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U.D.O. Man And Machine

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Saturday, June 8, 2002 @ 12:02 AM


(Breaker Records / SPV)

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This one's been out for about two months now and, hell, no review on the loudest dot com on the planet? Well, I suppose it would be enough to say that U.D.O.'s new album is on the shelves. Full stop -- five stars. Buy it. U.D.O. is pretty much self-explanatory, so why waste your time when you should be on your way to the next record store anyway?

But since you clicked on this link to actually read something I gotta do at least a bit of writing, though you know damn well who Udo Dirkschneider is. Or don't you?

The only excuses for never having heard of Udo is that you are either young or into Fred Durst, which is not an excuse but a serious failure in acquiring a decent taste in music. Anyway, I find U.D.O.'s new album very reassuring that there's still uncomplicated raise-your-fist-and-bang-your-head balls-to-the-wall heavy metal around. I mean, those who think the Accept tradition is dead, had better give this album here a listen. It's gonna change you mind -- believe me.

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German's metal flagship Udo Dirkschneider and the music his name primarily stands for is as alive as ever. Together with his band Stefan Kaufmann (g), Igor Gianola (g), Fitty Wienhold (b) and Lorenzo Milani (d), Udo kicks some serious ass in the truest Accept-type metal fashion, so there can't be any doubt about whether he is a Metal God or not. Check out the title track, "Man And Machine," "Private Eye," The Dawn Of The Gods" or "Network Nightmare." Any questions?

Far from being yet another eighties retro-album, Man And Machine (not to be mixed up with the 1989 release Mean Machine) sticks to traditional heavy metal virtues without sounding old-fashioned. To the contrary. The songwriting, the performance and the great production sound, which was taken care of by Udo Dirkschneider and Stefan Kaufmann, make it absolutely clear that the record has its rightful place in the year 2002 and when all is said and done, hey -- this is the sort of honest, beefy, riffy metal album that should be seen more often on the shelves. And I'm not a traditionalist.

Man And Machine is above all a 'live' album. Not that it is a live recording, but all 11 tracks are tailor-made for live performances in front of the really big crowds. Hell, I can already hear and see it: U.D.O. live at Wacken in front of 20,000 metalheads shouting along to "Hard To Be Honest" or "Like A Lion." And yes, the ballad "Dancing With An Angel," a great duet with German metal lady Doro Pesch, will call for a sea of cigarette lighters.

German metal at its best. Full stop. Buy it. Now.

*****


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