Artist: U.D.O. 
   Title: Celebrator
   Label: AFM Records

In a world of made up bands where Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame comes far too easy to many without any discernable talent, it's great to see artists such as Udo Dirkschneider still standing strong against the tide and showing  the rest of the world that Heavy Metal is still force to be reckoned with, and that longevity in the business is still achievable if you stay true to what you believe in and truly believe with all your being in what you're doing.

The mighty Mr Dirkschneider has recently celebrated his 60th birthday, but more significantly he also celebrates over 25 years at the top of the Heavy Metal hierarchy, fronting his own namesake band U.D.O. for over 25 years.  The band he formed in 1987 after leaving the legendary Accept.  At that time who could have dreamed in doing so he would create an equally legendary metal band for the legions of metal-heads around the world to worship. 

'Celebrator' is quite simply, a double album crammed full of unreleased tracks, B-sides, bonus tracks and forgotten pearls, which are all brought together to celebrate this man and his music. This compilation is the first part of the celebrations dedicated to both Udo the man and U.D.O. the band, and in August it will be followed up with a brand new live recording of the successful 'Rev-Raptor' tour on both DVD and CD.

This is twenty-five slice of pure Dirkschneider, with some great renditions of some classics, together with a few surprises along the way. The versatility this man has brought to the world of metal over the years has been truly breathtaking as songs such as 'Dancing With An Angel' showcases perfectly.  Udo might be metal to the very core, but underneath it all he also has his softer more heartfelt moments, with this song being one of them.  I'm so pleased this was included in this selection as it's a gorgeous song that calms even the most savage of beasts.

One of the many delights you will find on this album is the superb piano version of ‘Balls To The Wall’ and the superb orchestral version of ‘Tears Of A Clown’.  Then we have the excellent ‘Born To Be Wild’ featuring Raven (I’d forgotten how good this one is!) and the Judas Priest cover ‘Metal Gods’.  Not forgetting the truly evocative ‘Planchet Soldat’, featuring Faktor 2 and the fantastically rousing 'They Only Come Out At Night’, featuring Lordi and ‘Head Over Heals’ with Hammerfall, being just a small sample of the many highlights of a career spanning a quarter of a century and long may it continue!


01.  Stormbreaker 
02.  Tallyman
03.  Run!
04.  Free Or Rebellion
05.  Bleeding Heart
06.  The Silencer
07.  Bodyworld
08.  Systematic Madness
09.  Head Over Heels
10.  Balls To The Wall
11.  Artificialized
12. They Only Come Out At Night
13. Streets Of Sin


01.  Tears Of A Clown 
02.  Man A King Ruler
03.  Hardcore Lover
04.  Scream Killers
05.  Planchet Soldat
06.  Borderline
07.  Dancing With An Angel
08.  X-T-C
09.  Azrael
10.  The Key 
11.  Metal Gods
12. Born To Be Wild



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