Doro - Conqueress: Forever Strong and Proud will be released Friday, October 27th 2023 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Doro is a name which is instantly recognisable across all spectrums of the metal world and quite rightly so. With a 40 year tenure under her belt and a massive legacy that continues to charge forward without any sign of slowing down, Doro Pesch aka "The Metal Queen" has returned with her 18th studio album Conqueress: Forever Strong and Proud. The title alone showcases the utter defiance and power behind this record let alone the fact it's 20 tracks long in total.
The monumental record opens with 'Children of the Dawn;' a rousing, anthemic barrage of riffage, thunderous drums and plenty of powerful heart. A chant-worthy chorus guaranteed to unite the crowd in pure atmospheric excitement. 'Fire In The Sky' kicks it right off with a faster pace and a charging attitude. Screaming guitars from the very start which continue throughout the track and commanding vocals. Not one for hanging about, Doro introduces the first cover track of the record 'Living After Midnight' by Judas Priest featuring guest vocals from the one and only Rob Halford, naturally. An uplifting, party anthem filled with feel-good vibes and positive attitude, a fun take on an already iconic track. 'All For You' begins with a melancholic guitar solo but don't be fooled in to thinking this is a ballad; with the introduction of rolling drums slowly building the pace, this track explodes in to a racing gallop of sheer heavy metal attitude and in your face flying solos. 'Lean Mean Rock Machine' starts with a screaming motorbike because of course it does accompanied with an edgy, mid-tempo groove stomp and epic solos.
Next up, 'I Prevail' continues on with the groovy mid-tempo, chugging stomp with flurries of dirty guitar riffage and chant-worthy gutteral screams of "I WILL PREVAIL!" This track is full of aggressive determination guaranteed to get the crowd moving; a definite stand-out moment for the record. 'Bond Unending' features a duet with Sammy Amara the frontman of German punk band Broilers; a feel-good, somewhat softer track which is very much inspired by the likes of Blondie. But the record charges on following this shorter, softer interlude with 'Time For Justice;' a homage to the prime of 80s heavy metal whereas 'Fels in der Brandug' slows the pace down to an emotive, orchestral ballad which is partially performed in Doro's mother tongue; a beautifully, powerful soundscape. 'Love Breaks Chains' carries on with the powerful emotive presence but it is far more Heavy Metal in nature with more flying solos, chugging riffage and thunderous drums as is 'Best In Me' later on in the record. 'Drive Me Wild,' 'Rise' and 'Heavenly Creatures' pick the pace up once more with more mid-tempo chugging riffage and groove-fueled solos.
Another cover track comes in to play here featuring Rob Halford once again. This time it's the iconic Bonnie Tyler track 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' an epic rendition of an already legendary track. 'Warlocks and Witches' starts as a brief, atmospheric, spoken word introduction to the bonus track segment of the record on the backdrop of a thunderstorm before kicking in with the blistering yet rousing sea-shanty style 'Horns Up High.' 'True Metal Maniacs' however takes a slow, blues-style approach with swaying guitars, steady, thunderous drums and a signature power-chanting chorus. As the record makes its way to its conclusion, 'Heart in Pain' serves as a final, power-groove move and is incredibly seductive in atmosphere. The final surprise however comes as a cover of Metallica's 'The Four Horsemen;' an energetically tight and sprawling track in its own right however this version has given it a breath of fresh air.
Heart, soul and sheer heavy metal power. This is everything that Doro embodies and everything you can expect from a woman of this magnitude. Conqueress: Forever Strong and Proud is another example of epic heavy metal in all its glory and it certainly delivers. The Queen of Metal is very much alive, thriving and kicking you square in the jaw repeatedly. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!
Rating: 8/10 Release Date: October 27th 2023 Released By: Nuclear Blast Records FFO: Judas Priest, Accept, W.A.S.P, Saxon
01 - Children of the Dawn 02 - Fire in the Sky 03 - Living After Midnight 04 - All For You 05 - Lean Mean Rock Machine 06 - I Will Prevail 07 - Bond Unending 08 - Time for Justice 09 - Fels in der Brandung 10 - Love Breaks Chains 11 - Drive Me Wild 12 - Rise 13 - Best in Me 14 - Heavenly Creatures 15 - Total Eclipse of the Heart 16 - Warlocks and Witches (Bonus Track) 17 - Horns Up High (Bonus Track) 18 - True Metal Maniacs (Bonus Track) 19 - Heart In Pain (Bonus Track) 20 - The Four Horsemen (Bonus Track)