Up From The Ashes review by Don Dokken

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  • Released: Oct 21, 1990
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (4 votes)
Don Dokken: Up From The Ashes

Sound — 9
By 1990 one the 80s biggest hair metal bands had broken up going their different way. With the band no more Dokken guitarist George Lynch and Dokken drummer went on to form the success band Lynch Mob debuting in 1990, while Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson also form his new band Flesh & Blood in 1989. Even though Dokken had split vocalist and founder Don Dokken was not ready to let his band fade away quietly. Releasing his first solo album "Up From The Ashes" in October of 1990 Don Dokken was ready to show the world that he could carry on with out his Dokken bandmates. With a solo album in the work Dokken formed a supergroup line-up recruiting John Norum (John had just left the very successful Swedish band Europe) and Billy White (Former Watchtower guitarist, the band featured Dangerous Toys frontman Jason McMaster) on lead guitars, Peter Baltes on bass (Then-former Accept bassist he since rejoined Accept), and drummer Mikky Dee (Ex-King Diamond and currently in Motrhead). The backing band showed musicians from all different sub-genres of heavy metal Norum-Hair Metal, White-Progressive/Thrash Metal, Baltes and Dee-Heavy Metal. This helped form a blend of talent and creativity that became a masterpiece in Dokken's career. The guitar work of John Norum and Billy White help Don Dokken prove that he could carry on and produce a great without Dokken guitarist George Lynch. On the songs: "Crash 'N Burn", "1,000 Miles Away", "Give It Up", "Mirror Mirror", and "Stay" the guitar duo unleash a attack that drives this album from start to finish. All the songs have this quality, but those are the songs that lock me in and making me want to hear more. Both guitarist deliver insane guitar solos on every song. The shredding work on this album is unlike on any album I've heard before. While Norum and White deal there fierce guitar assault Peter Baltes and Mikky Dee fill in the rhythm sections perfectly bringing the songs together creating what should've become Don Dokken's Whitesnake "1987" album. No matter what on this album you'll riff after riff, hook after hook, and tons of melody as a musician I can easily this is how all bands and artists hope and want their album to sound like.

Lyrics — 10
With Dokken's break-up only two years before this album's release Don Dokken was still one of the biggest vocalist of the time. With his vocal work on Dokken's 1985 "Under Lock And Key" and 1987's "Back For The Attack" albums he knew that he had to give it his all. If you're a old-school Dokken fan and never heard this album because it's not "Dokken" you need to hear it. Don unleashes his powerful voice tearing through each song giving his all. Don's lyrics seem to be a little more personal, at least to me, on this album compared to his lyrics in Dokken. On the song "Give It Up" how he sings it you can tell it's from the heart. With the line: "Don't f**k it up for me" it shows Don taking a song to the his full potential. When Don sings his meaningful songs it's mostly a power ballad. This album has a couple ballads on it the one standing out most is the single "Stay". This song is sang with total power and emotion making what the song is about have a stronger effect on the listener.

Overall Impression — 10
When I first came across this album I did have doubts on Don Dokken being able to release an album that could match does of Dokken. By the end of the second song "1,000 Miles Away" I was proven wrong. If you're a Dokken fan and have never checked this album out I'd do it first chance you get. Just like UG asks when you're doing a review for an album "What do you love about it?". WRONG QUESTION TO ASK! The right question is "What isn't to love about this record". From the opening track "Crash N' Burn" to the closing track "The Hunger" the ables delivers every song. I'll have this album in my collection till I die and when I get to heaven God better have a copy of the album up there with my name on it.

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1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I guess the reviewer kind of likes this album. I like it too. Couple of things, the guitars are too smooth and without the fire or unique style Lynch brought. And the single Mirror Mirror has a weak chorus. Down in Flames or Up From the Ashes woudl have been better choices for a single. But overall very good album. Score 7