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Up from the Ashes

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(48 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I am a longtime Dokken fan, and I was heartbroken when they disbanded in 1988-9 when Don and George just could not work out a reconciliation.

    When this was first released, I admit I wondered how Don would do as a solo artist. This is quite a band assembled here – guitarist John Norum from Europe (careful observers will note that John Norum teamed up with Don Dokken again on the Dokken CD LONG WAY HOME), bassist Peter Baltes from Accept, drummer Mikkey Dee (a stint with King Diamond) and a great guitarist named Billy White. LOADS of talent here. This release totally exceeded my expectations – an all-around great release with no “fillers”.

    This CD kicks off with Crash ‘N’ Burn – one of my favorite songs of all time. A fast-paced song with a fantastic guitar solo. I’d rate this one a 10 – Don’s vocals are great, and Dee / Baltes make for a fine rhythm section.

    I love Don’s vocals on 1000 Miles Away and When Love Finds a Fool. The latter features a sad-sounding acoutstic intro, and these songs touch upon the familiar Dokken-esque theme of being wronged by the ol’ femme-fatale. Almost like “Alone Again” from TOOTH AND NAIL. Don Dokken can sing and croon with the best of rock’s vocalists. “Stay” and “Down In Flames” are lyrically similar to the femme-fatale but those songs are more pop-metal than power ballads – cool stuff.

    “Give It Up” is a song similar in theme to “Will The Sun Rise” from UNDER LOCK AND KEY. Kind of the same anti-war lyrics in each track. “Mirror Mirror” was a single released from this – that mid-tempo rocker is probably the most commercial friendly song from this recording.

    I LOVE Peter Baltes’ bass playing on “Forever” and “When Love Finds a Fool”. And the song “The Hunger” is just an all-out rocker (as is Crash N Burn) with some great drumming exhibited. I think Ken Mary is actually the drumer for that last track – listen to his work on CD’s released by Gregg Guiffria’s band HOUSE OF LORDS – that is some excellent skin-bashing too.

    This release stands up to probably EVERYTHING Dokken recorded. For only $7, just buy it new. It’s got something for everyone and is one of my favorites.

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’m more of a casual heavy metal fan. I’m not too obsessed with one certain band, I just like lots of different bands. Some say I’m stuck in the 80’s, but the best rock and metal came out of that time. The new stuff is [junk] and it sickens me that records like this one aren’t getting the attention they deserve due to the early 90’s grunge-wave and then into the newer rap-metal garbage. Back in the 80’s, guitarists had to be skilled in the art of shredding, the rhythm section solid and powerful, and the vocalist clear and soaring. Bands like Dio, Ratt, Yngwie Malmsteen, Lizzy Borden, Queensryche, Van Halen, Tesla, Dokken, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Europe, Judas Priest, Skid Row, ect…what happened to these great bands?Anyway, on to the review. I was always a huge Dokken fan and obviously was [mad] when they broke up. When Lynch Mob came out with ‘Wicked Sensation’ in 1990, I immedietely went out and bought it. I had always assumed that no matter how good the other guys in Dokken were, George WAS Dokken and without him they wouldn’t be half as good. I assumed he had all the talent and was the main driving force for Dokken. It sure didn’t show on that Lynch Mob CD! It’s not a bad CD, but there are only 2 or 3 really upbeat rockin’ songs. Most of them are laid back, slow bluesy hard rock. Like I said, not a bad CD, but definetely not Dokken-esque. I didn’t even know that Don Dokken released a solo album until recently when I saw it in a local record shop. I immedietely picked it up and was not dissapointed.Don didn’t skip a beat with this CD. This sounds EXACTLY like the Dokken from the 80’s that we all know and love. Let’s put it this way: This is not a Don Dokken solo CD, I’m willing to bet the band was called Don Dokken because the other guys in Dokken didn’t want him using the name. Other than that, this music on this CD sounds like a perfect mix of Tooth and Nail, Under Lock and Key and Back for the Attack but with a much more polished and streamlined production. This CD’s production is perfect. You can hear all the instruments pefectly and the whole thing sounds amazingly clean and well…perfect. The tunes on here are all hard rockin; metal tunes except for the slower ballad ‘When Love Finds A Fool’. This song sounds like the Dokken ballad ‘Alone Again’.John Norum (from the band Europe) is the lead guitarist on this CD, and he pulls off some amazing solos and killer riffs. His skill rivals that of George Lynch and in fact you’d never know it wasn’t George himself if it weren’t for small stylistic differences in their soloing styles. He definetely rocks and was the perfect replacement for George Lynch.If Dokken had never broke up, this is probably the next studio album that would have come after Back for the Attack. It could have fit easily into Dokken’s 80’s catalog. If you like Dokken, George Lynch, shredding guitar solos, rocking riff-heavy metal songs, or any 80’s metal I highly suggest you pick up this CD. This is one of the greatest overlooked metal albums ever…Most people don’t know that Don Dokken went solo after Dokken broke up. I didn’t, but I’m glad I found out because this CD is amazing. And for the low price of $7 bucks, how can you go wrong?This albums rocks…buy it.

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Even though this is under the name Don Dokken I consider this a Dokken album. A melodic metal album with great guitar and vocals. Don put togethor a supergroup for this album with members of Europe, Accecpt and Motorhead. I actually consider Billy White better than John Norum! Billy isn’t quite as good as Lynch but there are only a few guys in the history of rock music that were/are. Any way the added guitar harmonies are great and the solos are amazing. Don even plays some guitar on this album…something he hadn’t done since Breaking The Chains. This is a great album and could have been under the name Dokken.

