Fur Immer [DVD]

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Much more than Germany's answer to Lita Ford, Doro Pesch is a survivor, carrying on and even thriving in her post-'80s metal career well into the new millennium's first decade. Für Immer (Forever), a two-DVD set released in 2004, offers conclusive proof of this, taking the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach in compiling all manner of Doro material for the benefit of her devoted followers. First up on disc one is a 100-minute concert videotaped in a remarkable cave venue at Balve, Germany. There, the aging Teutonic siren and her stereotypical heavy metal backup band (the present-day version of Warlock, one would presume) regale enthusiastic fans with no less than 23 tracks, including the requisite drum solo and hilariously named final number, "Metal Tango." A brief "making of" feature seems interesting enough -- as long as you speak German -- but it's the 11 music videos that come next that are most revealing. Tracing Doro's evolution from tried and true metal goddess on her first-ever clip for "Fight for Rock" (arguably, still her finest metal single), to trend-hopping pop-metal mistakes (the dreadful "All We Are"), to post-metal hard rocker (the far better "Unholy Love"), into questionable commercial realms (the techno-goth of "Ceremony," easy listening "Love Me in Black," and a clumsy cover of Billy Idol's "White Wedding") and back to metal glory once again ("Always Live to Win," "Chained"), the picture rendered is of an artist set adrift by changing fortunes but ultimately aware of where her strengths lie. Incidentally, these videos are often prefaced by comments from Doro, but once again, you'll have to "sprechen ze Deutsch." The same appears to be true for disc two, but an option for multilingual subtitles is available, hidden halfway down the menu list. This comes in quite handy for viewing a 30-minute "rockumentary" and a couple of 15-minute glimpses of über-fan Rene's shrine to heavy metal (as fascinating as it's scary), and Doro's tour through Australia, which finally answers the ages-old question about whether metal and marsupials can really coexist. Two-dozen assorted short clips follow (Wacken, Headbanger's Ball, a welcome Lemmy sighting, etc.), with a discography, photo session, and five-song "Doro Meets Symphony" debacle (yes it is, but still better than the Scorpions!) snuck between them. And we're done! Needless to say, serious Doro fans couldn't have asked for a more complete and lavish package (did we mention the nice booklet?) than Für Immer to celebrate their metal heroine.