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Udo Nailed To Metal

By Jeff Kerby, Contributor
Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 5:17 PM


(AFM Records)

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If you had to choose between Dio and Udo for favorite vertically challenged little metal midget man, who would you pick? Furthermore, if they fought, who would win? At first, it would seem that Udo would have the upper hand because he’s a little beefier and wears military fatigues, but Dio has that magic shit going on and could probably toss a basketball-sized fireball into Udo’s gut, doubtlessly resulting in infinite pain and suffering for the little guy. As for singing though, I’m totally torn between the two because they are so different, yet both still manage to embody the important elements that make metal worth listening to in the first place. In case you’ve forgotten, Udo was the lead singer of the sonically forceful band Accept—a group that created at the very least three classic albums. Metal Heart, Restless and Wild as well as Russian Roulette can all stand just as well on their own powerful legs today as they did back in the ‘80s when they were released. Nailed to Metal is the latest addition to Udo’s musical legacy and contains eleven selections that were recorded during their recent tour of Russia and that were not included in their present form on the previously-released Live From Russia LP.

This collection starts with two songs from Udo’s 1999 solo offering entitled Holy. The title track from that album starts this disc with a respectable mix of the classic Udo warbling combined with the guitar work of old cohort, Stefan Kaufmann. It becomes instantly recognizable that this group is as tight as flute player with a bomb shoved up his ass. “Raiders of Beyond” continues the mayhem that precedes the Accept anthem “Metal Heart.” This proves to be exactly what you’d expect—a traditional rendition of a song you love complete with audience chanting and slamming drums brought courtesy of Lorenzo Milani who also engages in a four-minute solo later in the offering that manages to maintain the listener’s interest without becoming either tedious or cumbersome. Eat the Heat’s “X-T-C” is performed right before a triumvirate of all that is metal: “Fast as a Shark,” “Princess of the Dawn” and “Restless & Wild.” The intro to “Fast as a Shark” may be the absolute coolest beginning to any song in hard rock history, and throughout this three tune grouping, the band rips into each track with the tenacity of Rush Limbaugh inhaling a bottle full of prescription drugs.

After two more relatively obscure tracks, a nine-minute version of “Balls to the Wall” closes Nailed to Metal in typical Udo fashion which should prove to remind metal fans of what most of today’s music lacks—proficient instrumentality, attention to melody and powerful conviction. Udo was part of a collective back in the ‘80s that possessed all of these elements, and it is comforting to know that Mr. Dirkschneider is still out there in the nether regions screaming and grackle squalking some of the genre’s best music the same way he always has. Like I said before, if it wasn’t for the whole magic aspect, Udo would not only be the hardest rocking dwarf in the industry, he would be the most powerful as well. Horns up for Udo—today and always.

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