    1.Crash ‘N’ Burn- 9/10 A great melodic song. The soft intro is great and it leads into an awesome fast melodic rocker. Don’s vocals are very strong too. An excellent guitar solo by Billy White too. A great opener

    2.1000 Miles Away- 10/10 Another great melodic song. Don Dokken’s vocals and lyrics are very strong and the guitar part is excellent. Another great guitar solo too.

    3.When Some Nights- 8/10 A good melodic song. The riff is good and Don’s vocals are good aswell. A great guitar solo with some excellent harmonies.

    4.Forever- 10/10 Another classic song. This sounds like classic Dokken. Don’s vocals are great and so is the guitar riff. Another great harmony guitar solo by Billy White and John Norum. This song is also very melodic like the others.

    5.Living a Lie- 9/10 A good poppy song. The riff is good and so is the chorus. More strong vocals from Don Dokken too. A great guitar solo too.

    6.When Love Finds a Fool- 10/10 A great ballad. The music is beautiful and Don’s voice is excellent. The chorus is great and the guitar sound is very good. Billy White’s guitar solo is amazing and good enough to be one of Lynch’s guitar solos. One of the best power ballads ever!

    7.Give It Up- 10/10 Another great melodic song. The riff is great and the drum sound is excellent. Don’s vocals are great as always and the chorus is good too. The shredding solo is great and sounds a lot like Lynch! Another classic.

    8.Mirror Mirror- 10/10 Another classic! Don’s vocals are excellent and the riff is great. The chorus is great too! Don’s only “solo” hit and one of the best songs on the album. Great solos by Billy white and John Norum too! This has that classic Dokken sound.

    9.Stay- 10/10 A great song that was going to be on the next Dokken album. This was written with Mick brown and the drums are great. The riff is great and Don’s vocals are excellent. The chorus is great too. Another great guitar solo by Billy White.

    10.Down in Flames- 10/10 A great intro which some excellent harmonies. A huge sound on this song too. Don’s voice is excellent as always too. The riff is great too. A great chorus too. This sounds like it could have been on Under Lock And Key. Another great solo too. One of my favorites on the album.

    11.The Hunger A great fast paced song with a good riff and excellent vocals. The chorus is excellent too. This sounds like classic Dokken too. The bridge is great and is my favorite part of the song. 2 amazing fast and melodic solos. These are solos that are up to George Lynch’s standards!! A classic and my favorite song on the album!

    The album is a must have for any dokken fans or melodic metal fans. This is more mellow than the past Dokken albums but still sounds like classic Dokken. Nothing really left to say execpt that this is a masterpeice!

    Don Dokken- Lead Vocals, Guitar
    Billy White- Lead Guitar
    John Norum- Lead Guitar, Vocals
    Mickey Dee- Drums, Percussion
    Peter Baltes, Bass, Vocals

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Being a big fan of the band Dokken, I was pretty ticked off when they broke up in “88″ and like alot of other fans, I thought that Don was the one at fault. When he first released this album I refused to buy it just because of that reason. I went out and bought all of Lynch’s solo albums and wasn’t too thrilled with them. Recently I decided to give this album a listen, so I bought it. Anyone who reads this review take my advice and buy this c.d. especially at this great price. This c.d. is one of the best that I have. The music, lyrics, production is fantastic. Don compiled one of the most talented group of musicians ever assembled and it definitely shows. The only Dokken albums that are as good as this one are “Tooth and nail” and “Under lock and key”. It is too bad that after George left the band this time around, Dokken did not hire John Norum to be it’s new guitarist because I prefer him over Reb Beach.

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I will be honest with you. I am not very crazy about solo projects by front men or members of bands I like. Often they “experiment” with things that they shouldn’t and a strange, if not indeed just plain bad sound is created. The best example I can give you is Bret Michaels’ tribute to Poison called “Show Me Your Hits.” That album almost killed Poison for me. It was just horrible!So, I was at the store today and there were two Dokken albums on sale for a reduced price. “Shadow Life” and Don’s solo album “Up From the Ashes.” I had heard Puppet on a String from Shadow Life and thought it was a decent song but since hearing that song I was told by many that it is, to put it mildly, not a good or remotely happy album. So, I opted for the solo album and took a chance.To say I’m blown away is an understatement!From Crash ‘n’ Burn to The Hunger, I was shocked to hear just how much this album sounds like Dokken, the band! In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear George Lynch was on guitar! Of course, he wasn’t. It was John Norum formerly of Europe. A little “FYI” information for you. John actually played with Dokken on their 2002-2003 tours. Not many can hold a candle to George Lynch, John holds a torch to it.Crash ‘n’ Burn, Mirror Mirror, When Love Finds a Fool, Stay, and Livin’ a Lie are my personal favorites off the album. There are a few melodies that fall a little flat and there are times when I think the chorus could have been slightly more energetic. But for the most part I thought the album to be one for the ages. It’s up there with Under Lock and Key, for sure!So, if you’re afraid, as I was, of horrible and drastically different solo albums, fear not good citizen! This album is living proof, Don is the driving force behind Dokken: Not George, Jeff, or even Mick (though I LOVE Mick.) This is musical ecstasy. Pick it up! You’ll be glad that you did!

    Posted on January 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now