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On disc: U.D.O.

Live From Russland - Volker Raabe - 10 stars
Nailed To Metal - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
The Wrong Side Of Midnight - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Infected - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Infected - Jörg Petersen - 7 stars
Dominator - Lars Bjørn - 8 stars
Dominator - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Leatherhead - Lars Bjørn - 9 stars
Rev-Raptor - Lars Bjørn - 10 stars
Celebrator - Lars Bjørn - 8 stars
Live In Sofia - Lars Bjørn - 7 stars

Live In Sofia

Live In Sofia
(AFM Records - 2012)

I miss the times when U.D.O. performed songs like Holy, London Leatherboys, Mastercutor in their concerts, but you can't be grumpy and dwell in the past. The metal masters U.D.O. has made a new double CD with songs from their concert in Sofia in 2012, and the production is a success, sound quality fits the high standards, and 23 songs is a good bowl to swallow. They have just done another album in 2012, Celebrator, so there is no time for U.D.O. fans to fall asleep as the live album is coming their way. This is also the last album where Stefan Kaufmann did the guitars, he left the band because of health problems, but will still continue to help with production etc. Their new guitarist has to get up early in the morning if he should have a chance to fill the shoes of Stefan Kaufmann, thanks for many good moments, concerts, interviews.

Of the 23 songs on the double album I think that Rev Raptor opens the show with a thrilling slow intro and later exploding into a tight kind metal where you can't press a coin inside. Dominator is not the most well known U.D.O. song, but on this album the live version just has this energy and determination to make it one of the best songs on the entire album. Independence Day from the Solid album has become one of U.D.O.'s true concert songs, there is a great contact with the crowd, and Udo's voice is as strong as ever. Another older song is Heart Of Gold from Faceless World, and also here the contact with the crowd is outstanding, not so often we get Heart Of Gold in concert, but it was very welcomed. It's very difficult to avoid Princess Of The Dawn at the concerts, because here is a song that was almost created to be played live, guitars of sublimity, and lots of body in the creative performance from U.D.O. Living On A Frontline springs Fitty forward with a great bass solo and the rest of the song is stamped home by Udo's singing and ruling. Metal Heart is also guaranteed on the set list, and a special intro saves another good moment, the rest of the song is as usual in a class of its own.

But everything is not red and shiny, several songs were played without the right feeling, the heart missing a little bit, songs like Neonnights, Vendetta, Up To The Limit, Burning, and disappointing Balls To The Wall, first time I have heard that song without much metal spirit.
A concert of good and sorrow, but mostly good.

Track List:

Rev Raptor
Independence Day
Screaming For A Love Bite
Heart Of Gold
Princess Of The Dawn
I Give As Good As I Get
Break The Rules
Man And Machine
Drum solo
Living On A Frontline
Up To The Limit
Two Faced Woman
Metal Heart
The Bogeyman
I'm A Rebel
Balls To The Wall

7 stars

Lars Bjørn



(AFM Records - 2012)

Most metal fans have heard about Udo Dirkschneider and how he played with Accept and now he has reached 25 years with the band U.D.O. which he formed in 1987, where the line-up was Dirkschneider, Peter Szigeti, Mathias Dieth, Frank Rittel and Thomas Franke. 25 songs on a double CD to mark the 25 years anniversary, and mainly the songs are a remix of the originals, there are guest performances as Hammerfall features on Head Over Heels, Faktor 2 are with U.D.O. on the song Platchet Soldat, Doro sings a duet with Udo on Dancing With An Angel, and on the only misplaced song on the album Raven features on the old Steppenwolf song Born To Be Wild.

