A cold November evening greets the intercontinentally acclaimed original queen of metal Doro Pesch as she makes a return to England's capital city, following a particularly well-attended spectacle last year at the Islington Academy. Doro earned her metal credentials in the '80s fronting German heavy metallers Warlock, her melodic vocals encompassing impassioned singing into addition to throat-shredding screeches. Following four full-length offerings, Warlock threw in the towel but Doro honed her metal voice into a solo career, still waving the banner today and focused on creating excellent shows where she proudly performs her older Warlock songs to make her fans overjoyed.
Absolutely no time is wasted as Doro and her gang launch into the storming 'Touch of Evil' off Warlock's 'Triumph and Agony' album, a particularly underrated number on this outstanding gem from 1987. This album is heralded further with the next song being 'I Rule the Runs', a favourite from the album that has the venue enthralled in mass admiration and crooning along. Limitless energy, a warm persona and infinite smiles are pertinent indicators that following over thirty years, Doro is still enamoured by everything heavy metal and displays sincere enthusiasm during her show – something that a paucity of '80s metal bands emit at their concerts. Vocally, she is on top form too with the passing years doing very little to discredit her voice.
The Warlock-era songs dominate the setlist as the band marches through the staples 'Earthshaker Rock', 'Hellbound' and 'Burning the Witches'. The heavy metal is slick, melodic, juggles a variety of tempos and features Doro's idiosyncratic voice, feminine yet aggressive where necessary. Newer selections from her solo career 'Raise Your Fist in the Air' and 'Night of the Warlock' substation some of the rawness of Warlock with modernity to engineer unifying anthems with choruses easy for those unfamiliar with the tracks to sing along to and subsequently are very effective live. Her stage banter is stuffed with consistent thanks to the audience for their attendance and she interacts warmly with her bandmates.
Returning for the encore, Doro and her band play the traditional cover of Judas Priest's 'Breaking the Law', the first verse sung like a ballad before the energy is amped up after its conclusion. Of course, it wouldn't be a Doro show without the most popular song associated with her made an appearance, namely Warlock's mighty 'All We Are', providing the optimum opportunity for what feels like every soul in the venue sing along to the chorus. Before the night is over, Doro awards the crowd with the opportunity to select the last song. The wave of requests floats across the venue but the winner is an ardent 'When East Meets West', the 'Triumph and Agony' track concluding the night sublimely.
Once again Doro has satisfied London in abundance. Her shows are fantastic and any fan of '80s heavy metal should not pass over. She still has copious energy, a genuine appreciation for her fans and most prominently, her voice is still as robust as their recorded counterparts. Long live the queen of metal.
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