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U.D.O. - The Legacy Award winner

U.D.O.
The Legacy
by Kevin Lewis at 20 January 2023, 5:42 AM

U.D.O. is the eponymous band of Udo Dirkschneider, legendary German Heavy Metal singer. Udo once fronted the band ACCEPT, then went on a solo endeavor that has, over the last 35 years, given us some of the best music the metal world has experienced. The Legacy is a solo career spanning compilation issued by AFM Records on November 18, 2022. With 33 songs on the disc, almost one per year of solo work, it still has gaps, but the only way to cover his career completely would be an anthology, not a greatest hits. U.D.O. has released 19 albums, tons of videos and singles, compilations, and done collaborative work with other artists, plus an additional 10 records with ACCEPT. Such an impressive body of work is surely hard to encapsulate as a two-disc album, but they’ve tried. This focuses solely on solo material, dating back to 1987. I will say the one song I miss on this is “Trainride In Russia.” That song really hooked me, but the track listing on this is still a work of art.

The double disc opens with “Fear Detector,” a track off the album Game Over from 2021. You are immediately reminded of how heavy, yet melodic, the guitar work is with so many of these songs. There is a reason Andrey Smirnov is considered one of the best and brightest axe slingers of the past decade. Udo Dirkschneider is also known for anthemic metal tracks like “Metal Never Dies” and “Metal Machine.” These are the songs that make you raise your fist in the air and give a Heavy Metal roar for the masses to hear as you proclaim your allegiance. Whether he’s using his cleaner voice or his signature gritty vocals, you will feel the need to sing along and try to imitate this iconic voice. There is no one like him. There are so many different themes Udo takes on lyrically. Songs like “I Give As Good As I Get” and “Vendetta” strike chord with me, feeling like I need to stand up for myself and not let the opposition put me down. The melodic tones, the Neo-Classical feel of the music, they build an intense desire to be the best I can be and to step forward in the face of adversity. I don’t get the sense of revenge nearly as much as overcome an obstacle. I love hearing songs like this. They really motivate me.

One of the main themes Udo has across his entire repertoire is war, and no song sums it up better than the final track, “They Want War,” one of his most iconic songs. The sheer power of this song, which includes the signature U.D.O. voice with a children’s choir behind it, is legendary. Straight from his first solo record, Animal House, this is the song that launched the brand that is U.D.O. I challenge you to name another song that defines his legacy any better. So many things have better said about U.D.O. over the course of the last 50 years. Beginning his career in 1968, he is one of the longest standing examples of the voice of Heavy Metal. Legendary is almost too soft of a word to describe the man. With almost 30 full albums to his credit and guest appearances as well, he has a body of work that stands up against any contemporary peer. If you ever wonder who one of the best, most prolific, recognizable, vocalists in the world is, look no farther than this Titan of Metal.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
CD 1

1. Fear Detector
2. Metal Never Dies
3. Wilder Life
4. Pandemonium
5. One Heart One Soul
6. Make The Move
7. What A Hell Of A Night
8. Pain
9. Decadent
10. Falling Angels
11. Metal Machine
12. Steelhammer
13. Dust And Rust
14. I Give As Good As I Get
15. Rock 'n’ Roll Soldiers
16. Dominator

CD 2

1. Mastercutor
2. Vendetta
3. 24/7
4. Blind Eyes
5. Man And Machine
6. Like A Lion
7. Shout It Out
8. Holy
9. Freelance Man
10. Independence Day
11. Metal Eater
12. Future Land
13. Blitz Of Lightning
14. We're History
15. Break The Rules
16. Go Back To Hell
17.  They Want War
Lineup:
Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Tilen Hudrap – Bass
Sven Dirkschneider – Drums
Andrey Smirnov – Guitar
Fabian Dee Dammers – Guitar
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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