Now the line-up in the band is Dirkschneider, Kaufmann, Gianola, Wienhold and Jovino, they are a tight unit and their new album is a fine mix of rare songs, old and new. Run is the brilliant soft and melodic ballad with the great solo in the end of the song. Bleeding Heart is a typical U.D.O. song, humoristic and filled with usual U.D.O. tempo. The Silencer goes into the sound from 90's in a relaxed style. Bodyworld has a lot of good creativity, steady and fast rhythm. Systematic Madness is pure power metal in a pumping 80's style. Head Over Heels is the old Accept song that comes to new life with Hammerfall, Joakim Cans sings in the first part of the song, and Udo joins in halfway in this fantastic hitter from Accept's heydays in the 80's. Balls To The Wall sounded great in 1983, has been one of Accept's and also U.D.O.'s biggest songs during concerts, and now they do the song in a version with piano and cello where Udo sings in a very relaxed way, different but absolutely OK. Tears Of A Clown is a orchestra version with cello and much more piano than on the original song from U.D.O. Platchet Soldat is the song in Russian language where the nice outro is used in the beginning and the middle of the song, gives another dimension to that song, which was originally known as Cry Soldier Cry. One of the underrated songs that U.D.O. has made is Borderline, and here we get it in a version where the power is turned up a bit, and that benefits the song very much. There are also room for a cover version of Judas Priest song Metal Gods, and the song is actually alright, but it is better when Rob Halford performs it.

But a double CD with 25 songs and a lot of joy is what you get from U.D.O. this time.

CD 1
Stormbreaker (Remix)
Tallyman (Remix
) Run! (Remix)
Free Or Rebellion (Remix)
Bleeding Heart
The Silencer
Bodyworld (Remix)
Systematic Madness (Remix)
Head Over Heels (w/ Hammerfall)
Balls To The Wall (piano version)
They Only Come Out At Night (w/ Lordi)
Streets Of Sin (Remix)

CD 2
Tears Of A Clown (orchestral version)
Man A King Ruler (Remix)
Hardcore Lover (Remix)
Scream Killers (Remix)
Planchet Soldat (feat. Faktor 2)
Dancing With An Angel (Remix)
X-T-C (Remix)
Azrael (Remix)
The Key (Remix)
Metal Gods
Born To Be Wild (w/ Raven)

8 stars

Lars Bjørn



(AFM Records - 2011)

Almost everybody in the metal universe has heard about U.D.O. they know who the little German are with his special voice, a voice that has been a symbol of German metal in 4 decades. When you have been around for that long it gives you an awesome experience, the question is just what you do with all those years under the belt. The albums from Accept and U.D.O. are high in numbers, and it's very rare that Udo Dirkschneider releases music without a genuine touch of professionalism, only a few songs have been of lesser quality, but they are few and far between. In recent years U.D.O. has been criticized for the album Mission No. X, but then they made their superb follow up album Mastercutor with world class songs. Unfortunately half of the songs on Mastercutor was of lower standard, but without ruining the album in whole. In 2009 the Dominator album came with much more power and happiness propped in the CD.

May, 2011, will the newest collection hit the streets, songs from Stefan Kaufmann and Udo Dirkschneider, the album called Rev-Raptor, and this time everything seems to have been prepared perfectly. Only song not totally ear-pleasing is Pain Man, all others just hit the spot with German sneering listenable heavy metal as the fans wants it to be. U.D.O. goes a little back in time to get inspiration from his earlier albums from the last 25 years, and the outcome it splendid. Leatherhead is early U.D.O. rock sound with good riffs and great timed vocals. The same goes for Rock'n'Roll Soldiers, also typical German metal in the U.D.O. style, and actually one of the best songs on this CD. The are 3 songs which are starting softly, but then increases strongly in intensity and power: I Give As Good As I Get, Underworld, and the very melodic Fairy Tales Of Victory. The two best songs are Dr. Death, a heavy rock tune with the gas pedal pressed solid to the floor and fits the U.D.O. sound perfectly. And another song to hit the absolute top is: Motor-Borg, a song little different from what to expected, but it's just U.D.O. nailed in their own unique universe, super perfect and worth the whole album. Days Of Hope And Glory ends this 13 songs cd, and it's a soft metal tune with great passion and of course spiced up with Udo's well-timed voice. Great album this time from U.D.O.

10 stars

Lars Bjørn


(AFM Records - 2011)

Just as you think that this small EP is just a teaser from the German veterans to warm up for the upcoming new full-length album, you get a surprise. A phony cover, a phony title, Leatherhead, how could this ever be good. I can only tell you one thing, listen to it, and the answer comes straight on: Udo with 40 years of metal experience has made 4 songs to pinpoint the entire Accept and U.D.O. career. Nothing less than that.

