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Warlock - True As Steel (1986/2011)

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Warlock - True As Steel (1986/2011)

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01. Mr. Gold
02. Fight For Rock
03. Love In The Danger Zone
04. Speed Of Sound
05. Midnite In China
06. Vorwarts, All Right!
07. True As Steel			play
08. Lady In A Rock 'N' Roll Hell
09. Love Song
10. Igloo On The Moon (Reckless)
11. T.O.L.				play
12. You Hurt My Soul (Bonus Track)
13. Turn It On (Bonus Track)
14. Evil (Bonus Track)

Personnel:
Doro Pesch - Vocals
Peter Szigeti - Guitar
Niko Arvanitis - Guitar
Frank Rittel - Bass
Michael Eurich – Drums

 

When a friend of mine gave me a cassette with the debut and the album reviewed here some time in 1987, I was ignoring it for over a week. I only took it cause he insisted that this would be something I would like, along the lines of Scorpions and Accept, but I was quite prejudiced back then about women’s involvement in my favourite music, and was certain that this would be some sleazy hard rock, and that my friend was pulling my leg…

Needless to add, the debut blew me away, and remains one of the ten most frequently listened classic heavy metal recordings in my household. The guys (and a girl) really nailed it from the get-go, and although this was an explosive first showing, it also raised the standard too high for the subsequent efforts to be able to reach it. It also showed how a diva can be a wholesome member in a male-dominated line-up, and not only but Doro Pesch’s charismatic presence was a main reason for the band’s quick promotion to the front echelon.

Not that music-wise the Warlock team slackened, no; they continued to make waves, always sounding relevant to the trends of the time, first with the surprisingly aggressive “Hellbound” which saw the band trying to pay tribute to the rampant speed metal movement, a belligerent angry offering that some of the fanbase consider their finest hour; and then with the album reviewed here, their compromised surrender to the mellower, more radio-friendly ways of execution that were gaining popularity in the mid-80’s.

In the Warlock case, however, this doesn’t mean a faithful copy of Motley Crue’s “Theatre of Pain” or DIO’s “Sacred Heart”; it means a fairly ballsy rendition of these new currents with more than just a few sharp riffs pricking the pop-metalish layer. “Mr. Gold” opens the album with sprightly energetic guitars, an invigorating cut that may have been left out of the preceding instalment for reasons unknown; and “Fight for Rock” is a catchy memorable hit that presents the more mainstream side of the album. “Love in the Danger Zone” is a really nice semi-ballad, one of the band’s finest achievements, with Pesch producing a spellbinding performance, combining verve with lyricism to a dramatic, poignant effect. “Speed of Sound” is a speedier, more dynamic proposition hence the title, another return to the vigorous approach from the previous opus; and “Midnite in China” is a rowdy heavy metal anthem with Pesch pesching... sorry, pitching it higher, threatening to break all the china in your house.

“Vorwarts, All Right” brings back the fast pace, and the headbangers will have their fun for about 4-min as this number can even quality for Scanner’s “Hypertrace”, the most aggressive proposition here. The title-track is a rousing song-along heavy rocker, an emblematic anthem that sets the tone for the remainder among which one will come across the heavy ballad “Love Song” with Pesch in top form again; the feelgood infectious hymn “Igloo on the Moon”, and the biggest surprise here, the short instrumental closer “T.O.L.”, a great display of musical virtuosity with guitars and keyboards (used for the first and only time on the album) duelling the whole time, with leads tearing the aether with their piercing, screamy flair the whole amalgam coming as one brief symphonic tractate, a really stylish way to finish this fairly entertaining effort.

The band established themselves as true champions of heavy metal, and it wasn’t just Scorpions and Accept making the rounds anymore in Germany; this bunch from Dusseldorf meant some serious business, and “armed” with the wild blonde “beast”… sorry, “witch”, behind the mike there was nothing stopping them from achieving a golden status. And that status became a fact, a year later with the release of “Triumph and Agony”, the guys’ (and a girl) most commercially successful recording, and one of the milestones in German heavy metal…

As it became quite fashionable for frontmen/women to leave their main acts and to embark on a solo career in the late-80’s/early-90’s, Warlock were befallen by this trend, too, and Pesch was on the road again even before the end of the decade with a couple of new musicians in the line-up, and under her own name; a successful career transition that sees her alive and well some 27 years later. Well, when you’re true as steel to your unbendable metal stance, nothing can break you; you can survive all tribulations, ordeals, and hardships… and extinguish all bonfires set up along the way, sometimes with just a single china-breaking falcetto. ---bayern, metal-archives.com

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Last Updated (Friday, 29 March 2019 12:48)

 

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