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Review: U.D.O. - Decadent

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 59:21
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 2, 2015
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (13 Votes)

Decadent is album #15 (you read that right) from former Accept shouter Udo Dirkschneider's eponymous band and it is easily the best one in a long time. I've read a few reports over the years where Dirkschneider is quoted as saying he doesn't think much of the current incarnation of his former band. Accuracy of those reports aside, anyone who has followed U.D.O. knows that their music is only marginally similar to that of the heyday of Accept. It has always had a more "hard rock" vibe, less bombast and a penchant for experimenting with styles that you never heard from Accept. Whether he likes the new Accept or not, one listen to Decadent is enough to plainly see that what they've been doing on albums like Blood of the Nations and Blind Rage has not gone unnoticed by their former front man.

Decadent opens with a typical U.D.O. up-tempo anthem in "Speeder" but then shades of Accept start to fly from the speakers. "Decadent" features the same style of simmering verses and bass-only bridge as "Balls to the Wall," "Pain" has some of the best dual-guitar riffing and soloing the U.D.O. band has ever had and is reminiscent of classic Accept tracks like "Losing More Than You've Ever Had" and "Under Your Skin" rolls down the tracks in "Fast as a Shark," runaway train fashion. Similarities don't stop there. "Breathless" makes me think of "Metal Heart" and he even tries to recapture some of the magic that made ballads like "Princess of the Dawn" and "Winter Dreams" so beautiful yet heavy on songs like "Secrets in Paradise" and "Words in Flame," though success in this endeavor is limited. Decadent isn't all about classic Accept and the vocal experimentation of past efforts is in full force on "Mystery." I give Dirkschneider credit for trying to do something different but the stuff he does to his voice on this song is nearly unlistenable. Can't win 'em all.

Lest you think on Decadent U.D.O. is simply aping classic Accept, hold that thought. These songs are clearly inspired by past glories but for the most part they hold up as well-written, individual songs (except for the ballads, which kind of suck). Dirkschneider and crew have finally written an album that fans of classic Accept can get behind and hear what might have been had things not gone off the tracks in the late 80s and abominations like Eat the Heat allowed to come into existence. And it only took 15 albums to find the formula. Better late than never. If you've never bothered to check out U.D.O., this is the one to start with.

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