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UDO: Celebrator - Rare Tracks
Think Udo Dirkschneider and you think Accpet. So it comes as quite a shock to realise that UDO the band are in the process of celebrating an amazing 25 years together. To commemorate the fact, the aptly titled Celebrator combines some of the band's rarest tracks from throughout the years, with remixed previous bonus tracks, b sides, collaborations and a trio of previously unreleased songs making for a whistle stop tour of what UDO the man and the band are all about. Famed for the classical styled pre-power metal, power metal Dirkschneider and Accept forged back in the day, UDO the band have seldom strayed too far from the bristling, Germanic metal that has served the test of time so well. However, as this collection ably demonstrates, the odd side-step has occurred, although sometimes with varying degrees of success.
For die-hard fans, it will be the three unreleased tracks that cause the most excitement here, with "Tallyman", "The Silencer" and "Artificialized" from the Rev Raptor, Dominator and Mastercutor album sessions respectively, proving to be excellent songs (especially "Artificialized"), every bit as good as those that made the cut on these releases. However look further afield and some of the tracks that were initially available as bonus inclusions across a whole host of releases show up remarkably well. "Bleeding Heart" offers more groove than your average UDO track, "Systematic Madness" is the type of stomper that Udo's mad bark is perfect for, while the duet with Doro, "Dancing With An Angel" is a remarkably impressive power ballad that many a melodic rock giant would cancel their next poodle perm for! Then there are the real surprises, such as the oddly unnerving piano version of the Accept classic "Balls To The Wall", a crackling, electric take of "X-T-C", a track that initially featured on the Udo-less Accept album In Heat and the excellent cover version of the Judas Priest classic "Metal Gods". Add to that some interesting collaborations with Lordi - "They Only Come Out At Night", Faktor2 - "Platchet Soldat" and Hammerfall - "Head Over Heels", as well as an extremely loose take on "Born To Be Wild" from 1983 with NWOBHM act Raven and this really is an eclectic, entertaining set.
Unless you are an UDO completist (if you are, add an extra star to the review score), it would be tough to call Celebrator essential. However as a snapshot of a legend of the metal genre doing what he does best - and stretching out a little - this double disc set is still a cracking compilation.
01. Stormbreaker (remix of the "Rev-Raptor" Japan bonus track)
02. Tallyman (previously unreleased track from the "Rev-Raptor" recording sessions)
03. Run! (remix of the "Thundervision" DVD bonus track)
04. Free Or Rebellion (remix of the "Leatherhead" single bonus track)
05. Bleeding Heart (remix of the "Dominator" Japan bonus track)
06. The Silencer (previously unreleased track from the "Dominator" recording sessions)
07. Bodyworld (remix of the "Infected" single bonus track)
08. Systematic Madness (remix of the "Infected" single bonus track)
09. HAMMERFALL feat. Udo Dirkschneider - Head Over Heels
10. Balls To The Wall (piano version)
11. Artificialized (previously unreleased track from the "Mastercutor" recording sessions)
12. LORDI feat. Udo Dirkschneider - They Only Come Out At Night
13. Streets Of Sin (remix of the "The Wrong Side Of Midnight" single bonus track)
01. Tears Of A Clown ("orchestral version")
02. Man A King Ruler (remix of the "Mastercutor" Japan bonus track)
03. Hardcore Lover (remix of the "24/7" single bonus track)
04. Scream Killers (remix of the "24/7" single bonus track)
05. U.D.O. feat. Faktor2 - Platchet Soldat (remix with national russian artist)
06. Borderline ("Thunderball" Japan bonus track)
07. U.D.O. feat. DORO - Dancing With An Angel (remix from the "Man And Machine" album)
08. X-T-C (remix from the "A Tribute To ACCEPT Vol. 2" album)
09. Azrael (remix from the "No Limits" album)
10. The Key (remix of the "No Limits" Japan bonus track)
11. Metal Gods (from the "A Tribute To Judas Priest" album)
12. RAVEN feat. Udo Dirkschneider - Born To Be Wild
Added: June 4th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: UDO Official WebSite
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