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Breaking the Chains

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  • Breaking The Chains(1983). Dokken’s first studio album. Here is a band that more often than not, is branded as just another glam metal act in the light of many other bands at the time. As a matter of fact, it was Dokken who brought forth the glam metal image in the mid-80’s. It’s too bad really because Dokken shows much more talent and dedication to good songwriting than most of the other bands at the time. But back in 1983 before they were noticed and genre-branded by MTV, Breaking The Chains was released. Dokken is clearly at an early stage of development at this point, but BTC proved that these guys had energy and talent, especially with Don Dokken’s melodic vocal style and George Lynch’s dexteritous and amazing guitar solos. Here’s the lowdown track-by-track: 1) Breaking The Chains- The anthemic title track became the album’s only real hit, though it is probably one of the best tracks on here. Mid-paced and heavy hitting. 10/10 2) In The Middle- A slow, light rocker with the main emphasis on the vocals. Great, but not the best. 9/10 3) Felony- Another mid-paced, but lighter track. What brings this song from being just “filler” is its incredible guitar solo. 8/10 4) I Can’t See You- Faster, but still very light. Like track 2, this song brings the most attention to the vocals. Pretty good. 8/10 5) Live To Rock (Rock To Live)- BTC’s fastest rocker. Lots of wild guitar playing to be found here as well as a catchy chorus section. 9/10 6) Nightrider- OUTSTANDING. This track is one of the album’s high points. Very fast and melodic at the same time. Nice guitar textures throughout. 10/10 7) Seven Thunders- Similar to the previous track, but played twice as slow. Not a bad song at all, though it doesn’t do anything to really stand out. 8/10 8) Young Girls- A head banging guitar driven mid-paced song. The chorus is a little weak, but Lynch’s guitar solo more than makes up for it. 9/10 9) Stick To Your Guns- Very much like the previous track. Again, even though the chorus is slightly off-par, the guitar work throughout makes this song worth a listen. 8/10 10) Paris Is Burning- THE BEST TRACK ON HERE! This album closer takes the listener all over the place starting with A MINUTE LONG, GOD-LIKE GUITAR SOLO by George Lynch, and then breaking into an all out melodic fast rocker. One of my all-time favorite Dokken tracks and it never disappoints. Don’s vocals soar on this one, too. 10/10 Though it is obviously not as polished and well-written as the next two albums Tooth And Nail(1984) and Under Lock And Key(1985), BTC showed that Dokken was a fully energetic rock musical force to be reckoned with. So it gets 4 stars. Don’t let the low rating discourage you though, because BTC is well worth the money and it is still much better than many of the more famous bands’ debut albums. It’s also my second favorite Dokken album (after ULAK that is). RECOMMENDED TO ALL WHO HAVE AN OPEN MIND FOR ROCK MUSIC.

    Posted on December 28, 2009