Doro - Raise Your Fist
Nuclear Blast
Traditional Heavy Metal
13 songs (52' 6")
Release year: 2012
Doro, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Andy
Archive review

Doro Pesch probably needs no introduction to most metalheads. Though she hasn't had a breakthrough hit in some time, she still retains a lot of respect in the community, in some ways even more than she had when Warlock was still going strong. After all, in intervening time between the 80s and today, hits or no hits, she's outlasted many of her contemporaries, done an endless list of duets and guest songs with an all-star list of other metal luminaries, and held unrelentingly to traditional heavy metal the entire time. Not to say she hasn't done more modern-sounding albums, but Raise Your Fist isn't one of them. Early this year I got a re-release of this 2012 release from Nuclear Blast, and it is exactly what one would expect from the Metal Queen's early days.

From the compressed sound of the guitars to the faint reverb on the drums, the sound I'd best describe this as is "80s rock revival", with 80s-style speed and riffs but done with modern equipment -- the sort of thing one hears on modern albums after a band from that time has reunited. Of course, Doro's a product of her time, and there's always some 80s rock in her music, but this seems to me more like a return to her original style than some of the past albums have been. Raise Your Fist in the Air is as fist-pumping as the title makes it out to be, and it helps that Doro's singing remains excellent and able to effortlessly hit the high notes of the song. On Cold Hearted Lover, whose lyrics are toe-curlingly corny and whose riffs are completely generic, that voice of hers is the only redeeming factor, but that may also have to do with personal preference; I was never a huge fan of her mid-tempo songs. It Still Hurts, a slow ballad featuring a duet with Motorhead's Lemmy Kilminster, is better due to her being able to channel a huge amount of emotion into what is a fairly short song, but Lemmy's contributions seem somewhat superfluous. While I like Lemmy as much as anyone, it seems to me that she could have done it all herself and it'd probably have been just as good.

Take No Prisoner, which is faster and heavier, is a favorite of mine on here as well. It seems like Doro responds to the extra speed with a harder, more enthusiastic vocal performance that feels way better than decent but less-interesting tracks like Rock Till Death. Grab the Bull (Last Man Standing), a performance including Atrocity's Alexander Krull and a guitar solo by Firewind's Gus G, is also interesting to hear due to the contributions of the other musicians on it, but there's not much of a melody to this bass-driven marching swinger. All in all, though, there's a good spectrum of the type of songs Doro's done in the past throughout the album, be it power ballads like Free My Heart or speedy blasts such as Revenge. At the end, we get her tribute to Ronnie James Dio, Hero, which is also poignant, if a little softer and more ballad-like than some might prefer.

Raise Your Fist is quite decent listening, especially for a listener more interested in listening to the blurry line hard rock and heavy metal -- or who like female vocals, as Doro's voice shows no signs of age whatsoever. Fans of only the extreme side of metal need not even bother to check this out, but for those who liked metal in its more mainstream phase in the late 80s, Doro competently delivers the goods here.

Killing Songs :
Raise Your Fist in the Air, It Still Hurts, Take No Prisoner
Andy quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Doro that we have reviewed:
Doro - Fight reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
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