U.D.O.
U.D.O. is the solo band of Udo Dirkschnieder. Of course most people know Udo was the singer for Accept. U.D.O. started when Udo left Accept when they decided to go in a more pop metal direction. He later returned to Accept in the mid 90's and put out three more incredible studio albums. Udo has also produced one of Raven's album's as well as sang two songs on Raven's "Born to be Wild" EP. U.D.O. Is from Germany and continues to produce excellent German power metal.

Animal House U.D.O. - Animal House (GUN) 1987

1. Animal House (4:19)
2. Go Back To Hell (4:31)
3. They Want War (4:12)
4. Black Widow (4:29)
5. In The Darkness (4:03)
6. Lay Down The Law (3:47)
7. We Want It Loud (4:06)
8. Hot Tonight (4:37)
9. Warrior (4:12)
10. Coming Home (3:39)
11. Run For Cover (4:43)

The mighty Udo leaves Accept because, as rumors told us, he was unhappy with the direction his bandmates wanted to take into a more commercial, pop metal direction. So, Udo leaves taking the music, the voice and the attitude with him. "Animal House," the first of many UDO solo discs to come, is a good Accept album. Accept? Yes, all the songs on the disc were written with his former band mates and sound exactly like them. While this album is not up to par with "Balls to the Wall" or "Restless & Wild" it would have been a much better Accept album than the abysmal "Eat the Heat." Accept without Udo is like a hamburger without the meat. This disc is out of print in the US but available everywhere else in the world. Got mine from a friend in Germany.

Mean Machine U.D.O. - Mean Machine (GUN) 1988

1. Don't Look Back (3:11)
2. Break the Rules (4:00)
3. We're History (3:30)
4. Painted Love (4:57)
5. Mean Machine (3:53)
6. Dirty Boys (3:47)
7. Streets on Fire (3:50)
8. Lost Passion (4:10)
9. Sweet Little Child (4:48)
10. Catch My Fall (3:55)
11. Still in Love With You (0:49)

"Mean Machine" is one mean heavy metal disc. It's funny how U.D.O. sounded more like Accept than Accept themselves did during this time (1988). U.D.O. Is nothing if not consistent. "Don't Look Back", "Break the Rules" and "Mean Machine" are two smokin' metal romps. "Still In Love With You" is a 49 second speed/thrash tune.

Faceless World U.D.O. - Faceless World (RCA) 1990

1. Heart of Gold (5:00)
2. Blitz of Lightning (4:23)
3. System of Life (4:12)
4. Faceless World (6:31)
5. Stranger (5:15)
6. Restricted Area (3:09)
7. Living on A Frontline (4:19)
8. Trip to Nowhere (3:22)
9. Born to Run (3:26)
10. Can't Get Enough (3:22)
11. Unspoken Words (5:13)
12. Future Land (5:13)

Slightly more melodic that some of the other U.D.O. discs, but still heavy, still an onslaught of true metal, and still unmistakably UDO. Sort of in the same vein as "Russian Roulette" or "Metal Heart"-era Accept. Favorite tracks would be "Heart of Gold" and "Restricted Area" with it's catchy chorus.

Timebomb U.D.O. - Time Bomb (RCA) 1991

1. The Gutter [instrumental] (1:04)
2. Metal Eater (3:42)
3. Thunderforce (3:40)
4. Overloaded [instrumental] (1:05)
5. Burning Heat (3:14)
6. Back in Pain (3:46)
7. Timebomb (3:57)
8. Powersquad (4:13)
9. Kick in the Face (3:47)
10. Soldiers of Darkness (4:12)
11. Metal Maniac Master Mind (5:41)

UDO!

If there is one thing you can't accuse UDO of, it being inconsistent. "Timebomb"doesn't stray far from all his other releases. Still heavy metal, still Udo! You either love him or hate him. I love it! Plenty of memorable classics on this one, including the title cut and the ballistic "Metal Eater." My copy came from a friend in Germany.

Solid U.D.O. - Solid (GUN) 1997

1. Independence Day (6:01)
2. Two Faced Woman (3:38)
3. Desperate Balls (3:54)
4. The Punisher (4:46)
5. Devil's Dice (4:33)
6. Bad Luck (4:56)
7. Preachers of the Night (4:44)
8. Hate Stinger (4:59)
9. Braindead Hero (5:13)
10. Pray for the Hunted (4:01)
11. Healer (6:09)

Now Udo is back in the driver seat! (Not that he ever really left it.) "Solid" is real heavy metal! Accept drummer Stephan Kauffman is now a permanent fixture in the UDO camp. If I didn't know better, I would have sworn this was an Accept disc. "The Healer" is a great melodic song, one of Udo's finest. "Independence Day" is so heavy it will peal the paint off your walls. Got this disc from a good friend in Germany. I'm indebted to him as this is a frequent player!

No Limits U.D.O. - No Limits (GUN) 1999

1. The Gate [instrumental] (0:51)
2. Freelance Man (4:24)
3. Way of Life (4:45)
4. No Limits (4:01)
5. With A Vengeance (5:26)
6. One Step to Fate (5:10)
7. Backstreet Loner (3:28)
8. Raise the Crown (4:06)
9. Manhunt (4:16)
10. Rated X (3:54)
11. Lovemachine (5:24)
12. I'm A Rebel (2:19)
13. Azrael (5:31)

Oh yes! If you like true metal, then this disc is a dream come true. Killer guitar tunes, fast songs, mid paced songs, chunka, chunka rhythms and everything else a good metal release should have. Add to that the incredible voice of metal Udo Dirkschnieder , and you've got one great metal disc. U.D.O. Is made up of two former members of Accept so U.D.O.'s recent projects sound a lot like classic Accept, more so than even Accept did in their last few years together. Speaking of Accept "I'm A Rebel" is an Accept cover, although I'm not sure that it is actually their song. "Azreal" and "Lovemachine" are covers also but of whom I do not know. While most of UDO's discs are a pain in the butt to find, I was able to order this one right off Century Media's web page, or was it Metal Blade's page? Hmm, can't remember, but I do remember it was reasonably priced.

