By Ola Mazzuca
She’s a symbol of gumption for many female-fronted metal bands and her Black Forest Cake is boasted in Hellbent For Cooking. Whatever the strength, German metal queen Doro Pesch holds it in the palm of her hands, clenched tight; on her 12th studio release Raise Your Fist. With catchy hard rock anthems to virtuosic melodies, the record is a testament to Pesch’s work with great production and clean composition.
The record begins with powerful syncopated vocals and a wicked solo on “Raise Your Fist In The Air.” Doro gets girly on the ballads “Cold Hearted Lover,” “It Still Hurts” and “Free My Heart.” Even though verse of heartbreak, pain and remorse has a faint essence of asiago, they’re still quite emotive and well composed with a slower tempo and symphonic melodies.
Luckily the ratio between soft and aggressive tracks leans towards the heavy, as the rest of Raise Your Fist is full of heart pumping, headbanging catchy riffs. “Rock Till Death” is traditional metal at best while “Take No Prisoner” and “Grab The Bull (Last Man Standing)” reflects Balls To The Wall-era Accept. Paying homage to Bavarian roots, Doro sings “Engel” in her native language with passion.
“Little Headbanger (Nackenbrecher)” defines Raise Your Fist as an overall fun record with a fine mixture of speed and all that’s reminiscent of acid wash and leather. But Doro leaves the best for last on bonus tracks “Sealed In Blood” and “Strong and Proud,” where she makes an affirmative statement of her place in this genre through “energy of metal voices.”
She passes this confidence on to her audience well, as Raise Your Fist can keep a venue or party going all night. The record doesn’t show Doro in a new light, but depicts her self-respect through some seriously fetching tracks. At 48 years old, Doro is still hot in leather, strikes chords and bakes like a boss. Horns to her.