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Released: 1987, BMG
U.D.O. has been in the news lately for two reasons, one good, one bad.
The bad: Unfortunately Mr. Dirkschneider has been pushing himself too hard as of late and was admittedly briefly for a stay in a hospital where he could recover from the challenges that face a hard-working metal star. I suppose if I had put out a CD or toured every year since 1979, I’d need a bit of a break too. The good news: This month we will be treated to U.D.O’s, 9th solo release a massive Live in Russia 2 CD set.
That got me thinking that I should really go and revisit a good old U.D.O album
as my classic pick of the month, and because Udo is celebrating 10 years as a solo artist. With the lyrics of the title track of his debut solo release, (I’m a Madman…living in an An-i-mal house!) running through my head, and thinking of poor Udo in the hospital, I went back to the very beginning.
The details of Udo’s illustrious career are well known but not many know that all the music on Animal House was written by Accept shortly before Udo started his solo career. Animal House really is the “lost” Accept CD. Many critics would claim that the two bands were essentially interchangeable (with which I agree) as many feel Udo Dirkschneider was the heart of Accept.
Animal House is typical German power metal fair. Not a lot of flash in the song-writing department shall we say! Lyrically Udo has never been compared with Shakespeare and anyone expecting a brilliant, new lyrical approach in his solo career would have been disappointed with song titles like We Want It Loud, Warrior, Black Widow and Coming Home. Sheesh, how many German bands have done a song called Coming Home? I’d bet a dozen.
Udo is a really a solo act in the sense that each album features a few new faces in the line-up yet they always seem to be incredibly competent, proficient players that create the finest in predictable but fun, heavy metal, headbanging. The debut is no exception with every song offering classic power-metal. Nothing fancy just straight ahead songs, tight playing, each song well structured and executed. The production is excellent! The highs are high, the bass in punchy, the guitars are crunchy and the separation between instruments is excellent. Most of these anthemic songs grind along at a mid to low tempo
and feature big, catchy choruses with a lot of Germanic, anthemic chanting. Simply glorious! My cassette copy is wearing thin over the years so I’m looking forward to the full live 2 CD platter that awaits us next month.
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