U.D.O. did a GREAT cover of "Metal Gods" on the Judas Priest tribute about this same time.

Holy Holy U.D.O. - Holy (Nuclear Blast) 2000

1. Holy (4:56)
2. Raiders of Beyond (4:11)
3. Shout it Out (4:55)
4. Recall the Sin (4:36)
5. Thunder in the Tower (5:04)
6. Back Off (3:03)
7. Friends Will Be Friends (3:33)
8. State Run Operation (3:51)
9. Danger (3:23)
10. Ride the Storm (3:58)
11. Cut Me Out (3:59)

Fiitty, Igor, and Udo
Fitty, I gor Gianola and Udo 2001

"Holy" is third in a line of killer U.D.O. albums since Udo Dirksneider's reunion/departure from Accept. Stephan Kauffman takes on both drum and guitar duties for this disc along side guitarist Igor Gianola and longtime bassist Fitty Wienhold. I honestly think this is one of the finest metal CDs ever recorded. Songs like "Holy", "Raiders of Beyond", "Shout It Out", "Recall the Sin", "Thunder in the Tower" and "Back Off" are all equally infectious songs. At the mere mention of any of those titles I have the melody and chorus running through my head. Perhaps that is from my obsession with this disc ever since it was released, but either way I can't see any fan of classic heavy metal not enjoying this album.

"Holy" is the first disc since "Animal House" and "Mean Machine" to be readily available in both the US and Europe. Udo finally secured a deal with a decent American label, Nuclear Blast. Unfortunately this won't last long and U.D.O.'s very next release will return the band to import only status. My particular copy of "Holy" is the German digi version kindly obtained for me by a dear German friend and is autographed by Udo, Igor and Fitty.

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Udo at his show in SantaFe, New Mexico opening for Saxon. He was very pleasant and talked a bit with us and graciously signed our CDs. As a matter of fact the entire band was very cool and hung around with the few fans that were left in the venue once the place cleared out a bit. U.D.O., the band, put on a spectacular show playing at least one song from each U.D.O. CD and a whole bunch of Accept material. Guitarist Igor Gianola was very impressive, both in stage presence and in his playing. Of course, Udo was the main attraction and he did not fail to deliver, even giving us the opening, glass shattering scream on "Fast as a Shark." I hope at age 47 I can be as cool!

Live in Russia U.D.O. - Live From Russia (SPV/Breaker) 2001

DISC ONE
1. Holy (5:20)
2. Raiders Of Beyond (4:15)
3. Midnight Mover (3:14)
4. Independence Day (5:53)
5. Metal Eater (4:15)
6. Protectors Of Terror (4:31)
7. Animal House (3:57)
8. Turn Me On (5:34)
9. Drum Solo (2:28)
10. T.V. War (3:39)
11. No Limits (4:11)
12. Run If You Can (5:23)
13. Winter Dreams (5:26)
14. In The Darkness (6:05)

DISC TWO
1. Like A Loaded Gun (4:45)
2. Recall The Sin (5:03)
3. Break The Rules (4:00)
4. Midnight Highway (4:11)
5. Heaven Is Hell (7:15)
6. Monster Man (3:09)
7. Living On A Frontline/guitar solo (11:47)
8. Heart Of Gold (4:57)
9. Shout It Out (8:32)
10. Cut Me Out (4:59)
11. I'm A Rebel (3:39)
12. They Want War (6:19)


U.D.O. guitarist Igor Gianola

Man, why is it great discs like this aren't released in the U.S.? When I heard U.D.O. was releasing a live album from the 'Holy' tour, I was psyched, especially since I was able to see the band on this tour. Of course, then came the news that it would be released in Europe only. ARGH! Well, thanks to good friends, the internet, an ye 'ol Postal Service, I know am the proud owner of this fine live disc. The packaging on this disc is outstanding. The two disc set is encased in a hardbound book cover with the insert smyth sewn into the binding. The 24-page, full cover pages offer tons of photos from the tour as well as the usual thanks and liner notes. The track listing for this disc is awesome, offering songs from just about every U.D.O. album, as well as many Accept discs-old and new. It even includes some of the more obscure Accept material that has not been recorded live before. My only complaint is that I know U.D.O. were doing "Restless & Wild," "Metal Heart," "Balls to the Wall" and especially "Fast as a Shark" during this tour; at lease in the American leg of the tour. Granted those songs have been released in live formats by Accept many times before, but I just remember Udo doing a wicked scream before "Fast as a Shark" that was spine tingling. With the exception of this minor complaint, this is one of the finest live albums to come out in a long time. It is also interesting to note that Udo's brother and Vanize vocalist Peter Dirkschneider recorded this album. Udo rules!

Man & Machine U.D.O. - Man & Machine (SPV) 2002

1. Man And Machine"(5:40)
2. Private Eye (3:57)
3. Animal Instinct (4:12)
4. The Dawn Of The Gods (4:53)
5. Dancing With An Angel (4:12)
6. Silent Cry (5:22)
7. Network Nightmare (4:04)
8. Hard To Be Honest" (4:51)
9. Like A Lion (4:16)
10. Black Heart (4:32)
11. Unknown Traveler (6:52)

Udo Dirkschnieder
Udo Dirkschnieder

I am an U.D.O. diehard! I love his vocals and I respect his dedication to heavy metal. I was bummed to find out his latest would not be released in the U.S. and that I would have to rely on a friend to pick it up for me. Apparently Udo has decided to release future discs on his own Breaker Records label, with distribution in Europe by his former label SPV. Not sure what happened to Nuclear Blast, but it obviously did not work out to someone's satisfaction. Regardless, I finally have it in my greasy little hands. The last two U.D.O. discs each were instant classics for me. The moment I put them on, I loved them, at least that's how I remember it. 'Man & Machine' doesn't stray far from the formula of those two discs, but was not instantly a favorite. It took a few listens to really sink in, but after about a month of listening over and over, I can now honestly say I like it as much as those two discs. The first three tracks are all U.D.O. classics that I can almost guarantee will be live favorites for years to come. "Private Eye" really recalls the glory day of Accept, while "Animal Instinct" and "Man and Machine" sound more like they could have been recorded for "Holy." "Hard to Be Honest" and "Like a Lion" are also quite good. I was quite surprised to hear Doro singing along with Udo on the ballad "Dancing With An Angel." To be quite honest, these two vocalists don't sound at their best here. Udo seems a little out of his element when he is not singing in the mid to fast paced heavy metal style. However, I still really enjoyed this album and am still spinning it quite a bit almost a month later. Long live true metal. Long live U.D.O.

