2009COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Udo Dirkschneider - vocals * Stefan Kaufmann - guitars * Igor Gianola - guitars * Fitty Weinhold - bass * Francesco Jovino - drums * Guest Musician: Mathias Dieth - guitars on 'Devil's Rendezvous'.TRACK LISTING:
01 The Bogeyman * 02 Dominator * 03 Black And White * 04 Infected * 05 Heavy Metal Heaven * 06 Doom Ride * 07 Stillness Of Time * 08 Devil's Rendezvous * 09 Speed Demon * 10 Whispers In The DarkRATING: WEBLINKS: www.udo-online.de
It says something for Udo's devotion to his band that he eschewed another Accept
reunion in order to devote all his attention to the future of U.D.O., who are back on the scene once again, with their fifth studio album of the decade, 'Dominator', which follows in the wake of 2007's 'Mastercutor'. Udo has managed to maintain a consistent lineup over the years, with this version of the band existing since 2004's 'Thunderball'. Time changes nothing for Udo and his cohorts with this album further continuing U.D.O.'s tried and tested heavy metal heroics that began way back with 1987's 'Animal House'.
If you've heard any of U.D.O.'s previous 11 albums then you should know what to expect here sound wise, Udo's shrieking vocals, a multitude of razor sharp riffs and paens to heavy metal. And 'Dominator' does not disappoint. 'The Bogeyman' opens things up in typical anthemic style, nothing exceptional, but riff wise it certainly makes the cut. The title track pounds away in heavy fashion with Udo's vocals as powerful as they were in 1982. It's all been heard before but this type of metal isn't exactly common these days so take it while you can. 'Black And White' sounds like a leftover from 1990's 'Faceless World' and 'Infected' adds some welcome speed with the ever present Teutonic backing vocals stamping their trademark all over the track. 'Heavy Metal Heaven' raises a few nostalgic grins with its lyrics about the power of metal and the soaring hook puts Manowar
to shame. It's been a while since I heard an anthem like this and I listened in disbelief....in a good way! Udo still has time for slower, ballad type tracks, with 'Stillness Of Time'' another metal epic that could have also come from the late 80's. Keyboards are present in the mix and this has definite AOR attributes, with the guitar work recalling Iron Maiden
's 'Somewhere In Time' era. One to hear indeed. Off the beaten track is 'Devil's Rendezvous', which toys with some offbeat rhythms much like 'Cut Me Out' did from 1999's 'Holy'. Hard to categorize, especially with the upbeat tempo, but listenable all the same. 'Pleasure In The Darkroom' offers some sinister lyrical content, but melodically it sounds like 100 other U.D.O. songs that have come and gone over the years. Thankfully there's one true piece of all out metal savagery, 'Speed Demon' living up to the title, moving at thrash speeds and a track Accept
would probably be happy to use. The album ends with a whimper, 'Whispers In The Dark' a ballad featuring strings, piano and acoustic guitar along the way. Passable but doesn't leave me wanting to hear it again.
A positive effort from Udo and once again he has managed to produce a consistent set of metal, which has been his trade this decade, with none of his albums being anything less than excellent. The man is a metal legend and on the basis of the material here he has no reason to join Accept
, who instead recruited ex TT Quick
vocalist Mark Tornillo to replace him. It's not faultless, but another solid addition to U.D.O's prolific canon of work.
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