"4.5 Stars-Okay, I'll admit it, I'm one of those people who have said in the past that I don't think Don could sing as good as he once could. Boy am I wrong. Just when I think Dokken is done,they come out with another strong effort. The newest album, Hell to Pay, completes a triumverate of strong albums starting with Erase the Slate, followed by Long Way Home, which I liked. It was a varied and short, but good album.I'd rather have a short but strong album rather than a long boring one(Tool).I'm a Dokken fan beginning 20 years ago(Tooth and Nail) and Don still sounds really good. Sure, he doesn't hit the "Balls-in-a-vice" high notes as often as he used to, but Don still sounds better than 99% of the singers on modern rock radio. As far as who plays guitar, I really don't care as Dokken has always to me been a vehicle for Don's voice. Sure, Lynch had great licks in the '80s, but let's face it folks guitarists are easy to come by and Don has always surrounded himself with good musicians. I take back anything negative I've ever said about Don's voice and the new album is great..go get it and support this stuff people. Also, get the new Scorpions and the new Tesla (Both Great)."
Refreshing - A Must for Dokken Fans
James Winbush | Northern Virginia, USA | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a Dokken/Lynch fan for 20 years and this is a very under rated album. Jon Levin who kicked butt with Warlock/Doro back in the day is an exceptional guitarist. When I first listened to the album I immediately started criticizing and comparing Jon to George Lynch's guitar work. But then I took a step back to think objectively. I listened again and the album absolutely kicks from beginning to end. Then I thought to myself, what was I smokin' the first time around... this is awesome and how could I have missed and overlooked this masterpiece. I guess I was too busy critcizing and comparing the guitar work to Lynch. It has flow, diverse musical influences yet unmistakeably classic DOKKEN style, killer licks, riffs, vocals, lyrics,...refreshing and a total package. After listening a few times I rate all songs at least 9 out of 10 (Most are 10s). Yes, the Lynch guitar solos influence is there, but what do you expect...Lynch was one of Jon's guitar heroes back in the 80s. Personally, I think Jon has the potential to be an overall better guitarist, but may be a bit too modest to realize it. I saw Dokken play at JAXX - a small night club in Springfield, VA last year...talked to Jon after the show, got a guitar pick and autographed CD by all members. The only thing I didn't like about the album is the CD cover artwork (I had to find something wrong for the skeptics). Come on Don, you could have done better than that...it looks too cartoonish...but thats O.K. I can live with it. The contents more than make up for the cover. I too hope that Don keeps this lineup, especially Jon. Check out some of the old Warlock and Doro work too (Jon is only on one album though - Force Majeure). At a minimum check out Doro's recent live DVD concert which covers all the great Warlock/Doro stuff. I don't recognize the band members who currently play with her, but they rock! Her music rocks! Her voice is pure, strong, hypnotic, melodic, hard with edge and she just kicks butt! Period!!!! And she still looks as fine as she did 20 years ago!!!! German goddess!!!! Anyway...back to Dokken....and sorry for going off on a tangent. If you are a Dokken fan, especially old school Dokken from 80's this is the one to get. Refreshing yet without the appearance of rehashing old school 80's metal. Just right and just what is needed given today's music climate (or lack thereof). If you are a halfway decent guitarist (or aspire to be one) or have any appreciation for this music genre then you will not be disappointed. Thanks for reading."
Dokken : "Hell To Pay"
Masked Jackal | Ft. Lauderdale, FL United States | 01/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
*** 1/2 STARS ---------------
This is a solid release from Dokken. I longed for the days when Dokken would get back to their roots, and "Hell To Pay" is a very nice return of sorts....
The guitars are very good. New axeman J. Levin does a very impressive job, and does make me think of the days when G. Lynch was shreading away. A very welcome addition to the Dokken line-up he is...
I wouldn't classify this as "Tooth And Nail" or "Under Lock And Key", but it'c certainly the best Dokken has released since then in my opinion. I use to be a huge Dokken fan in the 80's, and once Don went solo, I wasn't interested anymore. I did buy "Erase The Slate", but wasn't very impressed. "Hell To Pay" is much more enjoyable, and has that 80's feel to it....
A nice addition to your Dokken collection. I was surprised at how good this is, and I hope Don sticks with this current line-up in the furture. I still miss G. Lynch though.... "
Mikey Twain | Virginia | 07/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like this album better than their last few. And as has been said before, the guitarist sounds a bit too much like George Lynch on almost all the songs. Decide for yourself if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I love the classic Dokken sound, but I had to listen to it a couple of times for it to grow on me. Yeah, I do like it, and I'd recommend it to any fan of Dokken's music."
Is that George???
K. A Ford | King, NC United States | 07/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very good CD. The more you listen to it the better it gets. Although I think Dokken is at there best when they are doing the heavier stuff. I have to also say I have been a HUGE Lynch fan and Jon Levin sounds so much like him that its scary. He has all the trademark Lynch licks nailed. Pick it up. The biggest problem I have with this CD is the goofy band shots and CD artwork."