Every new release from Germany’s pride and joy U.D.O. is a grand occasion for the fans of the band. Picking up the baton from the great Accept as far back as the mid 80’s, U.D.O. is none other than the very incarnation of everything those Teutonic ironsmiths used to be famous for. The rasping diamond-cutting vocals of the band’s frontman and mastermind, Udo Dirkschneider, still remain the irreplaceable motor of their music, while the thick leads, chugging rhythms and easily recognizable motifs that simply migrate from album to album all are true to the bands signature sound which seems never at risk to be betrayed or abandoned. The twelfth studio album Dominator is clearly no exception.

The opener “Bogeyman” is an ideal trap for any fan of drop-dead catchy riffs and rousing choruses striking home right on the spot. The title track which follows proceeds on same crushing tide, leaving no doubts that U.D.O. will never compromise their principles of hammering out easy to grasp yet highly ardent material. The rest of the tracks are almost equally catchy and instant in their impact even if they don’t offer much diversity in song structures and rhythms. My favourite piece would most probably be “Doom Ride” thrilling with yet another ‘balls to the wall’ style chorus variation and simple yet devastating lead guitar firepower. Admittedly, the “gold mine” once discovered by Accept still provides an inexhaustible supply of ideas and Mr. Dirkschneider doesn’t even have to lift a finger to find another proper theme for a song. This musical commonality is also found in their use of balladesque pieces, showing tracks like “Stillness Of Time” and “Whispers In The Dark” as another pair of direct successors to great tunes like “Can’t Stand The Night” and “Winter Dreams” from the Accept discography.

Of course, I wouldn’t name U.D.O. the most original metal act out there, but their ability to stay true to their style without being stale or tedious is admirable. And if you’ve been a loyal fan of the band during their long and almost spotless career, then you should pick up Dominator without a moment’s thought. Even if it’s not as perfect and grandiose as Holy or Mastercutor, it guarantees a good use of your money at the very least.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Igor Stakh
October 2nd, 2009


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