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Sunday, January 23, 2011

CD Review: Doro - Fear No Evil Ultimate Collector's Edition

Doro - Fear No Evil Ultimate Collector's Edition
2010 AFM Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Doro, we love you.

The love gets amped infinitum with this boxed re-release of Doro Pesch's 2009 Fear No Evil album, her best-selling work in two decades. Despite the tinny production that robbed some of the album's integrity, the masses have spoken its approval and with that, AFM and Doro Pesch bring you the Fear No Evil Ultimate Collector's Edition.

Mandatory for diehards, this attractive box set of Fear No Evil offers an expanded version of the album with alternate artwork and two added tracks, "All We Are 2007" and "On My Own." That's only getting warmed up. Also included are two maxi-singles for "Celebrate" and "Herzblut," plus a sticker and a dual-sided small poster. For all of you harboring crushes upon the Queen of Metal (as this writer once did), the close-up spread of Doro Pesch is an instant reminder why it's easy to get smitten by the lady--and on a personal note, having interviewed Doro many times now, her gentle speaking voice alone could melt even the harshest winters.

Fear No Evil, despite hollow output betrayals on a few songs, has been so welcomed by the metal public because Doro and her merry men consisting of Johnny Dee, Nick Douglas, Joe Taylor, Oliver Palotai and Luca Princiotta at least put in a sincere effort. The songs themselves are amongst the heaviest tunes Doro's signed her name to. For more elaboration of the album itself, feel free to kick up the original review of Fear No Evil in this site's review archives, but suffice it to say, songs like "Night of the Warlock," "Caught in a Battle," "Running From the Devil" and the powerful "Herzblut" are as stout as they come in metal. Lift the stein and hail "Prost!" or "Zum Wohl!"

Each of the maxi-singles contain recurring versions of the songs including multi-lingual takes on "Herzblut" (which also need to be listened to for the arrangement variations, particularly the French version, "A Fond le Coeur") and modified takes of "Celebrate." The latter song is interesting to revisit with the vocal mixes of Saxon's Biff Byford only and then the femme posse version featuring the bevvy of metal starlets and wolverines such as Sabina Classen, Angela Gossow, Liv Kristine Espanaes-Krull, the Girlschool posse, Veronica Freeman, Ji-In Cho, Floor Janssen and Liv from Sister Sin. The gang choruses of "Celebrate" with Doro's Dream Team presents a smile-producing mix of gusts and growls you'll no doubt want to hit the playback just to take it all in.

Both maxi-single contains a new track, "Rescue Me" on "Celebrate" and "Share My Fate" for "Herzblut." "Rescue Me" is the better of the two and the more polished. Dreamy and romantic, "Rescue Me" is further proof positive nobody can field a power ballad with ease as Doro can. Not far off from her "Let Love Rain On Me," (or even "Walking With the Angels" on Fear No Evil) this one draws Doro's flock in with its passionate yearning. Whenever Doro Pesch settles upon a mate in this life, said partner will be the recipient of some heaven-sent wooing, bank on that.

"Share My Fate" has a raw, slightly unfinished tone to it, yet it has a prototype hammer down power edge that has a foreseeable future in Doro's live sets. Fists up, willya?

Tack on the extra half star from the original review of Fear No Evil for a spiffy package, some worthwhile bonus songs and a gorgeous fold out featuring one of the finest and classiest ladies in all of show biz revealing her resplendent joy. The pop divas should stop a minute and see how it's done before the proverbial pan sears finality in their eyes. This is why Doro Pesch has enjoyed longevity over the course of three decades. All we are, all we are we are...we are know the rest.

Rating: ****

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