Nailed to Metal U.D.O. - Nailed To Metal - The Complete History (AFM Records) 2003

DISC ONE (CD)
1. "Holy" (5:16)
2. "Raiders Of Beyond" (4:11)
3. "Metal Heart" (5:40)
4. "X T C" (4:02)
5. "Drum Solo" (4:26)
6. "Fast As A Shark" (4:06)
7. "Princess Of The Dawn" (8:00)
8. "Restless And Wild" (4:21)
9. "Thunder In The Tower" (4:52)
10. "Hard Attack" (6:22)
11. "Balls To The Wall" (8:48)

Fiitty, Igor, and Udo

DISC TWO (DVD)
Video
1. "Holy"
2. "Raiders Of Beyond"
3. "Midnight Mover"
4. "Independence Day"
5. "Metal Eater"
6. "Winter Dreams"
7. "Shout It Out"
8. "Cut Me Out"
9. "I'm A Rebel"
10. "They Want War"
11. "Break The Rules"
12. "Heart Of Gold ­ Video Clip"
13. "Heart Of Gold ­ Making Off"
14. "Heart Of Gold ­ Hitstudio 1989"
15. "Timebomb ­ Electronic Presskit"
16. "Independence Day"
17. "Still" [Together With ARIA]
18. "Go Back To Hell" [Live Bochum 1998]
19. "Drumsolo" [Russia 2001]
Audio Tracks
20. "X-T-C" [taken from the album "A Tribute To Accept"]
21. "The Key" [Bonus Track off "No Limits"/Japan Only]
22. "Mad Dogs & Loaded Guns" [Demo Version for the album "Solid"]
23. "Warchild" [Demo Version for the album "Solid"]
24. "Rated X" [Demo Version for the album "No Limits"]
25. "Tough Luck" [Demo Version for the album "No Limits"]
26. "Recall The Sin" [Demo Version for the album "Holy"]

"Nailed To Metal - The Complete History" is suppose to be a limited edition box set. Not sure how limited the edition is, but this is not a box set. This two disc collections is inside a normal DVD case and contains little in the way of extras. There isn't even a booklet, just a four page insert with a few pictures on it. No liner notes, not even a stinkin' track listing. Grrr! However, since this "box version" was only $3 more than the single disc CD version, it was worth it.

With my packaging complaint aside, I can say that the music contained is quite good. I can't imagine any Accept or U.D.O. fan being disappointed with such a wealth of material. Disc one is the "Nailed To Metal-The Lost Tracks" CD. This CD contains material that was recorded during U.D.O.'s tour through Russia. Only two tracks can also be found on the "Live From Russia" CD but those versions have been recorded at a different show. Actually the track listing reads like a greatest hits collection as these really are some of Udo's finest moments put down on tape. No less than three tracks from the outstanding "Restless and Wild" CD are included here on top of a smokin' version of "Metal Heart" and vicious solo numbers "Holy" and "Raiders of Beyond." Good stuff!

Disc two is the DVD portion of the 'box set' and includes all sorts of rarities. Unfortunately the DVD is formatted for PAL, so it will only play on my computer and not my American DVD player! Drat! Tracks 1-9 are video of live performances from Russia, tracks 10-19 are video clips and various other U.D.O. stuff and tracks 20-26 are bonus audio tracks. Also included is a biography (which should have been printed in a booklet!), a discography, behind the scenes footage, web links, a photo gallery, and more. This one DVD contains more Udo than anyone could possibly ever ask for. So while the packaging suffers, the discs contained more than make up for it. "Nailed To Metal - The Complete History" is a killer collection!

Nailed to Metal U.D.O. - Nailed to Metal-The Missing Tracks (AFM) 2003

1. "Holy" (5:16)
2. "Raiders Of Beyond" (4:11)
3. "Metal Heart" (5:40)
4. "X T C" (4:02)
5. "drum solo - Lorenzo Milani" (4:26)
6. "Fast As A Shark" (4:06)
7. "Princess Of The Dawn" (8:00)
8. "Restless And Wild" (4:21)
9. "Thunder In The Tower" (4:52)
10. "Hard Attack" (6:22)
11. "Balls To The Wall" (8:48)

Udo has long been one of my favorite metal singers. His charasmatic snarl is immediately recongizable. Both his bands have released some stellar material. Much of that material is included on this live CD. "Nailed to Metal" is the single disc version of "Nailed To Metal - The Complete History" box set and contains tracks recorded for the "Live In Russia" CD and not used. As such, you'd think the material would be less than stellar. Not so! Actually many of Udo's biggest hits were purposely left of the "Live in Russia" CD to make room for more obscure, fan favorites. As such, "Nailed to Metal" includes such metal staples as "Metal Heart", "Balls to the Wall", "Princess of the Dawn" and "Fast As a Shark." It also contains some fantastic U.D.O. solo tunes, including "Holy", "Raiders & Beyond" and the excellent "Thunder in the Tower". The addition of "X-T-C" was also very cool. This was a song is from "Eat the Heat", the only Accept album to not feature Udo on vocals. As much as I like that studio version, this live version blows the original away. For a live album, this is very well recorded album. The songs are beefy and energetic, the guitar tone is excellent, every instrument can be clearly heard and Udo is in top form. There is very little crowd noise except for where it is needed. "Nailed to Metal" is a fine live album.

