The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

T&N

SLAVE TO THE EMPIRE


RAT PACK RECORDS


2012

 

BIRTH OF A NEW EMPIRE?

 

 

 

We love this one, we love it a lot. Three quarters of Dokken reconvene to create new music that really does remind you of why Dokken was so essential back in the day and also comes as a timely reminder that these guys are still very much great musicians with plenty to say.

 

 

 

What we get is 11 tracks – 5 of them re-workings of Dokken classics and 6 originals. The best thing though about this one is that the new material stands up very well on its own.

 

 

 

‘Slave to the Empire’ that opens the album (hey wasn’t Dokken’s lead single from his latest called ‘Empire’ – surely a coincidence as this seems to have been out there prior to details of the Dokken release?) is simply a great hard rocker and underlines the potential this band has given commitment by all parties.

 

 

 

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the album is that Jeff Pilson’s vocals are absolutely top-notch. For those that have heard him before, he handles all of the originals and his voice seems particularly suited, especially to songs like my standout ‘When Eagles Die’ (which Jeff tells me is to be the single) and ‘Sweet Unknown’ an expensive melodic rocker that follows the heavier ‘Slave…’

 

 

 

Of the covers we see a number of singers taking vocal duties: ‘Tooth and Nail’ is perhaps the most interesting of all (and the preferred name for the band until it was discovered it was trademarked by a label) with Doug from Kings X making it his own with a hard edged bluesy take on the song. Elsewhere I guess it’s Robert Mason’s ‘It’s not Love’ that takes the prize for us: but with Seb Bach, and Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens also putting in solid work and the band, if not reworking exectly, but at least rejigging the songs it’s all kept nice and fresh.

 

 

 

For us though it’s the new music that is most exciting and with a start like this I can see T&N, despite their other musical commitments, becoming far more than another project for all those concerned.  

 

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins