Rating:
4.0
U.D.O. - Thunderball
29 March 2004


01. Thunderball
02. The Arbiter
03. Pull The Trigger
04. Fistful Of Anger
05. The Land Of Midnight Sun
06. Hell Bites Black
07. Trainride In Russia
08. The Bullet And The Bomb
09. The Magic Mirror
10. Borderline [Japanese edition bonus]
11. Tough Luck II
12. Blind Eyes
13. Hardcore Lover [Digi-Pack only]
14. Blind Eyes [video]


The legacy of mythic German hard-rock band Accept brought us the band U.D.O. whose front man is no other than Accept singer Udo Dirkschneider. Not really far from the original sound of Accept, U.D.O. sounds basically like AC/DC meets Manowar meets Judas Priest i.e. a blend of good old Hard Rock and pure Heavy Metal. The distinctive voice of Udo hasn't changed an inch and still rocks the world although it could be disturbing if it's the first time you encounter his voice. "Thunderball" is far from being their first effort since it follows 10 albums, the first one in 1987.

So let's get to the central problem of this album. It's an absolute déjà vu from A to Z. A quart of AC/DC, a pint of Manowar, half a cup of Grave Digger [even for the voice, I guess the singer of that band was an Accept fanů], a pinch of Gamma Ray, a spoon of Judas Priest for the guitar solos and a deciliter of Accept, let it cook a long time and simmer for more and serve "Thunderball", preferably cold. The final product might be not bad at all but so common, it could be nickname the Heavy metal omelet.

While the record features some good moments ['Thunderball' isn't bad, 'Hell Bites Back' is the only true good track], 'The Land Of The Midnight Sun' is some type of Heavy metal ballad that would make you puke by its tacky chorus and 85% of the album is better avoided altogether. One of the [too rare] original tracks on the record is entitled 'Trainride Russia' and even has some Russian lyrics, accordion and a deep sound from Moscow. Unfortunately, it really sounds shabby and overall pointless. In fact, ridiculous is a word that applies well for this song. Worse, when it goes too far from the standard style of the album, it's too end up in cheesy choruses like on 'The Magic Mirror'. What the hell is that chorus? The song could be beautiful without these backing vocals a la Blur. There is even an excellent guitar solo, which is a persistent good habit on the album. The same observation is valid for 'Tough Luck II'. With 'Blind Eyes', I'm not so sure about what to say. Whether it's a acceptable rock ballad or a track that could have appeared on the last Sting album. You get the feeling, nice warm cheese.

Nay, I guess I'm underrating this album a little bit but I'm tired of 80s Heavy metal produced in the new millennium. In a glance, Udo is a great singer, the band plays good melodies but too common and there are some noticeable songs embedded in a pool of rather lame tracks.
Unless you are a fan of Accept or U.D.O. [if so you probably want to kill me right now], you might want to save your time and money by avoiding "Thunderball". My final advise? Grab any Iron Maiden or Judas Priest CD and even forget that you've read that review. Gone, it's gone, vanished. Get the hell out of here.


Band profile: U.D.O.
Album: Thunderball


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 16.06.2004



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albatros - 19.01.2010 at 00:35  
Yes, I will forget that I've read this review. Hopefully before this night is over. If my favourite dish is exquistitely prepared, I don't go and tell off the cook just because I've eaten it a hundred times...
I've been listening to this man since the early eighties and I really like this album. Not as compelling as "Restless And Wild" but still a powerful Dirkschneider output. Full of lovely clichees, catchy, simple, very honest and occasionally atmospheric. Not the least tacky. And I had a lot of fun with the Trainride To Russia videos on Youtube.

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