Written by: EW on 10/08/2009 10:06:56

And so swiftly following on from June's EP, Infected, here is "Dominator", rounding out the nice double-header of classic German heavy/speed metal courtesy of U.D.O., the home of ex-Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider. "Dominator" is the impressive 12th studio album of Udo's solo band, which has predictably been through it's fair share of line-up changes since forming after his split from Accept in 1987 and with this amount of experience between them (or him?) it is not surprising the end result is a more than solid dose of good ol' heavy metal.

The first thing to hit you in listening to "Dominator" is the strange guitar tone used in the recording, which is high on reverb and has a slight industrial edge to it. I must admit that over a greater time than I've had in which to write this review it might start to make a bit more sense to me, but at this current stage having given a few listens to both this and the EP it's not a sound that I'm loving. But heck, I'm not going to argue with the ex-singer of Accept! The second point of note that will be picked up on a whole listen to the album is the selection of brilliant chorus and melodic sing-along sections that could only be the work of someone so experienced in this world. Listening to Udo belt out great vocal lines like in "Heavy Metal Heaven", "Speed Demon" and "Black And White" its no surprise just how popular this kind of music once was, and still is, with music so excellently written.

Throughout the album U.D.O. make a good fist of fighting many of the complaints I, fellow writers, and knowledgeable fans of the power/speed/heavy metal have with such albums. The album flows coherently without ever feeling like the band are just repeating the same tune over and over and despite my gripe with the guitar sound, all instruments possess adequate power and metallic weight, a factor that staggeringly many bands fail to take into account. Bands of a similar ilk should be pretty obvious to anyone who knows Accept and their NWOBHM playing cousins but word must go out to the similarities "Heavy Metal Heaven" has to Manowar's "Warriors Of The World United" (it also being a song title that would fit right at home on a Manowar album) and being the huge Manowarrior that I am, it is a point I am most pleased to make.

The folkier songs witnessed on the "Infected" EP are not to be found here, which given how surprised I was in U.D.O. striking out to at the time, has got to be a good thing for the sake of the album's continuity. By the time the only slow and ballad-like song on the album, "Whispers In The Dark" closes out the album, the feeling is of a job well done; well done in the context of comparisons against the garbage that is most German heavy metal records of recent years. In the minds of many however, including myself, the current line-up of Accept doing the rounds without Udo at the helm is not the real Accept, and so the sooner the two parties get back together the sooner I can forgive myself for not watching them at Wacken a few years ago when I had the chance. If such an event doesn't happen, then "Dominator" will do fine to meet my current fix of Mr. Dirkschneider.

Download: Heavy Metal Heaven, Black And White
For The Fans Of: Accept and classic heavy metal.
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 21.08.2009
AFM Records

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