Thundervision U.D.O. - Thundervision Mini-DVD (AFM Records) 2004

1. "Thunderball" [video]
2. "The Arbiter" [video]
3. "Trainride in Russia" [video]
4. "Dancing with an Angel" [video]
5. "Making of "Thundervision"
6. Exclusive UDO interview with Andreas Schöwe (Metal Hammer)
7. Multimedia section (including photo gallery and album preview)
8. "Thunderball"
9. "The Arbiter"
10. "Free and Rebellion"
11. "Run!"

A prerelease EP for the "Thunderball" but instead of just releasing a few songs on a CD, the good people in U.D.O. and at AFM decided to release a DVD that features videos from the new CD, as well as the "Dancing with an Angel" video with Doro. Tracks 8-11 are audio tracks. Tracks 8 and 9 will appear on the album, while "Free and Rebellion" and "Run!" are exclusive to this disc. On top of the videos and audio tracks there is a photo gallery, interviews and a video showing the band in the studio recording "Thunderball" Plus, you gotta love the cover of Udo, the man with the silver mic.

Thunderball U.D.O. - Thunderball (AFM Records) 2004

1. Thunderball (3:53)
2. The Arbiter (4:07)
3. Pull The Trigger (4:34)
4. Fistful Of Anger (3:11)
5. The Land Of Midnight Sun (5:18)
6. Hell Bites Back (3:09)
7. Trainride In Russia (4:45)
8. The Bullet And The Bomb (3:58)
9. The Magic Mirror (4:56)
10. Tough Luck II (3:36)
11. Blind Eyes (4:19)
BONUS DISC
12. Hardcore Lover (4:50)
13. Trainride in Russia [alternative] (4:45)
14. Blind Eyes [video]

Stefan Kauffmann '04

U.D.O. have got to be one of the most underrated metal bands in the world. While they may have gained some popularity in Russia and their homeland Germany, they are almost unheard of here in the U.S. That is truly sad because they just continue to crank out killer albums year after year. "Thunderball" is no exception. As with each U.D.O. CD since the second breakup of Accept, "Thunderball" dominated my CD player for weeks, if not months, after it came out. Call me an U.D.O. fanatic, or whatever, but I just find Dirkschneider's sneering howl and the band's vicious metal attack to be infectious. The lineup has pretty much stayed consistent since 1999 with Dirkschneider and Kaufmann being the main writers. "Thunderball" starts off with the title track, which is a fast, almost speed metal number. With the last couple of U.D.O. discs, the first two songs almost seem to be connected, and this disc is no exception. The title tracks leads right into a mid-paced romp called "The Arbiter" that will have your head banging within the first listen. This is true for most of the CD. "Pull the Trigger", "Feel the Anger" and "Tough Luck II" are all excellent, aggressive, pure heavy metal romps. "Trainride to Russia" is a bit of a departure and pays some homage to U.D.O.'s Russian fan base. This sing-along anthem adds a bit of variety to the disc and is influenced by traditional Russian music, and sung partially in Russian as well. "The Land of The Midnight Son" and "The Magic Mirror" are a melodic numbers that reminds me of something that might have appeared on Accept's "Metal Heart" album. Likewise, "The Bullet and the Bomb" reminds me of old Accept, although more fitting of the slightly heavier "Balls to the Wall" album. The disc finishes off with the emotional ballad titled "Blind Eyes". My limited edition digi-book pressing also features a bonus disc that includes the video for "Blind Eyes", as well as the bonus track "Hardcore Lover".

24/7 U.D.O. - 24/7 (AFM Records) 2005

1. 24/7" (3:57)
2. "Mean Streets" [single version] (3:37)
3. "Scream Killers" (3:53)
4. "Number For A Number" (4:18)
5. "Hardcore Lover" (4:44)
6. multimedia extras

Udo freakin' rules! That's all anyone needs to know. 24/7 continues down similar heavy metal paths as past U.D.O. CDs, but then that is exactly what we expect from 'ol Udo and Company. Here the band offers up five new songs, four of which are suppose to be exclusive to this EP. (I'm reviewing this prior to "Mission No. X" being released.) "24/7", the first single from the upcoming album, starts things off. This song sounds like it easily could have fit onto Accept's "Metal Heart". This song is heavy, yet melodic and features the meanest, nastiest vocals that Udo has ever offered up. Within two listens I am already singing along with the gang vocals in the chorus. "Number for a Number" continues with yet another mid-paced heavy metal romp. This song sounds a bit more like the more recent U.D.O. material, as does the next song "Scream Killers", which picks up the tempo a bit. "Hardcore Lover" finishes things off with one final, head-banging heavy metal romp. This track was actually already released as a bonus track on "Thunderball". The guitar solo in this song is so stinkin' cool. It's hard to describe in words, but some adjectives to describe it are bombastic, noisy and explosive. The multimedia extras weren't much to speak of. All I saw was a bunch of U.D.O. wallpaper. However, it's the music that matter here and "24/7" is an excellent teaser EP. I can't wait for the full length CD in September.

