Doro

Raise Your Fist

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For going on three decades now, German metal siren Doro Pesch has gradually been granted artificial immortality: a female, leather-clad Dorian Gray, Photoshopped into eternal youth on virtually all her album covers, forever ageless and unchanging. Much like her music, come to think of it. Released in 2012, Raise Your Fist extends this state of all-purpose artistic suspended animation once again, but it's highly unlikely Doro loyalists would want it any other way, so long as predictable but effective vintage metal anthems such as the title cut, "Rock Till Death," and "Little Headbanger" just keep on coming. Mind you, we're not talking about half-baked, done-to-death, double-kick-drum-driven power metal, either (although Doro delivers a couple of those in "Take No Prisoner" and "Revenge"), as Pesch's career predates even that style, and so does her favored metal song archetype. Hang onto your bullet belts though: is that the one and only Lemmy duetting oh so romantically with Pesch on "It Still Hurts"? Why, yes it is, and don't that just say it all about her exalted status within the metal community? Another special guest, guitarist Gus G., spews his notes all over "Grab the Bull (Last Man Standing)," but the tune disappoints and, for a change, is too dumb even for '80s metal -- like third-rate Accept, baritone choruses and all. The symphonic ballad "Engel" has Doro singing in her native Deutsch (third and fourth English-sung ballads "Free My Heart" and "Hero" are just a tad too much ballad, though), as does the driving "Freiheit [Human Rights]," proving you can take the girl out of Germany (and to Long Island), but you can't take Germany nor its almost incomparable heavy metal heritage out of the girl. Not that you'd want to: as stated previously, Doro's fans wouldn't have her any other way. Much like the singer's deceptively youthful album cover depictions, these fans too don't want to break the spell of eternal youth cast by Doro's nostalgic metal music and portrait, lest memories of precious adolescence depart forever and old age encroach upon them with a vengeance. Music...it's powerful stuff.

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