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Doro - Warlock, Triumph & Agony Live

Warlock, Triumph & Agony Live
by Chris Hicklin at 01 December 2021, 10:49 PM

It’s rare today you get to review material by a Metal legend. With the genre rocking on for a solid half a century of music its major proponents are sadly dwindling year by year. So, it is with some measure of pleasure I have the opportunity to review the latest offering from Doro Pesch, genuinely a legend of Rock, and certainly one of the most well recognised and trailblazing popular female singers on the Metal scene.

The album itself, as you may have worked out by now is a live rendition of the classic final WARLOCK album “Triumph and Agony”, albeit with a reworked track order presumably to fit in with the ebb and flow of a live festival performance (it was recorded at Sweden Rock Festival), and to save the fan favourites for later in the set. For the purposes of this review, I will assume that if you are listening to a live version of a 35-year-old album, you are already familiar with the original, and so will not devote too much time to breaking down the merits of each song.

Starting with a short instrumental introduction to set the scene for the stage “Legacy” does the job nicely, building an atmosphere of anticipation with whispered voices, and guitars wailing feedback as the crowd eagerly awaits the arrival of the band on stage. When they do arrive with “Touch of Evil”, originally some way down the album’s track list, it is explosive, and the crowd goes wild. Unfortunately, the sound quality leaves something to be desired, the vocals sound good and as strong as you would expect from as seasoned performer as Pesch, but the drums, bass and guitars are all buried under a pile of mud, with the guitars being far too low in the mix. From what you can make out, the performances all seem highly professional, but the details of precisely what everyone is doing are sadly somewhat murky.

Pesch leaves the introductions for “I Rule the Ruins” which features an extended audience participation section, which can be a little tiring when listening at home, but as we all know is an essential component of a festival performance, still if you can get past this it is a rocking track.  One of the highlights of the original album, and of this live performance is “East Meets West”, a rousing anthem which saw the writing on the wall, if you’ll excuse the pun, and imagines the band’s first performance after the future fall of the Berlin Wall, which happily was to occur just a few years after this tune was penned. The lyrics are simple and straight to the point and the audience reaction to this track is immense, it is a fist pumping classic that they do justice to here.

Other highlights include the short but incredibly powerful “Three Minute Warning”, which sees Pesch flexing her vocal cords with fast spat-out lyrics against a relentless driving beat. “Kiss of Death” features one of the show’s best guitar solos, although unfortunately it is rather quiet.  The show’s only offering in the band’s native tongue is “Für Immer” which switches between German verses and English language choruses, it’s a slow contemplative track with gentle pianos and soaring vocals and is the perfect opportunity for a little back and forth audience sing-along, which they engage in enthusiastically. After this short break in the relentless onslaught of Metal to allow the band and audience to catch their breath, the band launches into “Cold Cold World” a galloping, swaggering track that gives the rhythm guitars a serious workout, before bringing the tempo back down again for the only genuine ballad on the album “Make Time for Love” where Doro can showcase the more soulful side of her vocal abilities.

Bringing the performance to a close we have the penultimate foot stomper in “Metal Tango”, which probably didn’t see too much actual tangoing in the audience, but an entertaining enough track which sees Pesch stretch her vocal range in places, to impressive effect. It perhaps stretches the concept a little far as it is too repetitive, much like a tango. This is followed by the epic “All We Are”, by which point the audience seem to have become delirious with joy at the performance, it’s a killer end to a killer performance.

I can’t fault the band here, they put on a professional and kinetic performance, but there is no getting past the issue of the sound quality, the mix is simply not good enough. The show is also available on Blu Ray, and I would suggest that the added visual component might mitigate the sound problems somewhat, maybe, I hope.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Legacy
2. Touch of Evil
3. I Rule the Ruins
4. East Meets West
5. Three Minute Warning
6. Kiss of Death
7. Für Immer
8. Cold Cold World
9. Make Time for Love
10. Metal Tango
11. All We Are
Doro Pesch - Vocals
Luca Princiotta - Guitars
Bas Maas - Guitars
Nick Douglas - Bass
Johnny Dee – Drums
Record Label: Rare Diamonds Productions


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Edited 16 January 2022

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