Published on October 16th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Doro: Forever Warriors, Forever United (Nuclear Blast)
It’s been six years since the last Doro album, and while the metal queen hasn’t been idle in that time (we’ve seen a number of compilations and live releases), she must have felt like her fans deserved something special for their patience. Hence the new Doro release: Forever Warriors, Forever United, her first-ever double-album set.
As you might expect, both discs in the Forever Warriors, Forever United set feature the kind of trademark metal anthems Doro is so well known for. She wears her love of heavy metal and its fans on her sleeve, so of course we’re going to get an anthem like “All For Metal” that features a whole host of guest appearances, including Ross the Boss, Rock n’ Rolf, Sabaton and the late Warrel Dane. “Bastardos,” “Turn it Up” and “Blood, Sweat and Rock n’ Roll” are also songs to raise your fist (and your voice) to on the first disc. Doro never shies away from a good ballad either, so the set has a few of those to get emotional over. “If I Can’t Have You, No One Will” is an unconventional love song, featuring a duet between Doro and Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth. Another highlight is the spirited cover of Motorhead’s “Lost in the Ozone.”
Doro and her band have been remarkably consistent over the years, and with that consistency comes the risk of being taken for granted. As with U.DO. and Axel Rudi Pell, you know pretty much what you’re going to get each time out from a new Doro album, so there’s not a lot of urgency. This time around though Doro sounds particularly energized and a lot of these songs seem destined to become staples of her live show. She played a couple of them recently at ProgPower USA XIX (where she stole the show) and they went over quite well. Not all of the songs are essential, and you could argue that there’s some filler here (especially factoring in the bonus tracks on each disc), but there’s enough “A material” in this set to justify the two discs. Besides, I’d rather have more Doro anthems than less.
The Doro die-hards don’t need anyone to tell them that this set is worth buying. They have it and are no doubt committing these new songs to heart already. It’s the casual fans or Doro/Warlock fans who might not have been following her closely these last few years that really ought to take notice. Forever Warriors, Forever United is the best Doro release in quite a while, and like all good Doro albums it makes you feel really good about being a heavy metal fan.
Version Notes: There are a few different configurations of Forever Warriors, Forever United available, from the import 2-disc set (which makes the most sense) to individual releases of Forever Warriors and Forever United (each in a jewel case with its own booklet), as well as various box sets and LPs. You’ll want to consider packaging and tracks lists when deciding on a specific version. I opted for the individual jewel case CDs, mainly because I’m anti-digipack at heart. Another interesting note: the US individual releases are under the “Doro Pesch Warlock” banner (and with the classic Warlock logo), while the European releases have the standard Doro logo. What that means is anybody’s guess, but it’s nice to see Doro taking more ownership of the Warlock brand.
Summary: The triumphant return of the metal queen