If Mr. Dirkschneider is beamed by the success that Accept has recently achieved with their recoming, or just wants to prove that he is still in the game is something that the fans could think about until they are blue in the face, but the fact is that U.D.O. have tried different type of songs during their long career, some passionate, some raw metal, brilliant, melodic, and I could go on forever. As long as Stefan Kaufmann teams up with Udo Dirkschneider the results are seldom disappointing, only question is: how good is it this time?

The first song is called Leatherhead, and the style is from mid 80's where Accept had their most inspirational period, combined with the first years of U.D.O. where the sounds and ideas were created and developed. The song Leatherhead is full of humor, head banging rhythms of relaxed guitars in the sublime professional way that symbolizes Udo Dirkschneider when he is at his top skills. Next is Rock'n'Roll Soldiers, a very melodic song, not so heard metal, but U.D.O. sound in this timeless finesse where they are untouchable at what they are doing. Free Or Rebellion is also classical German metal, more the style from their No Limits / Mean Machine era, just modified a little with a more melodic instrumental line of the song to reach that sound only U.D.O. can play in.

The last song can only be described as the best song U.D.O. has ever made, if it's possible to label it like this. Run, a soft ballad with beautiful piano and the focus laid on the vocal line and undertone guitars from Stefan Kaufman and Igor Gianola. Even though they have done this kind of songs before, Kaufmann is able to put glimpse of a new style into it. This kind of music you can never get tired of, if you are a true metal fan.

As Udo sings: "You had your chance to survive, but now it's too late. There is no way out, there is no place to hide."

I don't want to hide, I want to get my hands on that album as soon as I can run down to the record store.

9 of 10 stars, and this only because there is 4 songs, otherwise it would have been higher rated.

9 stars

Lars Bjørn


(AFM Records - 2009)

It does not take more than 2 years at the most before there is yet another album from German heavy rockers U.D.O.. The former lead singer Udo Dirkschneider from Accept has asked long-time companion Stefan Kaufmann to join him permanent in the band U.D.O. as lead guitarist. Luckily Kaufmann agreed, and the core of what we now know as U.D.O. was founded, many many years ago.

It is no secret that Udo Dirkschneider feels most safe and in control, when he has a stable group that he can rely on. Many changes has come to the band on the guitar side: Dieth, Szigeti, Graf, Gianola, Kaufmann. On the bass: Rittel, Smuszynski, Wienhold. Drums: Franke, Schwarzmann, Milani, Jovino. Now it seems he has the perfect line-up. The album Mission No. 10 from 2005 marked the 10 album aniversary, and U.D.O. was ready to take the next step. They wanted to make a new beginning, and a very special album Mastercutor was released in 2007 together with a new Mastercutor official fanclub. Surely a new beginning.

The new album, Dominator can not reach the heights as Mastercutor did, let me say that already now, but there are many good songs here anyway. Title song Dominator is a real good typical U.D.O. powerful action song with Udo at the steering wheel. Brings the headbanging and smiling. Black And White is mixing combinations with Udo's vocal width, perfectly split rhytm section between Stefan and Igor. Brilliant. Heavy Metal Heaven is a bit boring, but with a good chorus that will be a hit at the U.D.O. concerts. Doom Ride is a very, very heavy song, real quality, and in my eyes the best song of the Dominator album. Stillnes Of Time is a beautiful and symphonical song, that will surely be played on radio, but never reaches the setlist for the concerts. Whispers In The Dark is actually one of Udo's favourites of the album. It's a real U.D.O. ballad with orchestration and keyboards. The song has the character as early song Sweet Little Child, but has more maturity, more consistance.

8 stars



(AFM Records - 2009)

Udo Dirkschneider is presenting his 12th studio album since he started the band in 1987. And even if the line-up changed the band always stick to their roots.

