Udo Mastercutor

It’s funny how Accept and Udo fans can while away the hours talking about the strongest and weakest albums in ex-Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider’s solo catalogue when really, it’s all pretty much the same. Sure, some are a bit better and some a bit less inspired-sounding but it pretty much comes down to some being a bit speedier than others and that’s about it. So here we go, another damn album, this one holding down the mid-tempo for most of it. Once past the goofy intro, the title track rocks out in true U.D.O. fashion: memorable hooks and a metallic chorus delivered with the gravel-voice that only lil’ Dirkschneider can dish out. But there are faltering points. "The Wrong Side of Midnight” is an unfortunate second track, grating with an annoying vocal line, and "Walker of the Dark” also gets on the nerves a bit. But for most of the album, like standout track "The Instigator,” everything is back on course with the mid- to speedy trad metal meets Painkiller sound we’ve come to expect from Udo and his merry men, all of whom are rock solid on their instruments. "Tears of a Clown” is this album’s hilariously tragic ballad and when delivered by a voice like Udo’s, it’s actually sort of touching. "One Lone Voice” is the album’s sober anthem and "The Devil Walks Alone” is the kind of non-descript, mid-everything tune that doesn’t offer much but sticks in your head regardless. It’s all pretty rote at this point but Dirkschneider fans, well, we eat it up. This one might not get as many spins as, say, Holy but shit, man, close your eyes and point, put it on and turn it up. (Candlelight) (Candlelight)