Review Summary: Dokken goes out with a BANG!!! A fitting end to their Golden Years.Dokken: The Golden Years
Part IV of IV: Back for the Attack
If there was one problem Dokken had during their years as one of the most impeccable glam metal acts of the 1980's, it was the fact that they could not top themselves: they could only near-equal themselves. After having been a leading act all this time, one could not help but sense that the band's glory days where not eternal. The issues between guitarist Lynch and frontman Dokken were gradually tearing the band apart.
Nevertheless, the band still had one more quality record to release before they would fade into obscurity (and, later on, would go on recording, without ever truly recovering their past glory): 1987's Back for the Attack
. This fourth LP certainly shows Dokken as a band with inner struggles: the music sounds nowhere as fresh, the vocals and the guitars seem to be fighting for attention, etc. This doesn't stop the album from being great, but it does pretty much give the idea that the band has little chance of making a fifth album in line with the previous ones.
At this time, the band's lineup is:
Don Dokken: Vocals
George Lynch: Guitars
Jeff Pilson: Bass
"Wild" Mick Brown: Drums
One of the most interesting tracks on the album is Mr. Scary
, an instrumental which serves to show off Lynch's skills on guitar once more. There's also Kiss of Death
which features a memorable chorus and nice riffs. You also have [b] Burning Like a Flame[b] which is a bit cheesy, even for Dokken standards, yet is a passable song overall.
But the single leading song on the album is Dream Warriors
. It starts off with a nice guitar rythm that leads into a rockin' riff. Don Dokken performs well, and Lynch does yet another fine solo here. The lyrics deserve a quote, being among the band's most interesting ones:
I lie awake
And dread the lonely nights
I'm not alone
I wonder if these heavy eyes
Can face the unknown
When I close my eyes I realize
You'll come my way
I'm standing in the night alone
Nevertheless, the album has its flaws. As mentioned earlier, the tensions in the band seem to strain the music's quality. It doesn't help that the band is getting a bit formulaic at this time. Make no mistake, this album is worth a listen, and makes a fine closure to the band's golden years. But one can't help but foresee the impending disaster. The band was relying a bit too often on the lead vocals/lead guitars formula, thus becoming rather predictable. Overall, this is a very good album which simply isn't on par with the earlier three.
The band would break up shortly after releasing their live album Beast from the East
(1988). They would continue recording in the 1990's and released Lightning Strikes Again
in 2008. Nevertheless, nothing can change the fact that the essence of Dokken's music lies in these first four recordings.
-Kiss of Death
-Burning Like a Flame