Mission No. X U.D.O. - Mission No. X ( AFM Records) 2005

1. The Embarkation [instrumental] (1:30)
2. Mission No. X (4:07)
3. 24/7 (3:57)
4. Mean Streets (4:20)
5. Primecrime On Primetime (5:07)
6. Eye Of The Eagle (3:55)
7. Shell Shock Fever (3:53)
8. Stone Hard (4:20)
9. Breaking Down the Borders (3:19)
10. Cry Soldier Cry (5:15)
11. Way Of Life (3:39)
12. Mad For Crazy (3:47)

In case the above reviews don't make it abundantly clear, I think U.D.O. rules! This band is one of the most underrated bands in metal and each and every U.D.O. release is easily as good as Udo's highly respected Accept. If nothing else, Udo is to be respected for his consistency, dilegence and his love of metal. "Mission No. X" is no exception. It is yet another high quality heavy metal release with a ton of memorable material. True German steel forged by the hands of Mr. Dirkschneider and his band of metal cohorts. As has been the case with past releases, the guitar work is stellar and features some nice dual guitar parts. As is the norm for U.D.O., each tune possesses an undeniable hook and the songs vary from fast, speedy numbers to more mid-paced grooves. Suprisingly two of the albums standout tracks are moving ballads, "Eye of the Eagle" and "Cry Soldier Cry", which is reminiscent of Accept's "Winter Dreams". Otherwise we have solid, heavy numbers like "24/7", Mean Streets" and "Primecrime On Primetime", a song about violence on television. "Way of Life" is a great song as well, but also appeared on "No Limits". Udo's shrill vocals still sound great as they ever did. He hasn't lost anything with age. I can't say for sure whether or not I think "Mission No. X" tops "Thunderball". What I can say is that I am glad U.D.O. is still out there putting out solid heavy metal albums. There are bands out there that stick to their musical guns but begin to sound stale. Not so with Udo. He's been cranking out his brand of German steel for decades and still sounds as fresh as the day I first heard "Restless and Wild" in the 80's. Now we just need them to come to the U.S. to do a tour. C'mon guys, we haven't seen you since the "Holy" tour with Saxon.

The limited edition CD includes enhanced multimedia portion featuring a video for Mean Streets and wallpaper and is packaged in a handsome, black, foil stamped jewel case and is pressed on black CDs.

U.D.O. - The Wrong Side of Midnight (AFM) 2007

1. "The Wrong Side of Midnight" [Single Version] (3:58)
2. "The Wrong Side of Midnight" [Album Version] (4:54)
3. "Streets of Sin" (3:03)
4. "Man a King Ruler" (3:34)
5. "Cry Soldier Cry" [Russian Version] (5:50)

A pre-release EP to get people salivating for the new U.D.O. CD. The new single, "The Wrong Side of Midnight" is prime U.D.O. It's a mid-paced rocker with a hooky, sing-along chorus. "Streets of Sin" and "Man A King Ruler" are both non-album tracks are are also quite good. If these were the throw-away tracks from "Mastercutor" I can only imagine how good the album tracks will be. The Russian version of "Cry Soldier Cry" will appear on the Russian version of "Mastercutor".

Mastercutor U.D.O. - Mastercutor (AFM Records) 2007

1. Mastercutor (5:17)
2. The Wrong Side of Midnight (4:54)
3. The Instigator (3:47)
4. One Lone Voice (4:20)
5. We Do - For You (4:03)
6. Walker of the Dark (5:00)
7. Master of Disaster (4:14)
8. Tears of a Clown (3:53)
9. Vendetta (4:11)
10. The Devil Walks Alone (3:21)
11. Dead Man's Eyes (4:26)
12. Crash Bang Crash (3:06)

Much like Motorhead and AC/DC, U.D.O. know what they do and they do it well. They don't sway into other styles or experiment with their sound. U.D.O. is instantly recognizable as U.D.O., or Accept. In other words, you know exactly what to expect from U.D.O. With "Mastercutor", U.D.O.'s 11th studio album, they have once again delivered the goods. Yes, this is yet another high quality, traditional metal album with a lot of hooks and Dirkschneider's trademark vocals. After a very short introduction, the album starts off with a furious heavy metal romp that doesn't really let up until the ballad "One Lone Voice". That is not to say that everything sounds the same. The opening title track is heavy traditional metal, whereas, "The Wrong Side of Midnight" is a bit more melodic and commercially accessible. Both songs have a great hook. Each and every song stands on it's own with a variety of different styles and tempos. No, U.D.O. are not attempting to break any new ground. They are not incorporating symphonies, nor are they trying to play faster or more technical than the next band. They are not breaking new ground whatsoever, but who wants them to? U.D.O. are a heavy metal machine. In "We Do - For You" Udo proudly proclaims that he continues to fly his metal banner for his dedicated fans. "Mastercutor" is indeed a worthy addition to this fan's collection.

Mastercutor Alive U.D.O. - Mastercutor Alive (Metal Mind)

DISC ONE (CD)
1.    Mastercutor (5:28)
2.    24/7 (3:57)
3.    They Want War  (4:51)
4.    The Bullet And The Bomb  (3:55)
5.    Midnight Mover (3:17)
6.    Vendetta  (4:05)
7.    Mission No. X (4:30)
8.    Midnight Highway (4:10)
9.    The Wrong Side Of Midnight  (4:36)
10.  Breaker (4:09)
11.  Guitar Solo (5:22)   
12.  Princess Of The Dawn (9:57)
13.  One Lone Voice  (4:32)
14.  Winterdreams  (5:25)

DISC TWO (CD)
1.    Living For Tonite  (4:00)
2.    Thunderball (4:12)
3.    Drum Solo (4:27)
4.    Man And Machine (5:53)
5.    Animal House (3:48)
6.    Metal Heart (10:09)
7.    Holy (5:30)
8.    Balls To The Wall (15:04)
9.    Fast As A Shark (4:29)
10.  Burning (9:32)
11.  Outro (1:12)    
12.  I'm A Rebel (4:31)
DISC THREE (DVD)
1.   Mastercutor
2.   24-7
3.   They Want War
4.   Bullet and the Bomb
5.   Midnight Mover
6.   Vendetta
7.   Mission No. X
8.   Midnight Highway
9.   Wrong Side of Midnight
10. Breaker
11. Guitar Solo
12. Princess of the Dawn
13. One Lone Voice
14. Winterdreams
15. Living for Tonite
16. Thunderball
17. Drum Solo
18. Man and Machine
19. Animal House
20. Metal Heart
21. Holy
22. Balls to the Wall
23. Fast as a Shark
24. Burning
25. Outro
26. I'm a Rebel

It's become popular in recent years for metal legends to release live album after live album. Udo Dirkschneider is indeed a metal lengend and this is U.D.O.’s third live album. U.D.O. has been around now for over twenty years and shows no signs of letting up. This live box set, featuring 2 CDs and a DVD is a great testimony to this band's legacy. Of course, Accept is a large part of Udo Dirkschneider’s success and past as well. It’s unfortunate that most see U.D.O. as secondary to Accept. It’s my opinion that the U.D.O. catalog overall is more solid and enjoyable than Accept’s catalog as a whole. Actually, U.D.O. is the continuation of the mighty Accept.  "Mastercutor Alive" was recorded live at Tuttligen, Germany in May of 2008. Having seen U.D.O. live in the past, I can testify that the band is extremely tight live, and this live CD is no exception.

