Dokken- Album Review- Heaven Comes Down

Album Review
Heaven Comes Down
Silver Lining Music
Produced By: Bill Palmer & Don Dokken
Review: Joseph Suto

Call me old-fashioned but I cannot properly review an album without having the physical copy playing on my stereo. These days when publicists say I’ll send you a copy what they mean is they will send a protected link you can access. The only problem is that you either have to listen to it on a computer or a phone which does not help sound the quality. I need to hear it playing through my good speakers to give it a proper assessment. Then I have to give it the Langerman listen. What I mean by that is I must listen to the whole album, good or bad at least five times through to truly give it a fair shake. Believe it or not many reviewers rarely play the album more than once before they launch their opinion which to me is absurd.

It has been eleven years since Broken Bones, the last studio affair and a brand new fresh Dokken album was just what the doctor ordered. Right from the start as soon as you hear the opening guitar on “Fugitive”, one of the album’s standouts, you know it’s Dokken. Guitarist Jon Levin is heard throughout putting on a sonic display of fiery, powerful riffs and solos. In a recent interview he told us the initial demo solos were used for “Fugitive” and “Gypsy”. Speaking of “Gypsy” it promptly follows “Fugitive” and in my estimation is the top track on the release. These two songs start the album off on in fine fashion and very well may be the best one-two punch since 1999’s Erase The Slate.

Those wondering how vocalist Don Dokken sounds on the album need not worry. Dokken puts in a very decent vocal performance that fits in his current comfort zone. Sadly at this point of his career he will never be able to replicate the classic era voice he once had due to various reasons. The true fans will get this record as it has all the elements a Dokken record usually has. The autobiographical “Santa Fe” even brings the songwriting to a different level entirely. It tracks Don Dokken’s move out of his native state of California and into New Mexico. Joining Dokken and Levin are bassist Chris McCarvill and drummer BJ Zampa. Both have played together as a rhythm section a few times over the years and their playing on this album is solid where everyone plays like a cohesive unit.

From the time one glances at what is perhaps the best album cover of Dokken’s career, to the point they hear that first Levin riff from “Fugitive” and take it all in through to the album’s closing track “Santa Fe” they are witnessing a fine album. Granted it will never top such masterpieces as Tooth and Nail and Under Lock and Key, Heaven Comes Down holds its own and we definitely recommend it for any fan of the band.

Don Dokken- Vocals
Jon Levin- Guitars
Chris McCarvill- Bass
BJ Zampa- Drums

Track Listing

01. Fugitive
02. Gypsy
03. Is It Me Or You?
04. Just Like A Rose
05. I’ll Never Give Up
06. Saving Grace
07. Over The Mountain
08. I Remember
09. Lost In You
10. Santa Fe

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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