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Dokken -Hell To Pay lp [green]


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SKU: LP 514aa Categories: , ,


Green vinyl. Limited 500 numbered copies

Singer Don Dokken and drummer Mick Brown may be all that’s left of the original Dokken, but the group’s signature blend of pop and heavy metal has changed little since their late-’80s heyday. On Hell To Pay, the role of ex-guitar legend George Lynch is played by ex-Warlock axe slinger John Levin, and the departure of original bass player Jeff Pilson brings ex-Ted Nugent and Yngwie Malmsteen collaborator Barry Sparks into the fold. Much like the Scorpions with their excellent Unbreakable album, Dokken have given careful thought as to what fans want and expect. Don Dokken and his cohorts have seemingly taken the advice given – that fans want a more traditional Dokken album – and added their own stamp of individuality to it, in an album that mixes classic Dokken with the more toned town stylings of recent efforts. What we are left with is an album that remains dark and mainly mid-tempo, but returns to the sound the hard edged guitar playing that George Lynch so eloquently delivered. New lad Jon Levin – who has long been part of Don Dokken’s inner circle – is no stranger to Dokken or Lynch’s style. His part in this album is not to be undervalued in any way – he rules this record. Don Dokken’s vocals are perfectly suited to the material on offer. In fact, I would suggest the material was written around Don’s vocals and his current choice to sing at a lower octave than he did in his heyday. He no longer appears as powerful a singer, but still commands respect in the way he works within his abilities. He sings somewhat within himself, but as I said, the writing style of the album allows this to still be appealing. His delivery hasn’t changed much from the band’s last album Long Way Home, which caused much debate among some fans who found it too laid back. So if Don hasn’t changed – why is this album so much better and why will fans be very happy with the result? The answer is Jon Levin. While the material remains in the same vein of Long Way Home, the tone of the album and the guitar playing does not. While it isn’t Tooth And Nail or Under Lock And Key, this is a much heavier guitar driven record, filled with plenty of riffs and memorable solos. So the bottom line is that ‘Hell To Pay’ is a classy album – without doubt, the band’s best album since the self titled Japanese release Dokken from 1994. It’s certainly the band’s most consistent and traditional sounding release from their recent history. This album will please the majority of the band’s long time fans. While it may not be as heavy or as uptempo as classic era, I believe it will still be rated rather highly. Possibly the best album the band could have made under all current circumstances. Best played at loud volume to best appreciate the guitar work and the solid production value.

Track list:
1. The Last Goodbye
2. Don’t Bring Me Down
3. Escape
4. Haunted
5. Prozac Nation
6. Care for You
7. Better Off Before
8. Still I’m Sad
9. I Surrender
10. Letter to Home
11. Can You See
12. Care For You-unplugged version

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Church Of Vinyl Records

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