you get when you put former members and veterans of Dokken together in one piece? Dokken? No, Mr. Dokken himself don't make any tributes on this album, because everybody would start talking about getting the band together again and not focus on the T&N album instead. An album which contains seven new tracks with Brian Tichy on drums and five redone Dokken songs with Mick Brown behind the kit.

Let's start with the new tracks. The title track, Slave To The Empire, is a good opener and a typical fast track with a steady groove. Sweet Unknown is more of a slower and heavier psychedelic blues based and rhythmic song and a bit boring I must say. Another blues groove influenced song is Rhythm Of The Soul with its enjoyable verse, solid pre-chorus and its dull chorus. When Eagles Die is a pleasant ballad with a before heard riff during the chorus. A good song however. Fast forward to track number nine and Mind Control. Not good, not bad. Just plain and a song that leaves no further impressions. Jesus Train is this album's fishbait. I loathe brisk songs like this blues-boogie inspired one. The album's closer is another fast track, called Access Denied. A solid track with a heavy riff.

What about the Dokken remakes? Most of you interested in T&N have probably heard these tunes before, so I won't go in too deep about how they sound. Tooth And Nail featuring Doug Pinnick on lead vocals is fast and rocking. A little weak sounding for 2012, but still a good song. It's Not Love, with Robert Mason behind the mic, is a super song and if you're familiar with the California rockers Tesla, you just have to check this song out, as this song's structure with vocals, melodies, verses and choruses define much of that band's music. Jeff Pilson's sole lead vocal contribution to the redone songs is Into The Fire and it just rocks. I always loved the voice of Sebastian Bach and even if his best days are gone, I just love hearing him sing the classic ballad Alone Again. Last up is Kiss Of Death, with Tim "Ripper" Owens, which enters a new dimension with the former Judas Priest vocalist. Heavy and solid.

How to rate an album when the best songs are in fact the old ones redone, originally created when the guys were in their heydays songwriting wise? The best songs are so damn good, so it would be disgraceful not to count them in for the total rating, even if that is some sort of violation to my own unwritten rules and principles. I hand out 4 chalices to the new songs and 9 to the old ones. At the end of the day, the new material must weigh in heavier and therefore my final word will be 6.








6 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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