U.D.O. Rev-Raptor

U.D.O. Rev-Raptor
What is a Rev-Raptor? And why is the cover art for this, Udo Dirkschneider's 13th album under the U.D.O. moniker, so silly? Is he even trying anymore? Maybe his ex-bandmates in Accept making such a triumphant comeback last year with Blood of the Nations scared our mini-man off from giving it his usual 110-percent. But, once the music is playing, it's obvious that isn't the case. Although the wildly distracting guitar tone is a bit weak (all treble, to the point where it sounds like a keyboard), the songs are classic Teutonic metal. "Leatherhead" does the mid-tempo anthem thing perfectly and "Renegade" is this album's balls-out speed-metal rocker. "I Give as Good as I Get" finds Udo and his always capable band in that slow, atmospheric, not-quite-ballad place that the man is a master of, while "Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers" is just stupid in all the right ways. At about the 40-minute point, it all becomes a familiar, comfortable blur. So, yeah, it's an U.D.O. album ― throw it on the pile, slam a few back and crank it up when the buds are over. No big surprises here, and when the band drop another album in a couple years, it'll be the same deal. And there's something comforting and fully awesome about that. Sometimes it's even hard to imagine a world without it. Also, 13 albums of this stuff, plus his work with Accept? The man is unstoppable. (AFM)