Twelfth album of a solo career stretching well into three decades, former ACCEPT lead man Udo Dirkschneider shows little signs of aging or indeed immobility with his eponymous titled band. Always more comfortable laying down molten slabs of destructive Heavy Metal than branching out into a new musical direction UDO the band has always maintained a healthy respect from those in the Metal world not least for Udo’s rather distinctive nasally voice but for his redoubtable thirst and passion for Heavy Metal.
Rather like Bruce Dickinson’s last couple of non-MAIDEN records ‘’Dominator’’ panders only to those that crave pure out and out Metal. There isn’t a point in this record when you feel that Udo has thought, for one second, that he should yield the Metal. In fact the glorious ‘’Heavy Metal Heaven’’ (where I will surely lay my celestial soul to rest) might lack poignancy but convincingly swells the chest and gets the blood pumping no end.
It would be easy to believe that many of the riffs and simple rhythms belie any real technicality but that would be utter folly for the most part. Since Dirkschneider has paid his dues many times over, each of his solo albums, rather than being boundary pushers are superb documents of the underlying power and compatibility of great Heavy Metal.
However the sheer dross of the lamentable ‘’Devil’s Rendezvous’’ drops a couple of points, deserving only the CD skip key, however that aside the likes of opener ‘’The Bogeyman’’ a steady stomper for sure; the proto-Power Metal of the title track; the PRIEST SAXON infused simplicity of the excellent ‘’Doom Ride’’ and the epic Melodic Metal tinge of ‘’Stillness Of Time’’ see this album go from strength to strength.
Frankly, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better Metal album this year to spend your money on.
(Online August 16, 2009)