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Under My Skin: A Fine Selection of Doro Classics

AFM (2012)
Rating: 7.5/10

For those that have been living under a rock since Doro Pesch hit the metal scene in 1982 fronting her then band Warlock, Doro is the premier name when talking about women in metal. As a woman in music in general, she has consistently broken down walls and created classics that fans worldwide love to this day. The consummate professional and the immediately likeable (and not so hard on the eyes) Doro is one of the few legends left in metal that have truly seen it all. Alongside fellow country persons the Scorpions and Holy Moses, she is also one of the few survivors of the wild ride that we older folks affectionately refer to as “the 80s”. Her latest offering is a double disc compilation entitled Under My Skin that encompasses her entire career.

Disc one kicks off with one of Doro’s most loved anthems, ‘All We Are’. The version included here is the re-recorded one from 2007. Many times a stunt like that would annoy me, but I have always been partial to this version because it has much more beef to the sound than the original does, but also doesn’t stray from the mark much at all.

Other well known anthems like ‘Metal Tango’, ‘You’re My Family’ and ‘I Rule The Ruins’ are also included in the first half of the journey. The always beautiful Doro calling card, ‘Für Immer’, is also included on this disc and is a standout due to its elegance and Doro’s vocal performance. It’s amazing how this string laden ballad simply never gets old; she sings it like she means it and it stands the test of time. It’s coupled with ‘Love Me In Black’, which I found interesting and a really good match up. I had never thought of these songs together, but their back-to-back placement is really cool. And if you missed ‘The Night Of The Warlock’ at the 25th anniversary then you can be properly introduced here.

Much like the first disc, disc two kicks off with a special version of ‘Celebrate’. The full female version included on this disc features the likes of Girlschool, Sabina Classen (Holy Moses), Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes), Floor Jansen (ex-After Forever / ReVamp), Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy), and Ji-In Cho (Krypteria).

The acoustic version of ‘Rare Diamond’ is a highlight on this disc as well. Its piano work makes it standout a little from the average Doro track. A string sectioned-up version of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’ will bring some familiarity to those lost when it comes to Doro’s solo work (the biggest hits are almost all on disc one) and reign you back in from what turns out to be an extremely long ride through this album!

‘Angel In The Dark’ with its suave soloing and slower tempo is a highlight here as well, showing a bluesier side of Doro that doesn’t appear too often in her catalogue. Meanwhile, ‘I Lay My Head Upon My Sword’ and ‘Wildfire’ keep it rocking in typical Doro fashion.

Overall, this is an excellent introduction to Doro. It’s far from the sampler hits / compilations she has put out in the past. This is a fairly exhaustive collection of her best work. That said, if you are already familiar with her work there really is no pressing need to add this to your collection. It’s a little long in the tooth to be honest and longtime fans won’t find any super special extras that they probably don’t already have that would make it an essential purchase.

Mark Fisher