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Hell to Pay

Year: 2004
Format: CD
Label: T&T / Sanctuary
Genre: [Melodic Rock]
Overall Rating: 8.5
Music: 8.0
Production: 9.0

Dokken's latest album surprised me (in a positive way). Judging by cover, I though the CD would suck... but fortunately I was wrong. I didn't expect a diverse album from them, and I didn't get one either... Hell to pay tries to be somewhat diverse, but most of the songs are basic 80's rock. The use of sitar on the Last Goodbye suited the track well (making this record just a little bit more diverse). Hell to Pay covers everything from ballads to harder yet melodic rock. Someone might think this album is overly produced, but I like it... Still this record doesn't have an edge to it.

Dokken's voice suits the music well and at times (especially on ballads) he succeeds in doing almost a perfect vocal performance. Of all songs my favourites are the ballads. Especially the sixth track 'Care For You' is an awesome song (the unplugged version is even better). Other songs are also good, although they're quite basic 80's rock. Hell to pay has 48 minutes of modernized (to some extent) 80's rock.

Production on this album has been done very well... Sounds are appropriate for their style. Only complaints concern the slight (almost inaudible) distortion that occurred very seldom (you'll probably won't even notice it). Eddy Schreyer and Wyn Davis (not to mention Don Dokken) have done a good job.

All in all, Hell to Pay is a good album for your melodic 80's rock collection. Despite its drawbacks (lack of originality) it's an album worth considering. Songs have been composed well and Dokken has quite an extensive gamut of styles. Still I'm Sad, for example, has a beginning that is very similar to Katatonia's songs (the mellow ones). I warmly recommend this record to all fans of melodic rock.

- MAGE (24.07.2004)


Dokken, Don: Lead Vocals
Brown, Mick: Drums/Background Vocals
Sparks, Barry: Bass/Background Vocals
Levin, Jon: Guitars
Producer: Dokken, Don
Mixing by: Davis, Wyn (except 'I Surrender' by Daugherty, Brian)
Mastering by: Schreyer, Eddy
Dokken - Hell to Pay  CD  Cover Image
01. The Last Goodbye
02. Don't Bring Me Down
03. Escape
04. Haunted
05. Prozac Nation
06. Care for You
07. Better Off Before
08. Still I'm Sad
09. I Surrender
10. Letter to Home
11. Can You See
12. Care for You (Unplugged)
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