The tracklisting of this lengthy concert is filled with both U.D.O. And Accept material. Even though U.D.O. itself has enough strong material to fill up a two hour show, Udo gives the fans what they want. There are a total of eleven songs from the Accept’s rich history. Among those, it is very cool that Udo and  fellow Accept comrade Stefan Kaufmann drug out some long forgotten classics such as "Winterdreams" or "Burning". The crowd obviously agrees with this sentiment as they warmly and loudly welcome the songs in the setlist. The rest of the set-list is filled up with a good spattering of songs from the entire U.D.O. Catalog, with an obvious extra nod to the "Mastercutor" album. As would be expected, some of his more well known songs from both Accept and U.D.O. are here that also showed up on "Live from Russia"; "Animal House", "Holy", "Fast As A Shark", "Balls to the Wall", "Metal Heart", etc. However, there is also a wealth of material that was not on previous live releases. "Mastercutor", "24/7", "The Wrong Side Of Midnight", "They Want War" are all presented here as well.

The entire set is high energy and captures that live spirit that is unattainable in the studio, especially in the modern days of digital recording. Udo’s harsh troll-like heavy metal voice is in fine shape. He is one of my all time favorite metal singers and he sounds as good in 2008 as he did in 1988. As with any successful live album, the crowd interaction is important to the overall feel of the album as well. The European crowds love their metal and the love U.D.O. Hearing the crowd sing the entire middle portion of "Metal Heart" without any instruments at all, then repeating it again at the end of the song was awe inspiring and I am sure it was a big kick for the band to hear as well. As well, when the audience starts singing the opening for "Fast As A Shark" over and over again until Udo comes out screaming, it’s simply outstanding. Bands feed off this sort of energy on stage.

U.D.O. is metal! "Mastercutor Alive" is an excellent testimony to his legacy.

This one has been released in several different varieties, including as a 2 DVD set, a 2 CD set and the 3 disc box listed above.

Infected U.D.O. - Infected (AFM Records) 2009

1.    Infected (3:36)
2.    Systematic Madness (3:34)
3.    Bodyworld (4:44)
4.    Platchet Soldat [remix] (5:50)
5.    Poezd Po Rossii [live] (6:33)

"Infected" is the pre-release EP for U.D.O.’s "Dominator" CD. The title track is one of the more upbeat metal romps that will also be on the forthcoming album. The follow-up songs are suppose to be exclusive to this EP. It’s almost a shame that these songs are on a limited edition EP, as this means these song will most likely be forgotten about and not played live. (The EP is limited to only 2222 pieces worldwide.) Both "Systematic Madness" and "Bodyworld" are prime German heavy metal. All three songs have a very sterile, digital sounding guitar tone that give the songs a slight industrial tinge, though I don’t think that was intentional whatsoever.

Track’s 4 & 5 are both obviously U.D.O.s way of paying tribute to the band’s Russian fan base. Both songs are sung in Russian, the second being recorded live in Russia. "Platchet Soldat" is a new version of the melodic "Cry Soldier Cry" from the "Mission No. X" CD.  This version features an accordion, yet still upholds the spirit of the original. The live version of "Poezd Po Rossii", originally titled in English "Trainride to Russia is chock full of audience participation. Obviously these songs are meant for fun, and since this is a special edition EP, oddball tracks like this are welcome. (thanks Olaf)

Dominator U.D.O. - Dominator (AFM Records) 2009

1.    The Bogeyman (4:03)
2.    Dominator (4:44)
3.    Black And White (4:08)
4.    Infected  (3:36)
5.    Heavy Metal Heaven (4:20)
6.    Doom Ride (5:21)
7.    Stillness Of Time (6:31)
8.    Devil's Rendezvous (3:35)
9.    Pleasure In The Darkroom (4:20)
10.  Speed Demon (4:04)
11.  Whispers In The Dark (4:26)

Neck snapping, fist pumping, head banging...U.D.O. is heavy metal! "Dominator" is U.D.O.’s 12th studio album and the metal still flows and heavy and as proud as it did in 1987. (Oddly enough W.A.S.P. also released a CD titled "Dominator" in 2009.) "Dominator" picks up where "Mastercutor" left off. Of course, that goes without saying. U.D.O. is one of those bands like Motorhead that you just expect to continue forge ahead without worries of trends.  The title track, "Infected" and "Speed Demon” all sound like classic German heavy metal. However, these are not even necessarily the best tacks on the album. The slow grind of "Black and White" recall the glory days of Accept. "Heavy Metal Heaven" is exactly as the title suggests. The song starts off with a barrage of drums before breaking into an anthem that just begs for a live crowd to bang along to. "Stillness Of Time" is a more melodic number that would have fit on "Metal Heart". "Devil's Rendezvous" is the odd man out, riding a line between power metal, folk and polka. A unique experiment for the band that actually works well. The album closes out with a ballad, which is nothing new to U.D.O. either.

Of course, the main focus of any U.D.O. album is the shrill, troll-like voice of Sir Udo Dirkschneider. His charismatic voice hasn’t lost a thing with age and is as shrill as ever. Frankly, Udo rules! Together with the sing-along, catchy choruses, it’s a mystery why U.D.O. Isn’t as popular as fellow German metallers The Scorpions, or bands like Priest and Maiden.

