Released by: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: June 24th, 2016
Genre: Heavy Metal
Doro Pesch: (ex-Warlock, ex-Beast) Vocals
Johnny Dee: (Britny Fox, ex-Waysted) – Drums
Luca Princiotta: (ex-Blaze Bayley, ex-The Clairvoyants) – Guitar, Keyboards
Nick Douglas: (Blaze Bayley, Deadly Blessing) – Bass
Bas Maas: (ex-After Forever, ex-Karma) – Guitars
1. On The Run
2. Save My Soul
3. Raise Your Fist
4. Fear Of The Dark
6. Earthshaker Rock
7. Without You
8. Rock Till Death
10. Für Immer
12. Balls To The Wall
13. You’re My Family
14. All We Are
Doro, we meet again and how I can never get tired of you! First of all, the Queen of Metal is one of my personal icons: she’s strong, goes after her dreams, remains true to herself, and knows how to Rock. While her single, “Love’s Gone To Hell” was recently released in April, her new album is not ready yet. Since 2012’s ‘Raise Your Fist,’ Doro has spent most of her time doing what she loves most, touring and engaging with her fans. While a brand new album is still in the works, Doro has released a grand package to celebrate her 30 year Anniversary entitled ‘Strong and Proud.’
This release includes 38 songs that were recorded during Doro’s 30th Anniversary tour that took place between 2013-2014 with her band, drummer Johnny Dee (Britny Fox), Luca Princiotta (guitar/keyboard), Nick Douglas (bass) and Bas Maas (guitar). These shows include the infamous Wacken Open Air festival that held about 85,000 people and a few shows in her hometown in Dusseldorf.
This package also features a handful of special guests including Phil Campbell (Motörhead), Biff Byford (Saxon), Chris Caffery (Savatage), Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden), Joakim Brodén (Sabaton), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Udo Dirkschneider, Uli Jon Roth, Lordi and more.
Doro herself meticulously selected snippets from the chosen shows where she wanted to make sure it represented the best of the best highlight for her 30-year celebration. A two hour and change documentary is included as well that showcases the journey behind the stage, that ranges from funny to emotional moments. A special Deluxe Earbook is included in this bundle that has photos of Doro throughout the years, including recent visits in New York City that was taken from a few notable photographers.
Here is the full list of what can be found with ‘Strong and Proud’ (depending on which package you buy), 2 Blu-Rays, 3 DVDS, 1 CD, Earbook, 2LP (black) in gatefold, 2LP (blue) in gatefold, 2LP(silver) in gatefold) and an Earbook in a tote bag. Obviously, there’s a lot of goodies and for my review, I received the 1 CD that features 14 live tracks.
The CD kicks off with “On The Run” that has fans chanting her name as it unfolds with a well mixed and produced live version of the song. During the end of this track Doro cries out, “everyone deserves a second chance,” and for me hearing that it melted my heart and made me fall in love with her even more. “Save My Soul” comes in next that captivates her energy as you can hear and somewhat visualize her reaching out to the crowd. This moves into the chantable tune “Raise Your Fist,” and so far so good with this live CD. Next up is an enjoyable cover of Iron Maiden’s “Fear of the Dark” that features guest vocals by Blaze Bayley. After this cover, the Heavy momentum continues with “Revenge” and “Earthshaker Rock.”
Things slow down with the emotive song “Without You,” and listening to the live version still stings. Doro’s vocals amplifies the emotion of heartbreak and loneliness. My favorite track on this live album is “Rock Till Death” and it could have everything to do with Hansi from Blind Guardian joining in on guest vocals. The next piece “Egypt,” Doro shouts out to the crowd with, “love you Ronnie James Dio” at the end and dedicates the next song “Für Immer” to him that has Uli Jon Roth on guitar. After the dedicated piece, you can hear Doro asking the audience if they want to listen to any “old school Metal” as the song “Hellbound” blasts in next.
Only a few tracks left, the following songs are ones that anyone can easily sing along including, Udo moving in on guest vocals during the Accept cover of “Balls to the Wall.” Doro showcases how much her fans mean to her as “You’re My Family” moves in and concluding with the favorable Doro anthem for her Heavy Metal family, “All We Are.”
It’s an excellent compilation of Doro’s hits over the years, and if you have seen her live before (or even if you haven’t), I think the CD itself is worth the purchase. I can’t say much for the rest of the package, aside from the fact that I’m interested in seeing the Documentary. Hopefully, this will keep all of us patient before her new album comes out. Bottom line, this is Doro and what’s not to love? Just get it, you already know you won’t regret this purchase.
Written By: Zenae D. Zukowski