40 years of Doro Pesch on stage – I really feel a bit of bad that I am not in Dusseldorf this weekend, but support my ice hockey favorite Pittsburgh Penguins. However, there are is only the anniversary show in her home town, but also a new album. Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud is the fourteenth solo album (after the Warlock split) by the lovely German metal queen. The review almost felt mandatory to me. Album release date has been 27th October 2023.
Doro – About The Artist
It is about five years ago, since I featured Doro in the review of her 2018 Forever Warriors // Forever United album. The album has been so long that I had to deviate from the typical track by track format. However, this year, I also introduced you to some personal thoughts and memories with the German metal star in my Songs of my Life episode about The Fortuneteller. Doro Pesch was born on 3rd June 1964 in Düsseldorf. The Queen of Metal initially was part of the bands Snakebite and Attack, before she co-founded Warlock. The band released four studio albums, the last one, Triumph and Agony even was a golden record in Germany.
In 1988, Doro turned solo. Since her 1989 solo debut album Force Maheure, she is regularly peaking rather high in the German album charts. However, there is also a certain popularity in North America, where Doro is also touring regularly. Her 2018 album climbed up to the sixth spot in the German charts.
Doro – Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud – Track by Track
The fifteen song album lasts 55 minutes. There is also a 20 song edition with five bonus tracks.
1. Children of the Dawn
The album opens with Children of the Dawn. The song is coming with a typical Doro punch – however, I also have to admit that I feel it is the weakest of the four single releases so far. At least the song is a great one for the upcoming shows.
2. Fire in the Sky
Doro 2023 offers songs for any Doro lover. It feels like no Doro fan she made during the last 40 years shall be excluded from the party. This one is for the Warlock times fans. Strong, straight forward, with a lot of speed and hammering drums – this one is a speedy metal treat.
3. Living After Midnight (ft. Rob Halford)
Judas Priest does Judas Priest with Doro… The Judas Priest original reminds me of Doro’s outstanding show at this years muddy Wacken Festival. Also in this studio recording, you feel all the passion this lady is putting into her music. Thinking of Doro, you just have to love Dusseldorf – even if your heart beats for rival city Cologne.
4. All For You
Just when you already raised your cigarette lighter in front of your record player (or, for the current generation: put on the cell phone light while listening to the album on Spotify), Doro surprises you with a great, straight rocker. All For You starts like a ballad, but then takes a lot of speed, fires countless riffs – and finally step by step moves to the top positions of my favorite songs of this album.
5. Lean Mean Rock Machine
This one is making me smile. Yeah, it is a bit of simple, but it just so fun. You simply want to have Doro in your arm and rock the song with her. The perfect track to party with her this weekend in Dusseldorf – or at the upcoming tour dates.
6. I will Prevail
When Doro shouts I will Prevail, I think of the title track of her 2022 album Fight. Luckily, the song does not feel like a cheap copy and has its very own style. It even feels a bit of dark its spirit, when her bandmate is stating I will prevail. Nonetheless, I feel that other tracks do leave a stronger mark.
7. Bond Unending (ft. Sammy Amara)
This duet with Broilers-lead Sammy Amara is a great rocker with a very present chorus. The world’s on fire, our heart’s in flames – a great hymn about love and friendship. Which topic would suit better to a 40th anniversary album?
8. Time For Justice
Time For Justice has been the first feature single of the album. It kicked off the campaign with a bang (not only because it lead my 23rd June 2023 Songs of the Week) and it is still quite on the top of my Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud list). Doro sounds like justice – and like a lot of fun. Love it!
9. Fels in der Brandung
There have always been songs like Für immer in Doro’s career. Songs, where is switching back to her mother tongue. Typically, these tracks are emotional, not too rarely ballads. Thus, it is not too surprising that the ballad of the album comes with a German title. However, the song comes with English stanzas and German lyrics in the chorus. Fels in der Brandung means something like “Tower of Strength”. In a 2018 interview, Doro stated that she is married with heavy metal. I don’t care who is finally this “rock in the surge”, which would be the literal translation – as long as it leads to amazing songs like this.
10. Love Breaks Chains
After this emotional part, it is time to go for rock power again. This role is taken over by Love Breaks Chains. Nonetheless, the song is not going for the full blast and stays a bit of mousy.
11. Drive Me Wild
Are we at Triumph and Agony again? Drive Me Wild would have been the perfect bonus track for the final Warlock album. However, the song is working out perfectly, some 36 years after the release of the legendary record. Let’s just rock until daylight – rock it all night – nothing to add to this statement. Maybe apart from that this song also works nicely when the sun is shining.
Rise is like a heartwarming massage for Doro fans: a clear melody, really good work on the instruments. Any second of this slightly-more-than-three-minutes song feels like Doro. And since forty years, this means: it is actually a nice one.
13. Best In Me
While Rise feels like the showcase for her band, Best In Me feels like being written to illustrate the vocal abilities of the Queen of Metal. If you bring out the best of in me, you’re the reason why. A beautiful dedication to her loyal fan base. A goose bump listen and another reason why you just would love to hug Doro while listening to her 2023 album.
14. Heavenly Creatures
The second last is a beautiful, four minute epic metal song. The string-alike instrumentation leads to a very special touch, indeed.
15. Total Eclipse of the Heart (ft. Rob Halford)
Doro and Rob Halford re-unite for the big finale. And they do another cover. However, this time, it is neither a Judas Priest nor a Doro original, but they rock Bonnie Tyler in their very own way. Are these still the Best In Me goosebumps? No, these guys lead to some great emotions at the end of a 55 minute listen. I just feel thankful to be gifted to experience that.
Doro – Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Doro – Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud – My View
Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud feels like the Doro party for those who cannot make it to Dusseldorf this weekend. 40 years of Doro condensed in 15 (almost all) new songs. The rocking queen, the extremely passionate artist, the thankful, golden heart, the well-connected and highly respected person in the music scene. Every aspect of Doro is in this 2023 album somewhere. It does have a few weak spots, but I would feel lousy to highlight on them. Doro, thank you for forty years of music. And thank you for this album.
Favorite Song: Best In Me
Doro – Tour 2024
Doro added six German tour dates for March 2024, presenting the album to her fans:
|Fr 01.03.2024||Kaiserslautern – Kammgarn|
|Sa 02.03.2024||Nuremberg – Löwensaal|
|Su 03.03.2024||Ulm – Roxy|
|Fr 15.03.2024||Osnabrück – Hydepark|
|Sa 16.03.2024||Berlin – Astra|
|Su 17.03.2024||Hanover -Capitol|
Reviews – German Hard Rock & Heavy Metal
Flyctory.com in Dusseldorf
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