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U.D.O. - Celebrator

U.D.O.
Celebrator
by Mark Gromen at 19 April 2012, 1:51 PM

Approaching a decade with the Hamburg based label, AFM decided to commemorate the 25 years since he first left ACCEPT and set up his namesake band ("Animal House" was released in ‘87). Udo Dirkschneider issues a double disc of outtakes, remixes and rarities. While remixes (often indistinguishable from the originals, unless weird or horrendously awful) are not much of a draw, there’s 25 (naturally!) selections from which to choose, most absent from all but the completist’s record collection. Since he’s been issuing pre-release EPs since being on AFM, hard to believe there’s all that many “unheard” tunes laying around, but three unreleased newbies are included: “Tallyman”, “The Silencer” and “Artificialized”, one each from the succession of studio efforts.

The first is a lively slice left off "Rev Raptor", shame since it’s better than much of that underwhelming disc. "The Silencer" was recorded during the "Dominator" sessions, but didn’t make the grade, a sedate, almost acoustic power ballad. Of the originals, “Artificialized” is the most up tempo. Recorded during "Mastercutor", it’s representative of the hard hitting quality U.D.O. music of the last decade. Still, not all the songs were lifted from the AFM years, as there’s a pair from "No Limit", and one each dating back to "Solid" and "Man & Machine". Stylistically, almost all are mid-tempo stomps, missing are the burners that obviously made the A-list and showed up on the finished product. Odd hearing Herr Dirkschneider on "X-T-C” from the ACCEPT album without him (the first time!), "Eat The Heat", which featured David Reece. Said track comes from the second of Nuclear Blast’s tributes to his old band. Always liked the Russian language version of “Cry Solider Cry", aka "Platchet Soldat", remixed here, to include the unknown Faktor 2. Even a casual listener can distinguish between the eras, old U.D.O. (more ingrained in ACCEPT) as opposed to a more mechanized, modern staccato mode on the AFM platters.

Truth be told, more than half are remixes, with the odd orchestral version (piano/violin “Balls To The Wall”? Nice to hear once, but probably will never play it again, unless to show demonstrate to someone else how it’s freakish), Japanese bonuses, JUDAS PRIEST’s “Metal Gods” and a trio of collaborations / covers (his former employer’s chestnut “Head Over Heels”, with HAMMERFALL, “They Only Come Out At Night” alongside LORDI, the Metal Queen DORO backs “Dancing With An Angel” and a run through of STEPPENWOLF’s hit, “Born To Be Wild”, with RAVEN, whom he helped back in the early 80s).

Hell, I like Udo, both solo and his legacy, but given the fantastic pair of “reunion” albums his old friends have given us, an odds & sods collection lacking any real scorchers (on the heels of two live discs, a DVD and a greatest hits package, in just the last five years!) hardly seems like much of a “Celebration”.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
CD1
1. Stormbreaker (Remix)
2. Tallyman
3. Run! (Remix)
4. Free Or Rebellion (Remix)
5. Bleeding Heart (Remix)
6. The Silencer
7. Bodyworld (Remix)
8. Systematic Madness (Remix)
9. Head Over Heels (HAMMERFALL feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
10. Balls To The Wall (Piano Version)
11. Artificialized
12. They Only Come Out At Night (LORDI feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
13. Streets Of Sin (Remix)

CD 2:
1. Tears Of A Clown (Orchestral Version)
2. Man A King Ruler (Remix)
3. Hardcore Lover (Remix)
4. Scream Killers (Remix)
5. U.D.O. feat. Faktor 2 - Platchet Soldat (Remix)
6. Borderline
7. Dancing With An Angel (U.D.O. feat. Doro) (Remix)
8. X-T-C (Remix)
9. Azrael (Remix)
10. The Key (Remix)
11. Metal Gods
12. Born To Be Wild (RAVEN feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
Lineup:
Udo Dirkschneider - Vocals
Stefan Kaufmann - Guitar
Igor Gianola - Guitar
Fitty Wienhold - Bass
Francesco Jovino - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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