Released: 2011, AFM
Let’s run the numbers. Udo was in Accept for about 15 years. Udo has been a solo artist for over 20 years. Udo recorded 10 albums with Accept. Udo has recorded 13 solo albums. Let’s face it because the figures don’t lie…Udo has successfully buried his past under a slagheap of molten Metal. And we, the Metal fans are better for it. He has been out of Accept now longer than he was in the band and he has written, recorded and toured more. You would hope that he could leave his past behind but with Accept recently coming out of a decade long self-imposed hibernation with a barn-burning album, the comparisons are inevitable. In the Accept vs. U.D.O. discussions I’ve always leaned towards U.D.O.
So here we are with album lucky number 13, the oddly named album REV-RAPTOR. It is as expected (demanded!) another classic slab of U.D.O., 13 killer cuts spanning 50 minutes or so all wrapped in a cartoonish (in a good way) cover art. I wonder who would win in a fight, the Mastercutor, the Dominator or the Rev-Raptor? Judging from the cover art, the Rev would take it because he has more guns!
The album opens with three ripping cuts including an album highlight ‘Renegade’ with it’s instantly memorable chorus. Then as hoped he and drops into the epic, anthemic, power-ballad mode with ‘I Give As Good As I Get’. Udo is the master of these types of songs. He should take a page from the book of fellow German, Axel Rudi Pell and release a CD collection of his ballads. There are actually a couple more tunes in this vein, ‘Underworld’ and ‘Days Of Hope and Glory’ making this one of his more ‘ballad intensive’ albums in a few years…but…with 13 cuts you still get 10 other tracks of ripping Metal. ‘Motor-Borg’ is likely one of the heaviest tunes he has done since TIMEBOMB (1991) that brings back the sound and feel of that great album. ‘Dr. Death’ is another crusher of a tune.
U.D.O. is more than just Udo’s solo project. The line-up has been stable for the last five albums in a row and some of the dudes Stefan (Guitar), Fitty (bass) and Igor (Guitar) have been with him for well over a decade now. The band is firing on all cylinders, it sounds cohesive and like the guys are having fun, writing great songs. The production is immaculate which brings out the simple, timeless Metal arrangements and lets the songs churn and burn.
There are six other reviews of the various, full-length studio albums in the Metal-Rules database and it is no coincidence that none of them were ranked less than a four out of five. We all worship at the altar of Udo, so add REV-RAPTOR to the unblemished list as his latest metallic triumph of steel.