REVIEW: Dokken “Heaven Comes Down”

Dokken’s long-awaited 13th studio album “Heaven Comes Down” releases this week, and it’s a must for any fan.

The opening track and first single, Fugitive, is a monstrous explosion of vintage Dokken vibes. It would fit as well on Under Lock and Key as here. From the intro riff through Don Dokken’s unmistakable vocals through its monstrous guitar solo, this song alone is enough reason to buy the album.

20-year veteran Dokken guitarist Jon Levin plays a major role on this album. He’s playing better than ever and has been with the band long enough to know the Dokken sound like no one else. From shredding intros (like the one to Gypsy) to blisteringly fast solos, Levin gets it. 

Gypsy is a super-fast-paced track that also harkens back to the early years of massive chords and a tinge of the spooky. Personally, it’s my favorite song on the record. It’s top-to-bottom great rock n roll. It kicks the door in and leaves you ready to go again.

Is It Me Or Is It You starts off with a bluesy riff reminiscent of a modern Led Zeppelin. Lyrically, the song has a catchy hook that really sticks around. Its theme of a one-sided love nearing its end really resonates. It feels real.

Another song I wanted to be sure to call out is Just Like A Rose. It’s a little heavier than your standard power ballad (though Saving Grace does that well), but it lives somewhere between there and a hard rocker. It’s among my favorites on the album because it has a really authentic vibe.

I Remember is the power ballad I was waiting to hear. Lyrically, it shows a more mature songwriter. It’s less flashy than some of the other songs, but after several listens, it kept rising to the top as one of my favorites. 

Levin’s beautifully melodic solo on the song catapults it right into your emotions. Don’t get hung up at the first few songs and miss this one.

If you’re a Dokken fan, don’t sleep on this album. Combining Don Dokken’s undeniable voice and songwriting ability with Levin’s maddening skill to craft an unforgettable riff, Heaven Comes Down stands strong in an already powerful catalog.

The album will be released Friday, October 27. Be there or be square.

Dokken – Heaven Comes Down Track Listing:
1 – Fugitive 
2 – Gypsy
3 – Is It Me Or You?
4 –  A Just Like A Rose
5 –  I’ll Never Give Up
6 –  Saving Grace
7 –  Over The Mountain
8 –  I Remember 
9 –  Lost In You
10 – Santa Fe
DON DOKKEN – Vocals                                                                           
JON LEVIN – Guitar
BJ ZAMPA – Drums
Produced by Bill Palmer & Don Dokken
Bill Palmer: acoustic guitar on ‘Santa Fe
Mark Boals: special guest (background vocals)