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June 2007
Released: 2007, AFM Records/Sound Pollution
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

It’s time for the German godfather of heavy metal Udo Dirkschneider to follow up his latest solo album MISSION NO X with a new opus called MASTERCUTOR. Everyone probably knows what they’re going to get when listening to an album by U.D.O. MASTERCUTOR is high-class German heavy metal with hints of familiar Accept harmonies and arrangements. Even if Udo is a living legend and a personal favorite, I’ll be the first to admit that his career has had its ups and downs throughout the years. This album, however, is a brilliant example of how Udo’s albums sound when he’s at the top.

Most things are the same in the U.D.O camp; the same label, same members, and produced by the former Accept band-mate Stefan Kaufman. As always, Kaufman focused on lead vocals and lead guitar.

MASTERCUTOR includes 12 hard-hitting German metal songs and it feels solid straight through; nothing bad can be said about the album at all. A few songs that rise above the rest are “Mastercutor”, “The Wrong Side of Midnight”, Walker of the Dark”, and “The Devil Walks Alone”. All are typical U.D.O songs with his unique lead vocals in focus along with dual guitar parts by Gianola/Kaufman. Other golden moments are “The Instigator”, “We Do – For You”, “Master of Disaster”, and “Vendetta”. They are also a blast from the past when it comes to Accept influences. It’s straight-in-your-face honest German heavy metal with no fuss.

What Udo can’t pull off are ballads, and there are a few of them on the album, unfortunately. “One Tone Voice” and “Tears Of A Clown” slow the album down and it kind of loses its pace a bit. That’s about the only remotely negative thing I have to say about the album. It’s pretty much what you would expect from U.D.O, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing - in this case it’s great.
Track Listing

1. Mastercutor
2. The Wrong Side of Midnight
3. The Instigator
4. One Lone Voice
5. We Do- For You
6. Walker Of The Dark
7. Master Of Disaster
8. Tears Of A Clown
9. Vendetta
10. The Devils Walk Alone
11. Dead Man’s Eyes
12. Crash Bang Crash


Udo Dirkschneider – lead vocals
Stefan Kaufman – guitar
Igor Gianola – guitar
Fitty Wienhold – bass
Francesco Jovino – drums

Next review: » U.D.O. - Mastercutor
Previous review: » U.D.O. - Man and Machine

September 2008
Released: 2008, Candlelight USA
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

By now we all know the venerable German fireball Udo Dirkschneider, so I’ll skip the lengthy introduction. Suffice it to say that MASTERCUTOR (originally released in 2007 on AFM Records), is the man’s 11th studio album with his solo band and it continues down the path the he’s been blazing since his beginning with Accept back in the ‘70s.

Beginning with a ridiculous game show-styled intro, the band wastes little time in ripping into the title track. Any fears that U.D.O. was going to change are quickly crushed under the solid heavy metal riffs of the “Mastercutor”. Then again, any thoughts that perhaps after 30+ years Udo might have gained some more mastery over the English language are also dashed. Seriously – what the hell is a “Mastercutor”? Whatever though, it’s a minor quibble quickly forgotten as the catchy riffs go straight to the brain. After all this time (except for the drummer, this incarnation of Udo’s band has been together for a decade) U.D.O. is one of the tightest metal bands on the planet, and it shows through on songs like the menacing “The Instigator” and the pounding “Walker of the Dark”. As expected, Udo also indulges in a couple of ballads – the best of which is the brooding “One Lone Voice”.

Let’s face it, after all of this time, you know exactly what you’re going to get when you put on an U.D.O. album – no compromising heavy metal. Without me even telling you about it, you know if you’re going to like MASTERCUTOR or not. Udo just does what he does, and you go along for the ride or not. Personally, I’m fully on board – this isn’t the greatest metal album, but it sure is damn fun to listen to.
Track Listing

1) Mastercutor
2) The Wrong Side of Midnight
3) The Instigator
4) One Lone Voice
5) We Do – For You
6) Walker of the Dark
7) Master of Disaster
8) Tears of a Clown
9) Vendetta
10) The Devil Walks Alone
11) Dead Man’s Eyes
12) Crash Bang Crash


Udo: Vocals
Igor Gianola: Guitar
Stefan Kaufmann: Guitar
Fitty Wienhold: Bass
Francesco Jovino: Drums

Next review: » U.D.O. - Mastercutor Alive
Previous review: » U.D.O. - Man and Machine

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