U.D.O. - Dominator
AFM Records
Heavy Metal!
11 songs (49'08)
Release year: 2009
U.D.O, AFM Records
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
It doesn't seem all that long ago that we got the duo of Mastercutor and the live set Mastercutor Alive from the Accept alumni and masterminds behind U.D.O., vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and former drummer turned guitarist Stefan Kaufmann. The pair have been on a tear as of late, releasing a new album every 2 years or so and touring extensively in between. Mastercutor and its predecessor Mission No. X both showed more modern influences with the sound and style of songs yet never once surrendered the classic and muscular German heavy metal sound. With Dominator, both Udo and Stefan Kaufmann have ditched all the modern influences that were creeping into their songs in favour of a pure celebration of all that was so great about Accept. No album that has ever been released in the past outside of Accept has ever quite captured the sound and spirit of their former band as Dominator does.

The songs on Dominator range from the pounding heaviness of the album opener The Bogeyman to the slow, lazy Balls To The Wall feel of the latest single from the album Black and White. The tempo, riffs and gang choruses here are all Accept in its purest form. More driving and heavy tracks like the title track Dominator, Infected (the first single fom the album) and the absolute barnburner that is Speed Demon really kick things into high gear with adrenaline fuelled ass-kicking heavy metal. Huge choruses, Udo's distinctive raspy and sharp as glass howl, thick, razor sharp guitar riffs and hammering double bass work all amount to pure head-banging bliss. Heavy Metal Heaven features tribal rhythms and more huge gang style choruses along the lines of Run For Cover from the Animal House album. More mid-tempo stomping heavy metal can be found with the tasty riffs of Doom Ride and the chunkiness of Pleasure In The Dark Room.

All is not "balls out" metal here with this album. Stillness Of Time and Whispers In The Dark are both piano infused power ballads that get heavier with a huge and emotional outpouring by Udo Dirkschneider by track's end. Both tracks are very "thematic", offer a nice change of pace and are certainly not fillers or "skippers". One real head-scratcher though is the jazzy, rockabilly flavoured Devil's Rendezvous. They have been including one strange and "fun" sounding track on each album for a while now and this one's it!

The riffs on Dominatior have a lot more aggression and "bite" than previous albums with the classic Marshall amp sound of 80's Accept being captured perfectly. Combine this with Udo's distinctive voice and the only thing really missing from the Accept equation is the lead guitar work of guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. U.D.O.'s lead guitarist Igor Gianola adds some nice shredding lead work on Dominator yet favors a harmonized and octave-divider driven lead sound. Dominator is fairly simple, easy to get into right away and is full of catchy songs and some great head-banging heavy metal. It ranks right up there with some of their best albums like Holy and Animal House.

I applaud Udo Dirkschneider for declining the recent invitation to rejoin Accept. The turmoil in the song writing process for that band really came to a head with the uneven and somewhat disjointed Predator album; the very last album the band ever did. To think that anything would ever be different this time would be unrealistic. It's one thing to do a few shows like they did a few years back but a whole different animal when it comes to writing new material. Udo Dirkschneider is adamant that it wouldn't work and I would have to reluctantly agree. Many would love to see Udo back with Accept but with his solo band, he and Stefan Kaufmann are doing just fine and have already been keeping the Accept legacy alive for over 20 years now.

Killing Songs :
Dominator, Black and White, Infected, Heavy Metal Heaven and Speed Demon
Marty quoted 88 / 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. - Mastercutor reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 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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