"Slave to the Empire" (Rat Pak Records; 2012)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Fans of Dokken really don't need to read any further. Simply click on the link above and buy T&N's album, "Slave to the Empire." Why? The answer is simple: T&N is comprised of George Lynch, Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown, all formerly of Dokken, and, if you liked that classic Dokken sound, you'll find plenty to like on "Slave to the Empire." Including, five solid cover versions of classic Dokken hits.

Let's talk about the new material first. The seven new songs on "Slave to the Empire" are classic hard rock, highlighted by the edgy, vibrant guitar of George Lynch and some powerful songwriting. Brian Tichy of Whitesnake provides the drums on these tracks and, as you might guess, they pound along nicely. Although there are a couple of surprises here ("Jesus Train" comes most immediately to mind), most of these songs could have appeared on any classic hard rock album from the era when Dokken was hotter than fire. My only complaint ... well, we'll get to that next.

As for the cover versions, honestly, they seem kind of unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, they sound pretty damn good, but I think I would have preferred to have more new material from this obviously very talented veteran band. It is kind of cool to hear classic Dokken songs performed by vocalists the likes of Tim "Ripper" Owens, Doug Pinnick, Sebastian Bach, and Robert Mason but, once that novelty wears off, the songs are just ... well, cover songs ... that don't sound all that different from the originals. (And, no, I won't get into a debate about calling these "cover songs" despite some of the original band members performing them). By the way, Mick Brown played the drums on these re-makes.

Bottom line: "Slave to the Empire" is a terrific album from some truly amazing veteran rockers who, with this very release, prove they've still got a lot to offer. I'm very much looking forward to additional music from the band, especially more original stuff, in the very near future.

For more information, check out http://tandnmusic.com/.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 14:16:30 -0400.