I think it’s very safe to say that few women have helped shape Metal in its entirety more than Doro Pesch. Having been in the scene for 30 years this year with WARLOCK and her solo act, I think the claim of many people that Doro is the Metal Queen are not completely unfounded. Now she is back with her 12th solo album, titled “Raise Your Fist” and while I raised my fist, it did not stay up there for the whole album, so much is for sure.
With the exception of the a little odd “Machine 2 Machine” album, it is pretty clear what to expect from Doro these days - highly traditional, melodic Heavy Metal with Doro’s trademark vocals and a few German language lyrics thrown in. Now the line between staying very true to tradition and sounding samey is paperthin and while passion, energy and good songwriting can make up a lot of potentially lacking originality, an album is in for a hard time when these factors are not as strong as they should/could be, especially looking at the experience of Doro and her band within the global Metal scene.
And it is exactly where the problems of “Raise Your Fist” are rooted - at times missing energy and a too cliched/safe approach to the genre. Surely, there are are some real crackers on this album, the ballad “It Still Hurts” with its duet with MOTÖRHEAD’s Lemmy is an great power ballad in the old style, arena rocker “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)”, heavier and crunchier “Little Headbanger (Nackenbrecher)”, powerful “Revenge” and epic ballad “Free My Heart”, but the rest of the 13 songs stands somewhere between meh and bleh.
While not being bad songs, they fail to raise your fist into the air for longer than maybe a minute (if they get it up to begin with) and some even feel lifeless, “Freiheit (Human Rights)” is the main culprit in that department, laudable lyrical content, but the song itself for the most part just sounds flat and uninspired and it’s not the only one, unfortunately.
So “Raise Your Fist” is not a bad album, but its highs are not outweighing the lows, which in the end results in a somewhat disappointing album. I hope that she’ll be able to recapture her energy and passion with the next one, this one is a partial write-off, I am afraid.
(Online January 30, 2013)