Fear No Evil by Doro
Release date : January 2009
Reviewed by Eric Stephens
In September 2007, Germany's Doro Pesch went to her New York home to begin working on fresh ideas in support of a full length. In support of the group's twenty-fifth anniversary, Doro wished to pen new tracks. “Celebrate” and “The Night Of the Warlock” were the initially written tracks, whilst “Walking With the Angels” was written slightly later. The latter features a duet between Pesch and Tarja Turunen, erstwhile vocalist of Nightwish. “The Night Of the Warlock”, meanwhile, concerns the Warlock. Its initial demo featured Pesch performing the male intro voice, but the final version features drummer Johnny Dee. The politically veined “I Lay My Head Upon My Sword” argues that issues shouldn't be solved through the use of war, whilst “On the Run” documents Pesch's male friends, who frequently become close to being arrested.
In mid November 2008, it was revealed that the frontwoman would issue a single entitled “Herzblut” on December 12th via AFM Records. Single and album versions were included, as well as renditions of the track in French, Spanish and Portuguese. Its final B-side happened to be “Share My Fate”, the single entering the German Media Control chart at position seventy-two. During early December, it was disclosed that Fear No Evil was the title of the vocalist's forthcoming January 2009 opus. As well as its issue date, the album's artwork was additionally unveiled. On the 13th at the twenty-thousand capacity ISS Dome in Düsseldorf, Germany, Pesch celebrated her twenty-five year career by performing a lengthy set. Holy Moses, Leaves' Eyes and Arch Enemy opened the concert, and this was followed by a full set by Pesch. Guest appearances were by; Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Jean Beauvoir, Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl, guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, Tarja Turunen, Scorpions' Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker, and female vocalists Liv Kristine (Leaves' Eyes), Floor Jansen (After Forever), Liv (Sister Sin), Sabina Classen (Holy Moses), and members of Girlschool. In January 2009, a video teaser in support of Fear No Evil surfaced.
As the entity Doro is spearheaded by its singer / songwriter namesake in Doro Pesch, it would be natural to assume that Fear No Evil leans heavily towards Pesch's strengths. Mostly, this assumption is proved to be accurate, though the limelight is additionally cast upon the contributions of Doro's fellow members. In naming opening cut “The Night of the Warlock”, Pesch subtly references the group's erstwhile name Warlock, having lost rights to the name during the late eighties. A narrative and somewhat menacing preface inaugurates the track, exhibiting drummer Johnny Dee's gritty Rock vocals. “The Night of the Warlock” immediately hearkens back towards Metal's Classic sonics, and even exploits Power Metal to a slight extent. Boasting an anthemic ambience, “Celebrate” recounts a tale regarding Metal and Rock's path, likely inspired by Pesch's trials and tribulations throughout the years. Pesch belts out a potent melodic performance via her native tongue upon “Herzblut”, and this happens to be one of Fear No Evil's extremely defining moments. An acoustic background, not to mention strings during the track's opening and closing moments, lend additional legitimacy. Yet another softer moment surfaces in the form of “Walking With the Angels”, a composition which features Tarja Turunen. Pesch extremely shines in this instance too, an instance where the frontwoman is at her greatest.
Amongst full lengths penned by fellow female led Metal acts, Fear No Evil might become overlooked somewhat. On the other hand, an album where Pesch largely sings soft Power ballads is mostly peerless. Without Pesch's sheer determination to succeed within a male dominated genre, many latter day female led acts simply might not exist. In authoring Fear No Evil's lyrical content, Pesch details a lifetime of struggles and celebrations, not to mention her life as a Rock star. Mostly uneventful, Fear No Evil's lyrical content is actually the album's greatest disappointment. Furthermore, the chorus' repetitive nature causes distraction. Musically however, Fear No Evil employs a respectable eighties Metal sound, whilst darker effects particularly utilize the group's European facet. Throughout each cut, a Progressive Metal vibe lingers, and this helps to cement Pesch's songwriting capability. Not particularly fresh or modern, Fear No Evil's songwriting nonetheless warrants the listener's focus. The album's cover artwork is engaging, too. Despite faltering lyrically, Fear No Evil is a Metal full length which should be savoured by all.