Dokken again turns out an album with a new guitarist. This time John Norum (solo, Europe, Don Dokken) takes the helm, jamming on one of Dokken's hardest sounding albums in years.
As Don Dokken's solo guitarist on UP FROM THE ASHES, John Norum was a natural to fill the vacated spot left by Reb Beach on his return to Winger. John Norum's solo efforts are fanatastic, and he proves quite a talented singer in his own right, but his best material always comes with a strong vocalist putting forth their talents. Don Dokken's voice lends well to the strong, and heavy mixture prevalent on this outing.
Barry Sparks steps in on bass, filling the vacated spot by on-again-off-again bassist Jeff Pilson (who returned to George Lynch partner for the Wicked Underground effort). The bass line and drum rhythm section pounds with force, and the guitars rock on strong numbers like "Sunless Days", "Little Girl", and "Heart Full of Soul". Dokken kicks out a couple of mid-tempo ballads with "Everybody Needs", "Goodbye My Friend", and "There Was a Time."
An overall, very strong output from my favorite band of all-time.
Readily awaiting the next effort, though it is rumored John Norum has moved on to fill a spot in the forthcoming UFO. Former Warlock Guitarist John Levin is rumored to take the helm on the expected February 2004 Dokken release. Keep Rokken...