Dokken's signature sound lives on but Heaven Comes Down has a surprising sting in the tail

Twelfth album Heaven Comes Down Still is proof that Dokken are still rokken' after all these years

Dokken: Heaven Comes Down cover art
(Image: © Silver Lining)

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Back in the 80s, when big-haired rock bands were selling millions of records, the most dysfunctional of them all was Dokken; the animosity between singer Don Dokken and guitarist George Lynch ran deep. 

Now, in an echo of that old rivalry, there are simultaneous releases from Don's modern version of Dokken and George's group Lynch Mob. 

The title of the new Dokken album is a nod to their crunchy 1984 track When Heaven Comes Down, and the band's classic signature sound is upfront in songs such as Fugitive and Just Like A Rose, with Don's voice full of character, and guitarist Jon Levin nailing melodic riffs and shredding leads in a remarkably close approximation of Lynch.

The surprise comes with the album's closer, Santa Fe, a bittersweet acoustic track in which the grizzled Sunset Strip survivor turns existentialist. He's sung a lot of great songs, but none as meaningful as this one.

Paul Elliott

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2005, Paul Elliott has worked for leading music titles since 1985, including Sounds, Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. He is the author of several books including the first biography of Guns N’ Roses and the autobiography of bodyguard-to-the-stars Danny Francis. He has written liner notes for classic album reissues by artists such as Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy and Kiss, and currently works as content editor for Total Guitar. He lives in Bath - of which David Coverdale recently said: “How very Roman of you!”