Doro – Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud – 2023
As this album, Conqueress – Forever Strong and Proud is kind of long I will mention it only as Conqueress in the text below. I think that’s a fair way of shortening the title and also saving my keyboard strokes. I’m kidding of course. I think the full title of the album is really great and I think it captures Doro’s dedication and career to date very well.
With that said, I never really listened to Doro in an organized way. Of course, I’ve heard her before in various duets and on covers where she made great or less-good versions of other bands’ songs. I’ve also heard some of her solo work and even material when she was still in Warlock. She’s a great singer but I never really took a real interest in her career and performances. Shame on me of course, since she is an important part of Hardrock and Metal history.
Conqueress is more of a Hardrock album than metal I think. There are few real Metal-riffs on it and it’s more driven by Doro’s vocals than guitars which often is the case with Metal music. She has a great voice so I don’t complain about that. But the result gets a bit like when listening to U.D.O., it’s kind of good, but not really great. On this particular album, I think it’s more the production than the performance though. There’s a quite heavy reverd och even echo on her vocals that I don’t really fancy and I think I can even hear some flanger in there. I’m not sure, and it’s not on every song either, but enough to make it kind of annoying.
I think the first half of the album is a little bit better than the second half. It might be because I’m not so annoyed with the production yet. But it might also be because the songs actually are better. There’s a cover of Judas Priests Living after Midnight which is hard not to like. It’s a duet with Rob Halford too, so that might be a reason it’s so good. In the second half of the album, there’s another duet with Rob. Bonnie Tylers hit Total Eclipse of the Heart. I think they do it quite well but it feels that there is something missing. I can’t put my finger on it.
As a whole, I would say that there are few surprises on Conqueress. It sounds about as you’d expect it to sound. Doro’s English is not great and even though it sounds kind of charming with her German accent. It’s her style, her voice, her way of expressing herself. I really haven’t an opinion on that. There’s a song in German in here too. At least half of it. My German is very rusty so I can’t understand a word. I don’t mind. It’s a good song anyway.
But…Why the truly awful cover art? I mean Doro is beautiful and everything and oozes Metal. But the background is… eh… something else…