ALBUM REVIEW: Doro – Conqueress – Forever Strong And Proud


 

Doro Pesch is the epitome of a metal repping lifer. Not just one of the nicest people in metal who regularly remembers everyone’s birthday and a constant genre cheerleader, but also one of the greatest front-people to ever hype up a crowd. Her heartfelt and classic albums have stood the test of time and embodies “True Heavy Metal” just as much as a masculine landmark like Manowar‘s ‘Louder Than Hell’.

You could never say Pesch, ever scantily clad in album art holding some huge sword and being a total badass, wasn’t the one actually in charge.

 

Doro has, for years, been probably my favorite act to catch live, bringing people together and reminding that Metal is supposed to be a family. That feeling of celebration and pride in metal remains strong, perhaps stronger, than ever on Conqueress – Forever Strong And Proud (Nuclear Blast Records), another powerful album that shows why Pesch should always be mentioned in the hallowed hall of metal greats. Let’s get to some highlights.

 

“Children of The Dawn” is a stomping and melodic power metal influenced song with Viking metal elements that would fit well on a playlist amidst Ensiferum, Amon Amarth and Dio alike. When the verse kicks in you will be hard pressed not to feel a swell of molten metal in your veins forcing you to headbang and love Doro as metal queen. Children of the grave, sea or dawn will all rock to this banger.

 

 

“Time For Justice” has a motorcycle peeling out worthy intro that reminds me a bit of my favorite ever Manowar song “Return of The Warlord” in terms of tempo, swing and general punch. It is just a tough as nails song with Doro laying down her beliefs and being generally a rebel.

 

“Best In Me” is a lovely ballad as well about not letting down fans through the storm and rain and highs and lows. It has a great heavy rock guitar in the chorus that lends a darker power to the vocal reminiscent of Scorpions. It seems like Doro is deeply grateful for the fans and talking about a bond “as true as steel” that makes her never want to quit.

 

“Fels in der Brandung” delivers film score style strings that wouldn’t be out of place in a Highlander movie before piano and Doro’s earnest voice unfold into a beautiful multi-lingual ballad about finding peace.

 

To have the Metal God himself Rob Halford collab with the metal queen Doro on this record is surely a thrill to folks. As a huge fan of both I couldn’t contain a grin sneaking out. Somehow they bring new excitement even to a “standard” like “Living After Midnight”, but the real surreal “didn’t know you needed it ’til you heard it” gift here is the gutsy “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” duet near the end of the record. While the production is more than a little gaudy, it is impossible not to feel love for the pair and be swept up in their trading of lines in the Bonnie Tyler classic.

 

As artists get older and reflect back they can sometimes sadly be afraid to keep releasing material. If you don’t do exactly what people want you can be unfairly maligned like the Lulu album from Metallica and Lou Reed which was genuinely subversive at the end of the day and 90% hated by insecure homophobes who don’t grasp camp, irony or sociology. Doro Pesch, on the other hand, has managed to keep a pretty steady Hard Rock and Classic Metal sound but also throw fun curveballs here and there over the years, not really alienating anyone but also being undeniably “herself”.

 

Buy the album here:

https://amzn.to/3Qlghiq

 

8 / 10

MORGAN Y. EVANS