One odd thing about "Dominator" is the very digital sounding guitar tone that almost gives the album and industrial vibe. Blasphemy, I know! However, I didn’t really find it all that distracting and with repeated listens began to actually enjoy it. The album was produced by Udo’s brother in arms, and former Accept bandmate Stefan Kaufmann. Kaufmann also co-writes every song on this CD along with Udo. Longtime band mates Fitty Wienhold and Igor Gianola are now permanently cemented into this band’s history. U.D.O. may not be Accept, but frankly, I think they are every bit as good, if not better than Udo’s former band. "Dominator" is yet another stellar release in the solid U.D.O. Discography.

Leatherhead U.D.O. - Leatherhead (AFM) 2011

1. Leatherhead (4:09)
2. Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers (4:16)
3. Free Or Rebellion (4:44)
4. Jingle Balls [video clip]
5. Leatherhead [video clip]

Advance EP/CD for the forthcoming "Rev-Raptor" CD. Includes two album tracks, "Leatherhead" and "Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers". "Free Or Rebellion" is (was) exclusive to this CD. It's a heavy, classic metal track with a classic U.D.O. sound. There are also two video clips. "Jingle Balls" is a speed metal/thrash reinterpretation of the classic Christmas carol "Jingle Bells" and includes an excerpt of "Balls to the Wall". The animated video is amusing an complete with killer candy canes. Most of the song sounds nothing like U.D.O. and is definitely a joke song. The other video is a promo clip for the title track.

Rev-Raptor U.D.O. - Rev-Raptor (AFM Records) 2011

1.   Rev-Raptor (3:42)
2.   Leatherhead (4:09)
3.   Renegade (3:29)
4.   I Give As Good As I Get (4:19)
5.   Dr. Death (3:46)
6.   Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers (4:16)
7.   Terrorvision (3:59)
8.   Underworld (4:18)
9.   Pain Man (3:53)
10. Fairy Tales of Victory (4:00)
11. Motor-Borg (3:24)
12. True Born Winners (3:26)
13. Days of Hope and Glory (4:28)

Lucky number 13! For twenty-five years, under his faux-abbreviated, eponymous, solo band name, U.D.O. has cranked out one quality traditional heavy metal record after another. The oddly titled "Rev-Raptor" is his 13th released, contains 13 songs, and is still rooted in the same blueprint Udo helped create as the voice of the legendary Accept. As such, "Rev-Raptor" is exactly what we’ve all come to expect from Sir Udo & Co.

Most of "Rev-Raptor" consists of straight-forward heavy rockers like the title track, "Dr. Death" and the ultra-catchy "Renegade." "Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers" is a mid-paced, shout-along, anthem. There are also the more melodic tracks such as  the awkwardly titled "I Give As Good As I Get". It is a mid-tempo song with a nice, moody melody and a great guitar solo. "Underworld" is the melancholy number on the disc. The song wavers between a melodic ballad and a mid-paced heavy metal romp. Album closer "Days Of Hope And Glory" is a melodic song that also has a mixture of melodic, clean guitars and heavy, distortion-infused riffs.

Udo Dirkschneider’s infamous snarl is still as nasty and cantankerous as ever. His voice is most certainly one of the most recognizable in heavy metal circles. He gives each and every song a charm and charisma that is all his own. Also, the longtime U.D.O. guitar tandem of Stefan Kaufmann and Igor Gianola continue to impress with their inventive licks and riffs. In particular "Terrorvision" and "Underworld" have some tasty guitar solos. Being a long-time fan of this band, I find the songwriting and performance on "Rev-Raptor" to be every bit as good as the band's back catalog.

However, my one negative criticism is the very cold, mechanical and downright digital recording and production. In particular, the buzzy, digital guitar tones from "Dominator" has been carried over to "Rev-Raptor". I have no doubt in my mind that a guitar amp was never even turned on during the recording of this album. There is nothing necessarily wrong with recording this way, but I think  there are far better, beefier, warmer guitar tones. Overall, "Rev-Raptor" sounds very mechanical, which may have been intentional to go along with the band's cybernetic mascot and mechanical album cover art. Still, I find to be slightly less enjoyable than if the they would have had a heavier guitar tone and a warmer overall mix.

Despite my criticism, I find that "Rev-Raptor" ends up being a slightly better album than "Dominator" due to being a more solid, memorable album from beginning to end. "Rev-Raptor" is a fantastic album full of German-flavored, traditional heavy metal and is another fine album to add to the Udo legacy. I'm always glad to have some new U.D.O.. As usual a new U.D.O. disc tends to get a lot of playtime from this longtime fanatic.

The limited digipack version of the album comes with 2 bonus tracks, and 2 music videos. Unfortunately I ended up with the regular version of the CD. So, I am still on the hunt for the special-edition European version with the bonus tracks.

Celebrator U.D.O. - Celebrator (AFM) 2012

DISC ONE
1. Stormbreaker ("Rev-Raptor" Japan Bonus) (3:28)
2. Tallyman (Taken from the "Rev-Raptor" recording session) (4:21)
3. Run! (Remix) (6:36)
4. Free Or Rebellion (Bonus "Leatherhead" Single) (4:44)
5. Bleeding Heart ("Dominator" Japan Bonus) (2:57)
6. The Silencer (Taken from the "Dominator" recording session) (4:22)
7. Bodyworld (Bonus "Infected" Single) (4:44)
8. Systematic Madness (b-side "Infected" Single) (3:33)
9. Head Over Heels (Hammerall feat. Udo Dirkschneider) (4:35)
10. Balls To The Wall (Piano Version) (3:46)
11. Artificialized (Taken from the "Mastercutor" recording session) (4:09)
12. They Only Come Out At Night (Lordi feat. Udo Dirkschneider) (3:41)
13. Streets Of Sin (Bonus "Wrong Side Of Midnight" Single) (3:04)
DISC TWO
1. Tears Of A Clown ("Classical Version") (4:18)
2. Man A King Ruler ("Mastercutor" Japan Bonus) (3:34)
3. Hardcore Lover (Remix from "24/7" - Single)  (4:46)
4. Scream Killers (Bonus "24/7" Single) (4:18)
5. Platchet Soldat (Remix featuring Faktor2) (5:50)
6. Borderline ("Thunderball" Japan Bonus) (4:12)
7. Dancing With An Angel (Remix featuring Doro)  (4:32)
8. X-T-C (Remix from "A Tribute To ACCEPT Vol. 2") (3:52)
9. Azrael (Remix from "No Limits") (5:31)
10. The Key (Remix from "No Limits" Japan Bonus) (4:06)
11. Metal Gods (from "A Tribute To Judas Priest")  (4:08)
12. Born to be Wild (Raven w/ Udo Dirkschneider)  (3:27)