A dark symphonic part leads into the first rocker The Bogeyman. A mid-paced track with sharp riffs, during the refrain they sound quite modern... They added a dash NDH. Good opener! Next in line the title track Dominator. A bit faster then the opener and with a refrain which reminds me slightly of Accept. For the first video they chose Black And White and so some might know this one already... Anyway, a mid-paced rocker with a stomping beat. Great guitar leads, but the guitar play of Igor Gianola and Stefan Kaufmann is always on a high level. The fast Infected was already released on the same named EP. Heavy Metal Heaven kicks off with tribal drums, then the others join in for an ultra heavy tune with a modern touch. The refrain is very Gamma Ray-ish and so shows another facet of U.D.O.!

If you expect Doom Ride to be a slow track, then you are wrong. It's another mid-tempo rocker. For Stillness Of Time they slow down and present a powerful balladesque tune with a heavy refrain. The song has a dark atmosphere, but the guitar lead seems to light up the darkness. Like the lead in the outro is symphonic with piano and strings. Then they surprise you with the heavy rock'n'roll tune Devil's Rendezvous which is a danceable track. Something different, the a cappella part reminds me slightly of Stray Cats... Actually that's it, the song is like a heavy metal version of Stray Cats with Udo's typical vocals. And then they push down the accelerator! Speed Demon is a guitar-driven track with fast drumming and vocally it's a bit like Fast As A Shark... Last, but not least a piano-based balladesque song - again with string arrangement. Whispers In The Dark has a dark vibe and shows Mr. Dirkschneider emotional, but then it becomes a dark rocker with a balladesque edge. And slowly the song fades out with piano and acoustic guitars.

Udo Dirkschneider and his mates manage to offer an album which has the old trademarks, but also shows a new, a darker direction. The quintet adds some new elements to their sound without loosing their identity. Well done!

9 stars



(AFM Records - 2009)

EPs are pretty often released as an appetizer for a coming album - and that's the case here, too. But it's also interesting for fans and collectors, coz only the title track will be on the coming full-length album Dominator. There are 2 non-album tracks, a remix version and a live version. And it that isn't enough to convince you, then it's probably the fact that it's limited to 2,222 copies worldwide!

The first track is the title track Infected, a quite typical U.D.O. track. Fast riffing forcing them ahead, but the chorus is a bit anthem like. Live this one is an invitation to sing along and / or bang your head! Nice guitar play by Igor Gianola and Stefan Kaufmann. With Systematic Madness you get the first non-album track. They kick off slowly, but then the staccato riffing takes over. The chorus is repetitive and sounds a bit robotic... But a cool counter part to Udo's voice. A stomping beat is the basis for Bodyworld, another hymn-like heavy rocker - and quite typical for U.D.O.. Even if some guitar leads make sound them a bit different now... They remixed Platchet Soldat, a gesture to the Russian fans, coz here you get the song with Russian lyrics. Sounds interesting, reminds me slightly of some stuff I heard in the early 90's of Black Coffee and Aria... The closer is Poezd Po Rossii which was recorded in Moscow 2008. To me it sounds like a Russian song in a metallic version... Fun, and very cool!

If you be quick you might get a copy in the next CD store - or later for a few more bucks on Ebay! A must-buy for fans and a very interesting EP for heavy metal fans!

8 stars



(AFM Records - 2009)

I haven't followed Udo Dirkschneider lately, but I'm a vinyl and CD collector. The new U.D.O. EP Infected is limited to 2,222 copies worldwide, and that's a reason for me to get my hands on one copy!

Let me tell you first that the last two songs are a remix of Platchet Soldat and a live version called Poezd Po Rossii recorded last year in Moscow. It's interesting to hear Udo sing in Russian.

But let's talk about the other 3 tracks! Infected is the opener and the only one which will be at the new album Dominator. Infected is a fast, guitar-driven heavy metal tune with Udo Dirkschneider's significant vocals. And a catchy hook. Systematic Madness is based on sharp riffs, but has a different touch. The backings sound a bit automated, but that's used as an effect. The guitar sounds a bit Oriental... Nice guitars. A quite typical rocker is Bodyworld, this one could have been on any other U.D.O. album... Not a bad tune, but something you expect from U.D.O.!

Well, if you should get a chance to grab this one, then do it! Let's see what Dominator will bring us!

