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Dokken - Broken Bones

Broken Bones
by Tomer "Tommy-Foxx" Darmon at 06 September 2012, 4:03 PM

When I received the new DOKKEN album, I really didn't know what to expect. Not because they are one of my favorite all time bands, it is mainly because of their latest albums of the early 00s and the late 90s that didn't make a good impression on me and also because of Don Dokken that lost his vocal abilities from what we all knew in the 80s. I don’t think that I need to write any introduction about DOKKEN like I usually do on my album reviews so I just will get to the point.

I got an album with eleven songs but the first thing that I noticed was the front cover that gave me innuendo that it is all about pure Metal record like in the old days, but still I was skeptical. The first song named “Empire" gave me the feeling as if DOKKEN took me back to the time of "Back for the Attack" era, especially with old hit opener, "Kiss of Death". Fast Heavy Metal riffing, sounds very enormous and big, Dokken sounds better than the recent albums, thanks to his vocal surgery to correct problems with his nodes and tears in his vocal notes that he passed on two years ago. He sounds like on "Under Lock and Key" But without the high notes. In the middle of the song there is a melodic break that continues to a great guitar solo by Jon Levin. Yes he doesn't bring what the almighty George Lynch provided to the albums but he got his own unique touch. This exquisite performance is the cause of what made them to stand up and break the chains. The self title song, "Broken Bones", felt to me a little weak for a song that carries the album’s name. It has less energy and doesn't seem to go anywhere while keeping the same formula without developing. But one thing I sure can say and that the chorus has a nice melody.  I recognized that again on the next song "Blind" and I could be sure that Dokken could have given much more from himself but something was missing here when it comes to his singing, that little bit of passion in exchange of a flatline without dynamics.

Musically, the song "Waterfall" presents something else of the DOKKEN style, it has many breaks in it and you would notice it commence by the amazing drum work of Mick Brown but again except of that fact it didn't catch me. I would consider the songs "Best Of Me" & "Victim Of The Crime" as problematic. Generally I didn't sense any vibe in both of them but on the other hand they got magic in their melodic choruses and causes for a fast addiction. "Today" is something unfamiliar with the band’s heritage, an acoustic song, not bad at all, reminded me a little bit an acoustic version tunes of SCORPIONS album "Acoustica".

Finally I got my Hard Rock energy after seven moderate and regular songs under the name "For the Last Time". It combined the peaceful atmosphere that they knew to provide like on their early hit song "Hunter", a mixture with the Heavy Metal dose of "Lightning Strikes Again". There you got a perfect song with a very heavy riffing and with attitude. The bad thing is that I expected Dokken to open up in full; it was so needed of him to sing with more balls. I think he did a great job in overall, but it could have sounded way better. The production sounded pretty well, also it is good opportunity to mention the nice work of Maor Appelbaum who did the mastering for the album.

This album was hard for me to review, I think that DOKKEN came back to their olderselves, they hatched a great album to the world, the songs are very nice and cracking, but it was hard to compare this one to their familiar and beloved material from 80s as the new album fell from them. I felt that Dokken could have let himself go than what is in the album, balls and roughness were missing. The lead guitar work is outstanding even while I was trying to get George Lynch out of my mind. Same thing with “Wild” Mick Brown that challenged and showed that he is a master, same thing should be said about the bass work of Barry sparks.

I could definitely say that the album is a step back to the roots, it has the right spirit in it and the sound, but still it lacks several varieties of the past that should have accompanied it. I am happy that DOKKEN unleashed a good album than their previous work of recent years.

3 Star Rating

1. Empire
2. Broken Bones
3. Best of Me
4. Blind
5. Waterfall
6. Victim of Crime
7. Burning Tears
8. Today
9. For the Last Time
10. Fade away
11. Tonight
Don Dokken– Vocals
Jon Levin – Guitar
“Wild” Mick Brown – Drums
Barry Sparks – Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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