Man And Machine
Breaker / SPV
Awright! Our man Udo Dirkschneider is back, and he sounds as heavily constipated as ever. Formerly of 1980s German hard rock legends Accept, Udo has fronted his own almost self-named band for quite some years now, churning out one fine album after the other, rarely letting his fans down, while never reducing his rock to a tired formula. This is straightforward classic heavy metal with passion and energy, and if you don’t like it, well, there are enough of those who do already.
Although this is a concept album of sorts, there is thankfully none of the pathos or plain embarrassment that that term often implies. Loosely based around the simple thematic introduced in the title, the album reinforces the traditional hard rock concept of “keeping it real, keeping it human” with a resentment towards the machine-made that some of us may term a tad conservative. It works, though, mainly because of the furious snarl in Udo’s voice that serves to underline his points far more effectively than the actual lyrics do.
It’s far from a faultless album, mind. The ballad he does with Doro Pesch of Warlock fame is awful — dull beyond belief and laughably arranged, unlike most U.D.O. ballads. And the AOR of “Silent Cry” seems strangely out of place on an otherwise no-frills hard rock album. That said, most of this is fist-in-the-air, whiplash-inducing metal on another fine offering from Udo. And if he’s unlikely to win over too many new fans with this one, those already converted will rejoice.