(AFM Records)

The newest release from UDO, “Decadent” has him returning in fine form along with his band. I have been looking forward to a release like this from Mr. Dirkschneider for awhile now!

The twin guitar attack of Andrew Smirnov and Kasperi Heikkinen has really helped revitalize the sound of the music on this release. The intensity and urgency of the opening track “Speeder” immediately brings you back to UDO’s first solo album ‘Animal House.’ Great choruses accompany UDO’s throaty vocals and deliver the goods. The second song, “Decadent” follows through with a catchy and sort of anthemic feel that I can’t help but hit rewind to listen to more than once.

“House Of Fake” follows with an assault of guitars right to the face. The chorus of “We’re living in the house of fake” brings the song to a brief slowdown only to fire back into frenzy. “Mystery” is a strange song altogether and sounds oddly out of place on this release. If UDO was trying to mix it up a bit, he succeeded. It’s a good track, just kind of odd.

“Pain” is a great over the top power metal track. “Secrets in Paradise” slows down the tempo for a moment before breaking back into another guitar assault on “Meaning of Life.” “Breathless,” “Under Your Skin”, “Untouchable” and “Rebels of the Night” continue the barrage of riff after killer riff before the album comes to a close with “Words in Flame”. The track opens with a nice acoustic guitar and keyboard laden intro before picking the pace back up. The keyboards continue to accompany the guitars in keeping with yet another power metal song on the disc. A couple of changes to the tempo make the track seem almost schizophrenic though.

Overall, a great return to form for UDO. I know a lot of people would like to see him back in Accept, but I am pretty happy with where he is musically now.

Stand out tracks for me are “Decadent”, “Breathless” and “House of Fake”.

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