7 stars


The Wrong Side Of Midnight

The Wrong Side Of Midnight
(AFM Records - 2007)

With The Wrong Side Of Midnight the heavy metal fans get a first impression of U.D.O. 2007. This EP has 5 tracks including the single and the album version of The Wrong Side Of Midnight as well as some non-album tracks - talking about the European version - and the Russian version of Cry Soldier Cry - Platchet Soldier. Actually these tracks are the bonus tracks of the Japanese and Russian version of Mastercutor plus Streets Of Sin which won't be released on any album version.

The single version is about a minute shorter then the album version and again I question myself why there is a single and an album version, coz they don't differ much.... The Wrong Side Of Midnight is a heavy rocker with catchy chorus by a mighty choir, but gets due to a slight oriental touch a different vibe. During the bridge Udo Dirkschneider sounds very much like on old Accept days...But then the chorus and the oriental flair makes it differ. With Streets Of Sin they present a grooving riff monster. The following Man Of King Ruler is a bit different and closer to the Balls To The Wall era then to one of the last U.D.O. releases. Most interesting is probably the Russian version of Cry Soldier Cry off Mission X, coz we aren't used to Russian and so it's fascinating. The song fans of Mr. Dirkschneider will know, but in Russian it has something special. The anti war ballad is showing that almost 20 years after They Want War (Animal House) this topic is still red hot. And that Udo is still fighting against war.

8 stars


Nailed To Metal ...the missing tracks...

Nailed To Metal ...the missing tracks...
(AFM Records - 2003)

A live album of the voice of Accept and so it ain't necessary to introduce Mr. Dirkschneider to the metal fans. With Live In Russia the band already released a live album which was recorded in May 2001 at the end of the Holy world tour. Even if the release contains several old Accept classics like TV War, Heaven Is Hell and I'm A Rebel - just to mention a few - the fans complained that classics like Fast As A Shark, Balls To The Wall and Princess Of The Dawn were missing. Udo Dirkschneider and his partner in crime Stefan Kaufmann heard the call and so Nailed To Metal ...the missing tracks... was released to quench the thirst of the metal fans. This album is now presenting the missing classics. Songs like Metal Heart and Fast As A Shark sound as fresh as in the days of their release. It seems that the band won't get tired of playing them live again and again. I think it ain't necessary to talk about the band members and their talent, coz almost every metal fan - at least in Europe - saw them live once. Only drummer Lorenzo Milani should be mentioned, coz he had the chance in a more then 4 min. long drum solo to show his abilities. A quite good drummer. Special is the live atmosphere of this album - and the Live In Russia release - which is amazing. The thousands of Russian fans who sang along gives you shivers. Wow, this is killer!

For fans who already have the Live In Russia album this a way to complete it. For fans of the early Accept days, the days their classics saw the light of day this is probably enough to get a dose of Accept / U.D.O. metal.

It should be mentioned that this CD is also released in a CD/DVD package with the DVD - the DVD is also available without the CD - the DVD contains a complete history of U.D.O. as well as unreleased bonus songs, video clips and live footage. The DVD has a running time of 255 min.! In addition with the CD - the box set - it has more then 315 min. of metal!!!! What else can you ask for?!?!

9 stars


Live in Russland

Live From Russland
(Breaker/SPV - 2001)

CDs which are released in form of a book is in since Iced Earth released Horror Show that way. The new album of U.D.O. is called Live in Russland and is a double CD and a great booklet with tons of photos from the tour. It ain't necessary to talk about cult figure Udo Dirkschneider, coz he is 'Mr. Metal Germany' and is known by everybody who is listening to metal. Here is the track list for all the true metal fans: Holy, Midnight Mover, Animal House, Metal Eater, Break The Rules, Monster Man and many more... At all 25 songs and a drum solo! Now you know what you'll spend your money for this month!

And when I take a closer look, there isn't one Accept song which have been on an Accept live album. An album full of U.D.O.! Additionally you get the outstanding live atmosphere, reactions from the audience and a killer sound! A highlight for every die-hard U.D.O. fan! Get your copy now!

10 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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