Udo Dirkschneider is a heavy metal legend. He is turning 60 year old this year and is still kicking ass like he did when he was in his 20's. He is one of the main influences in heavy metal, from his legendary band Accept to his solo band U.D.O.. With this band Udo Dirkschneider has released some thirteen albums. No small feat for any band. U.D.O. is celebrating 25 years together with the release of "Celebrator", a two-disc, odds-n-sods collection culled from the band's entire existence, though focusing heavily on the last decade or so. There are some older songs such as "Azreal" and "The Key" from "No Limit". There is a song each dating back to "Solid".

As might be expected from a package like this, there is all sorts of odd material. The collections features unreleased tracks, b-sides, bonus tracks, some remixed versions and songs off European EPs. This isn't a typical 'best of' collection. There are a ton of killer metal tracks here that easily could have been album songs, such as "Stormbreaker", "Borderline", "Man A King Ruler" and "Bleeding Heart". Actually, I'm not sure why "Stormbreaker" wasn't included on "Rev-Raptor" as it's easily as good as, or better than some of the material on that album. U.D.O. has never been shy about doing ballads, but there are several scattered throughout this disc. "Run!" is a lengthy ballad but not sappy in the slightest. There is a remixed version of Udo's duet with metal princess Doro "Dancing With An Angel". It's a glorious song with Sir Udo's shrill voice dueling with Doro's smooth pipes. "The Silencer" was recorded during the "Dominator" sessions and is a sedate power ballad. "Tears of a Clown" is another ballad from the collection worth mentioning.

There are a few Accept oddities here, including an acoustic, piano version of "Balls to the Wall", a cover of "Head Over Heels" and a version of the Udo-less Accept number "X-T-C". If ever there was a song that screamed heavy guitars and pounding drums, it's "Balls to the Wall". Who ever would of imagined this as a delightful piano ballad, yet somehow it works and is oddly amusing. "X-T-C" is easily one of the standout cuts on this collection. Originally recorded by Accept in 1989 with David Reece behind the mic, this new version is vicious, heavy and probably how it should have sounded like back in '89. The "Head Over Heels" cover is by Hammerfall and features their vocalist trading off vocals with Udo. U.D.O.'s cover of Judas Priest's "Metal Gods" is a classic, though I think I prefer the original mix to this remix. Album closer "Born to Be Wild", a Steppenwolf cover, is performed by Raven with John Gallagher and Udo trading off screaming. There is no better cover of the classic biker anthem than this NWOBHM classic. "They Only Come Out At Night" is a nice inclusion as well. This Lordi song is another to feature Udo trading off vocals with the beast from Lordi.

The fact that I own most everything U.D.O. has released, I still found this collection to be a nice addition to my collection. The two CD set is wrapped in a six-panel digi and also includes a booklet with a lengthy essay from Udo himself.

Steelhammer U.D.O. - Steelhammer (AFM) 2013

1. Steelhammer (3:24)
2. A Cry of a Nation (5:41)
3. Metal Machine (4:46)
4. Basta Ya (4:33)
5. Heavy Rain (2:25)
6. Devil's Bite (5:06)
7. Death Ride (4:09)
8. King of Mean (4:07)
9. Time Keeper  (4:26)
10. Never Cross My Way (4:23)
11. Take My Medicine (5:08)
12. Stay True (4:05)
13. When Love Becomes a Lie (4:13)
14. Book of Faith (5:15)

Like a Duracell battery, U.D.O. is the band that never quits. Year after year they deliver solid, traditional heavy metal. As with past albums, "Steelhammer" is split between fast and mid-tempo numbers, with the few oddball slower tracks or novelty tracks. The title track is a speedy rocker with Udo Dirkschneider signature, raspy snarl in fine form. From there you get a foray into vintage Accept style Teutonic heavy metal with the slower  "A Cry of a Nation", and a Spanish language track called "Basta Ya" which has a memorable, anthemic quality and an anti-terror message. "Heavy Rain" is the odd slower number. The short ballad features a piano and some orchestration and Udo singing with his thick German accent. I couldn't help but smile when I heard this track and wonder how Sir Dirkschneider would hold up on one of those ridiculous singing shows like The Voice or Idol. (Haha!) "Devil's Bite" moves slightly outside the normal U.D.O. realm with some keyboards that work for the song in much the same way the keys worked in Dio's classic "Rainbow in the Dark". It's a hooky song with heavy riffs and pounding drums. Another standout track is "King of Mean", with a title that depicts Udo's nasty snarl perfectly. 

Where "Steelhammer" excels where the last couple of U.D.O. records did not is in the production. I described the production on "Rev-Raptor" as being "mechanical and downright digital recording and production". On "Steelhammer" the guitars are crunchy, as opposed to buzzy, and the mix is pitch perfect and the whole thing just sound fantastic. It is overall a warmer recording. It had me banging my head from the very first listen. 

"Steelhammer" is probably my favorite U.D.O. release since "Thunderball" or "Mastercutor". It's heavy! It's U.D.O.!

Related Collections:
Accept | Warlock | Bullet

U.D.O.

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