As rock and metal vocalists go, there are a few who are instantly recognisable and original and one of those has to the mighty Udo Dirkschneider. Ever since he first came to prominence with Solingen based heavy metal masters Accept as early as 1971 and from that point became pioneers of the German metal scene.
Udo sensationally parted ways with Accept in 1986 to form U.D.O. and with a more stable band formation, set about conquering the world with his own no holds barred Heavy Metal that has become his trademark.
Now this icon of Heavy Metal returns with a new album ‘Mastercutor’ and once again Udo has come up with the goods.
The album itself is pure U.D.O., hard aggressive, guitar laden, a definite head-bangers delight. Things get under way with a short intro based on a futuristic game show ... “where you have to be in it to kill it” ... thus setting the tone for the first track proper, the rampaging riff filled title track ‘Mastercutor’. Instantly you know Udo is back and back with a mission, with Stefan Kaufman and Igor Gianola just spewing out the twin guitar shred fest and Fitty Weinhold and Francesco Jovino thrashing out a thunderous back beat on this monstrous opener.
Things continue with one of my favourite tracks off the album the superb rocker ‘The Wrong Side Of Midnight’, before the full on metal assault continues with the hard edged riff laden ‘The Instigator’. A track that comes straight out of Accept's heyday with its twin guitar attack and Udo’s timeless vocals, that still have all the power and majesty he had when he first burst on to the scene all those years ago.
The album isn’t all screaming guitars and thumping rhythm sections though, there are a few more mellower moments like the mystical tones of ‘One Lone Voice’, a track were Udo shows he can bring it down a touch when he wants to.
However, these mellow moments are few and far between as the bulk of the album is pure breed guitar based metal of the highest order. As the album continues with the anthemic ‘We Do – For You’ and the fantastic ‘Walker Of The Dark’, with Udo displaying a darker threatening side to his vocals on this one.
But it’s all about the metal on this album and they don’t come any faster and furious than ‘Master Of Disaster’, this is U.D.O. at their finest. Thrashing scything guitars mixed with an overwhelming sense of melody that is second too none.
Another one of those surprise packages on the album is moving ballad like tones of ‘Tears Of A Clown’, no it's not a Smokie Robinson cover, but a very intelligent piece of thought provoking melodic hard rock that is far away from the all out metal of the majority of the album. This track paves the way for my favourite track off the album the exceptional ‘Vendetta’, a track that will please both U.D.O.’s new army of fans and those who have followed Udo since his Accept days. I see this track as a statement that no matter what fads come and go, metal will always rise above what new and now and still remain true to what their fans want. It will never surrender to the moguls of the business who are out for a quick fix metal and will always have its true fans. It is that very fact that makes me so proud to be part of the whole scene.
Enough of my rants though and back to the album for ‘The Devil Walks Alone’, another piece of thunderous guitar infused metal from the grandmaster of metal as Kaufman and Gianola ripping up a storm.
Kaufman and Gianola again show off their shredding skills on the all out metal assault that is “Dead Mans Eyes’, before the album comes to its climax with the album closer, the feel good rocker ‘Crash Bang Crash’. And as the song says ... “its not over yet" ... as Udo returns with another chapter to his long and illustrious career. Long may it continue for one of the genuine legends of metal.
2. The Wrong Side Of Midnight
3. The Instigator
4. One Lone Voice
5. We Do - For You
6. Walker Of The Dark
7. Master Of Disaster
8. Tears Of A Clown
10. The Devil Walks Alone
11. Dead Man's Eyes
12. Crash Bang Crash
All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.