Don Dokken is back with his Dokken and a brand new album called "Hell To Pay". In the press release it said that they have returned to the sound Dokken was famous for. So that hooked me up because I love their early stuff and after their fantastic "Up From The Ashes" album I have not follwed this band that much. I have listened to their later stuff but never got hooked up with the new and modern hardrock. I thought the albums missed a lot of the melodies we used to hear from this band. So I was really excited when I put the new CD in my player and I had big hopes for "Hell To Pay". Well, what can I say after I had listened to it the first time?? It was not totally back to their 80s sound but they have managed to mix their early sound along with the new with a good result. It?s hardrock with sharpness, strong vocal performances from Don Dokken and lots of wonderful riffs. The production is also top-notch.
"Haunted" is a fantastic song that reminds very much of 80s Dokken with a brilliant chorus and melodic guitarriffs. A good example of how they mix the old sound with the new can be heard on "Escape". This is a huge song with a strong chorus. The guitars are all over "Don?t Bring Me Down" that rocks big time.
"Prozac Nation" is a song that is simply boring and reminds too much of the later stuff they have done."Care For You" is an acoustic pianoballad were Don sings brilliant and lifts up the song couple of grades and the harmonyvocals are nice too. This song also ends the album in an unplugged version. "Still I?m Sad" is another strong song with a melodic chorus and Don sings like he did on "Up From The Ashes" and shows his best. I have not heard him sing this well for sometime now., quality stuff. This is a strong album Dokken strikes back with and fans of early Dokken will love this album for sure. Many of the songs has an "Up From The Ashes" feel over them. I think it?s the way Don sings again and that the melodies and hooklines are back in their sound.
So keep your eyes open at the end of July when Dokken returns with this strong new album. It?s HELL TO PAY.