U.D.O. - Mastercutor
AFM Records
Heavy Metal
14 songs (58'28)
Release year: 2007
U.D.O, AFM Records
Reviewed by Marty
Playing the role of announcer for a very twisted, yet fictitious reality show, lead vocalist Udo Dirkschneider introduces us to the "host" of the show, the Mastercutor (a hybrid of master and executioner) complete with a very cheesy game show theme backing track to start this new album. This sets the tone for the title track, Mastercutor, a look at the state of television today with its overabundance of really bad reality based shows. This track and few others on this latest album by ex-Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and company keep the Accept flag flying high and proud with thematic and razor sharp metal riffs, a very crisp production and the "nails on the chalkboard" screech of Udo's unequalled heavy metal rasp. Tracks like The Wrong Side Of Midnight (the first single from the album with the video included on this CD as a bonus), We Do For You and Master Of Disaster offer the listener some great throwback fist-pumping metal anthems, much like classic 80's Accept. Instigator shows the kind of heavy metal muscle not unlike the classic sound of Demon's Night from Accept's Restless And Wild album.

Still insisting on including ballad styled material on their albums, One Lone Voice sees a more somber sounding Udo complete with stringed accompaniment. This track works well within the context of the album and offers a bit of a breather after the three-pronged attack of Mastercutor, The Wrong Side Of Midnight and Instigator. The other "ballad", Tears Of A Clown begins with Udo singing in a much more subdued voice, almost like someone's uncle singing at a wedding. But, the unmistakable rasp eventually cuts through near the end and Udo delivers a solid emotionally charged vocal. Walker Of The Dark is a very disturbing track that uses a weird pitch shift at the end of the chunky main riff that sounds like the tape was slowed very slightly to give a pitch-shifted effect and really comes off as annoying to listen to. The remainder of the album offers up some great riffs and occasionally solid tracks but there's a few definite fillers that rehash everything this band has ever done either as U.D.O. or Accept. Two bonus tracks are included on this album with Borderline definitely being in the "filler" category yet Screaming Eagles comes off as a surprisingly great song even though the main melody lines and chord progressions are lifted directly from Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance with a little Ram It Down thrown in for good measure. Crash Bang Crash finishes the album with an attempt at some fun, up tempo "bubble-gum" metal of sorts that bands like The Sweet and Slade pioneered in the 70's.

It took a few listens to realize some of the real gems that can be found here. Unfortunately, there are far too many "average" tracks that although rock very hard and have some great riffs, just don't offer anything that we haven't heard before. The album has a solid flow throughout yet I found that most of the stand-out tracks are found within the first half of the album. The production is almost perfect with the metallic edge to their guitars sounding exactly like Accept during the Restless And Wild, Balls To The Wall, Metal Heart era. There's a slight trend toward some modernization of their sound; opting to use riff breaks and guitar harmonies instead of shredding lead guitar like guitarist Wolf Hoffmann brought to Accept's sound. Overall, it's a solid album that sounds great in the car cranked up to almost unbearable levels. The album slowly yields some truly exceptional tracks over others that after a while, just won't stand the test of time. Well worth the investment for U.D.O./Accept fans even if just for the handful of killer tracks....and killer they are! This German metal machine never fails to deliver!!

Killing Songs :
Mastercutor, The Wrong Side Of Midnight, The Instigator, Master Of Disaster and Screaming Eagles
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by U.D.O. that we have reviewed:
U.D.O. - Decadent reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
U.D.O. - Dominator reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
U.D.O. - Mission No. X reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
U.D.O. - Thunderball reviewed by Marty and quoted 86 / 100
U.D.O. - Nailed To Metal - The Missing Tracks reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
To see all 8 reviews click here
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