T&N - 'Slave To The Empire' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 07, 2013    
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This album is much, much (much) better than it has any right to be.

Three members of the classic Dokken line-up return with two drummers, a clutch of new songs and five re-recorded masterpieces? The results of ‘Slave To The Empire’ aren’t going to be pretty are they...? But, y’know, somehow this album ticks every box. The performances are full of fire, the new songs don’t rely on past glories, while still having an unmistakable sound that positively bristles with energy and vim, while the classic tracks have new life and ideas breathed into them via a quartet of guest singers who offer faithful, yet individual contributions to songs we know and love. Seriously this album is much, much (much) better than it has any right to be.

The idea for T&N came to fruition when Ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch and bassist Jeff Pilson got together with drummer Brian Tichy (Whitesnake) to create a new Lynch Mob album, with the trio agreeing that while the results were excellent, they were just not Mobbish enough. Ironically it was the only non ex-Dokken member who suggested inviting the other pair’s drumming ex band-mate “Wild” Mick Brown onboard to re-work some Dokken classics, while Tichy himself took on percussivising the new tracks.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As with their 2003 Lynch/Pilson album, Pilson handles most of the vocals here, with his underrated tones gracing seven new tracks and one of the five reworked Dokken numbers. However it’s the four “guests” behind the microphone that have got tongues wagging. Doug Pinnick (Kings X) offers up a refreshingly gritty, different take on ‘Tooth & Nail’, with his bluesy tones initially being a shock. However once he settles in the results are quite special, although it is the sheer hunger and passion in the music that comes across strongest. As with the other remoulded songs, Lynch, Pilson and Brown aren’t afraid to add new passages, solo sections or fills and while that may appear sacrilege, nothing could be further from the truth. The plethora of bands who’ve re-recorded their own music in recent years should all have a swift listen to the mini-Lynch Mob reunion of ‘It’s Not Love’ with Robert Mason on vocals, the faithful to the original Sebastian Bach led ‘Alone Again’ and ravenous Tim “Ripper” Owens fronted ‘Kiss Of Death’ to hear exactly how it should be done. Pilson does a sterling job singing ‘Into The Fire’, but it is to his, Lynch and Tichy’s credit that the new tracks on ‘Slave To The Empire’ stand up very proudly to their older bed-fellows. The title track has a trademark Lynch sting, while ‘Rhythm Of The Soul’ grooves with a confident swagger. Then comes the reunion era Dokken like ‘Mind Control’, the frantic closer ‘Access Denied’ and slow, acoustic led aggression of ‘When Eagles Die’ to convince you that this album stands up on the merits of the new songs even more than it does the potent re-recordings.

Lynch and Pilson are already promising a second T&N offering next year. If it is anything like ‘Slave To The Empire’ you won’t want to miss it!

Steven Reid

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