RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

T&N – Slave to the Empire
Rat Pak Records


Rating: B

T&N is the bands’ name and the three members founded ‘80’s iconic hair band era group Dokken.  Can anyone say, “Tooth and Nail?”  Hmm, yep, seems there are Dokken references every where on this release.     

Even four of the tunes on the CD are remade Dokken tunes, each with a guest vocalist.  “Tooth and Nail” is sung by dUg Pinnick of Kings X, while “Alone Again” features Sebastian Bach.  Tim “Ripper” Owens is impressive on “Kiss of Death” and Robert Mason, current vocalist for Warrant, belts out “It’s not Love.”  The rest of the album features new music with bassist Jeff Pilson on vocals. 

While the Dokken remakes are good, actually, each are impressive, the new tunes are what make this band rock.  While Mick Brown is officially the drummer, the man pounding the skins on several songs is actually ex-Whitesnake drummer Brian Tichy.  

The opening track “Slave to the Empire” is an example of how you can take the core of a 1980’s metal band and give it just enough of a modern slant to make it interesting.  “Into the Fire,” on the other hand, sounds as if it could be on an old Dokken album. 

No one is sure what the future of the band is, at this point, but this is a curious start that, if developed and nurtured, could turn into something special.  Oh, by the way, Don, you know the guy Dokken was named after…he’s not missed at all. 

By Jeb Wright.