It was 1987, and the word was out that Agents of Fortune, our local heavy metal music store was having Warlock for an in-store on a brisk October Friday. At this point, I knew as much about them as most of you guys did. Warlock? That German band with the hot chick singer whose video “Fight For Rock” was on every day after school, right? Cool, let’s go! Well, no one else wanted to go, so I went by my damn self, and it was the best decision I could have possibly made. DORO was gorgeous, with a smile that lit up the room the whole time. She was as nice as can be, as was the rest of the band, well those of them who spoke English, and they all signed my just-purchased Triumph And Agony CD.
“All we are. All we are, we are, we are all. All we need.” If you tell me you didn’t just sing that as you read it, you’re a liar. This iconic song, this metal masterpiece, “All We Are” came out of my speakers when I got home, and I knew I had found something special. EVERYBODY knows this song, and it still brings the house down live! “Three Minute Warning” is next, and shows the band off to the races, with DORO spitting not-so-subtle threats at an unseen enemy.
Frequent show opener, and another in my triumvirate of favorites “I Rule the Ruins” is next. A simply amazing song, both live and in the studio, they HAD to know they were making magic with this one. Everything about it is masterful from the riffing verses to the watery choruses, and no DORO show is complete without it now. “Kiss of Death” features an intro of howling wolves, a build up to a crescendo before quieting down again briefly and then taking flight on the solos.
Every band from this glorious era had at least one ballad on their record, and Warlock was no exception. “Make Time For Love” is a lovely, piano-driven piece made even more real by DORO’s pained and longing vocals. Tell you what, it was better than most of the other ones out there, and is another of my go-to songs when I’m feeling that way, and a perfect side one closer.
“East Meets West” kicks the doors down to open side two. Another trademark DORO classic, and the third in my trilogy of favorites, I damn near lose my voice at every show to this one. She wails away like a demon on this version, and even listening to it is a workout! “Touch of Evil” hits the gas pedal again with high-speed riffs, and screeching vocals worthy of Judas Priest, who the band opened for on the previous tour in Europe. Lucky bastards, those crowds!
If “Metal Tango” sounds like an unusual name for a song, that’s because it is. I could totally see a dance floor full of denim and leather wearing metalheads doing it, though. Another great one that DORO still performs sometimes. On “Cold, Cold World” everyone flexes their muscles a bit with drummer Michael Eurich leading the charge. We close things with “Für Immer” sung in both English and German, with a line in Italian, and meaning “Forever”. It is beautiful, and it is majestic, just like she is.
Triumph And Agony is a very special album to me, because it’s the beginning of my decades-long love affair with DORO, The Metal Queen. She does not have “fans”. We are her family, and she lets us know that every chance she gets. No one is more grateful than DORO. She even dedicated a song onstage to Mini-Amps in 2010 after I told her how much he enjoys her music. And I am very thankful for all the great music and memories she has given me, starting with the album that changed a 14-year old kid’s life.
“Deep inside my heart, Für Immer”