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U.D.O.: Dominator

There are some bands and artists in the world of Metal that seem to manage to shrug off the pressures of trends or new musical movements. Since his departure(s) from Accept, Udo Dirkschneider has singularly refused to deviate from his own unapologetically straight ahead "Metal" path. While his ex band mates were trying to hang onto the coat tails of the likes of Whitesnake and hoping to appeal to the U.S market, the diminutive German stuck to his principles and released album after album of music that was not only reminiscent of his former band, but actually started to better their output.

Now some 22 years down the line from Udo's first solo outing Animal House, it would be fair to suggest that some things never change. Dominator continues the anthemic, riff laden journey that Udo has always believed in and once more he and his band prove that there are few out there playing music like this and to this standard. Rather than sounding, as many veteran musicians can, tired and uninspired, somehow Udo once more breathe new life into a blue print that he has faithfully followed for decades.

Tracks like "The Bogeyman", "Speed Demon", and "Dominator" don't pretend to be anything other than razor sharp guitar work outs with pummelling beats and pounding bass, however it's impossible not to get caught up in the sheer metallic frenzy. So much of what has become Power Metal was born from music like this and it's to the band's credit that they still sound urgent and committed in their delivery of these fine songs.

The main man himself is still in astounding form. Nobody else has ever created such a ragged and torn, yet powerful and concise scream as Udo and on this evidence his voice is as charismatic and dominant as ever.

As with most of U.D.O.'s recent albums there is a little more variety added in between the bludgeoning attack, with "Stillness of Time" almost coming over like an Accept style power ballad with big keyboard chords that compliment the soaring guitar and however he does it Udo coaxes a soulful if battered delivery from himself that works beautifully. "Whispers In the Dark" contains a beautiful piano refrain in the intro and Udo delivers the plaintive vocal in a manner that is reminiscent of that big Scotsman Fish, it's an interesting departure and one that is carried off with aplomb. The other slightly quirky track is "Devil's Rendezvous" which has a bouncy almost E.L.O. like quality and while it won't go down in history as Udo's finest moment does offer a welcome and clever change of pace.

Once more U.D.O. have delivered a fine Euro Metal record chock full of memorable hook laden tracks that quickly become familiar without going stale. There's fantastic musicianship throughout every song and as ever it's a pleasure to hear Udo's wail.

There is nothing new or shocking here, so if Udo hasn't appealed to you before then I would be most surprised if Dominator changed your mind, however for those of us already convinced by his talents this is a must buy.


Track list:
1. The Bogeyman
2. Dominator
3. Black And White
4. Infected
5. Heavy Metal Heaven
6. Doom Ride
7. Stillness Of Time
8. Devil's Rendezvous
9. Speed Demon
10. Whispers In The Dark

Added: September 25th 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1593
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

U.D.O.: Dominator
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-09-25 06:46:16
My Score:

I'll come right out and say that the majority of the material that I've come across from former Accept belter Udo Dirkschneider and his band has failed to match the classic material from his old group. That is perhaps, until now with Dominator. Sure, a lot of what you'll hear on this latest release features the same cliched lyrics that so many classic power metal bands with origins from the 80's churn out these days (which you can tell just by clancing at the titles to songs such as "The Boogeyman', "Heavy Metal Heaven", "Devil's Rendezvous", and "Speed Demon"), but the difference between this latest U.D.O. record and some of their more recent output is that much of this is actually DAMN heavy and memorable. Tunes like the killer title track, the already mentioned "The Boogeyman", and the epic sounding "Whispers in the Dark" all feature some of the biggest, fattest, crunchiest guitar riffs that Udo has ever been surrounded by, and the man is, as always, in fine vocal form, his shrieks and bellows reminding of his relentless snarl on classic albums Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall from the early 80's. "Black and White" for instance, could have easily been a leftover from the Balls sessions, and "Speed Demon", despite its somewhat cheesy lyrics, is a raging metal workout that again screams of the early Accept days. There's even a modern feel to the speedy "Infected", a total barnburner of a track with plenty of chugging riffs and double kicks while Udo screams his lungs out over the top.

Kudos to Udo and the boys for putting together a fun and at times really heavy, classic sounding metal record here with Dominator. If you are in the mood for no frills, down and dirty metal with plenty of crunch, melody, and jagged vocals, you've come to the right place.



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