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U.D.O.: We Are One

U.D.O. the band went through a period where they appeared to be kind of going through the motions like many a band knocking on in years. Want an U.D.O. Live album? No problem, there's loads. The band also morphed into Dirkschneider for a while and toured Accept's greatest hits which included a live album. On We Are One U.D.O. mixes things up a bit as they are joined by the official Concert Band of the German Armed Forces (Musikkorps der Bundeswehr) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Scheibling.

All songs were developed and arranged by U.D.O. together with Christoph Scheibling. Intriguingly two former Accept members Stefan Kaufmann and Peter Baltes have been part of the songwriting too, as well as the German Armed Forces´ composers Guido Rennert and Alexander Reuber.  Peter Baltes only recently left Accept after being the only consistent member other than Wolf Hoffman... oh to be a fly on the wall when Herr Hoffman found out about Baltes' appearing alongside Herr Dirkschneider.

The songs on We Are One are about the different challenges the world is currently facing, climate change (`Future is the reason why‘), the worldwide refugee movements (‘Here We Go Again’), `Fridays for Future‘ (‘Children of the world‘) or the pollution of the environment (`Mother Earth‘). With the track `Pandemonium‘, both parties, U.D.O. as well as the German Armed Forces, also take a clear position against society‘s right wing. The song `Rebel Town‘ is a hymn for a 30 years reunited Germany. Right wingers aren't going to dig this one and there have been a few right wing nutjobs laying into the band on social media and a few declaring that they will never listen to U.D.O. ever again after the band blacked out their social media in support of Black Lives Matter. We live in strange, extreme times. 

“We all live on this planet. No matter who we are or what we do, we all just have this one planet“, Udo Dirkschneider explains about the message behind the songs. “There is no planet B. When I see the pictures of all the plastic in our oceans and when I hear about the next climate catastrophe in the news, I really start wondering how respectless and irresponsible we sometimes are. It's not just about us, it's also about all the others and last but not least about our children!“ Nowhere is this more evident than on "Future Is The Reason Why" which is arguably the most metal track on the album given the nice guitar solo and massed choral backing and impassioned vocals from the man himself. Also, it's stupidly catchy.

Whilst lyrically this is quite a heavy album it is also hopeful and suggests that there's still time to save the planet and that it's the young folk who will do it. It's also sonically interesting to work out where the orchestration takes place of the guitars on a 'normal' U.D.O. album. It is also bombastic and grandiose throughout. For my money, it's the best U.D.O. album for ages. From the full -on Pirates of the Carribean swashbuckling of "Children Of The World" to the excellent title track and recent single "Neon Diamond" there's a real sense of cohesiveness about the entire project and a flow to the album like y'know, an actual album. This could have been an absolute car crash but instead it's a bit of a joy.

Track Listing:
  1. Pandemonium

  2. We Are One

  3. Love & Sin

  4. Future Is The Reason Why

  5. Children Of The World

  6. Blindfold (The Last Defender)

  8. Mother Earth

  9. Rebel Town

  10. Natural Forces

  11. Neon Diamond

  12. Beyond Gravity

  13. Here We Go Again

  14. We Strike Back

  15. Beyond Good & Evil

Added: July 14th 2020
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 870
Language: english

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