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Review: U.D.O. - Thunderball

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 45:46
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: December 30, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (15 Votes)

It takes a couple of listens for this one to sink in, and then you wonder why it didn't hit you earlier - just one more reason to listen to an album more than a couple of times before reviewing it. :) It's not a great album, but it's not bad at all either. I don't have that many U.D.O. albums (not sure why...) so I don't have much basis for comparison with his earlier work. What caught my attention the most here is that overall this is quite "old school", with the music rooted in early Accept (no surprise there) and even some early Judas Priest on some tracks (and even latter Priest, with "The Bullet and the Bomb" having a beat not without reminding one of the only good song on "Demolition".) There is one little outlier on the album: "Trainride in Russia" is a folk-ish song that is bound to catch your attention with part of the lyrics sung in Russian and the music that doesn't have much to do with the rest of the album. I usually don't like such departures from the overall sound, but this one somehow fits in well and is actually fun to listen to. The best track is probably the opening self-titled track which is quite speedy and very reminiscent of mid-80s Accept - in short, the song kicks some serious ass.

There aren't many tracks that sound like fillers on this one, except maybe the semi-ballad "The Magic Mirror" which is quite passable, albeit with a few good moments, and the album closer "Blind Eyes" which is quite boring and ends the album on quite a sorry note in my opinion. Other than that the album is quite solid, and those into traditional heavy metal should find something to their liking here.

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