CD Review: U.D.O. – Decadent

CD Review: U.D.O. – Decadent
AFM Records
All Access Rating: B+

U.D.O. - Decadent 2015
Udo Dirkschneider is, once again, spoiling for a fight. Lined up in his crosshairs on Decadent, album No. 15 from his long-running post-Accept band of battle-scarred, traditional metal warriors, are greedy, cigar-chomping fat cats given to spitting on the less fortunate.

Waging class warfare with torrential, tight-fisted riffs, galloping rhythms and growling, impassioned, teeth-gnashing vocals, U.D.O. takes on corruption and Capitalism run amok, questioning whether societies with such wide divides between the rich and poor can, or even should, survive.

On point and on message, the team of Udo, Mattes and Fitty Wienhold – the same threesome that produced the titanic Steelhammer release a year ago – have a clear vision for Decadent. The thrashing toxic waltz of a racing "House of Fake" snarls and lashes out, while the rugged, down-and-dirty groove of "Breathless" is a caged animal pacing impatiently. An uprising of big hooks and bass thumping that sounds like cannons going off, "Pain" is melodically tumescent, its growth unchecked as riff blitzkriegs "Speeder" and the philosophical "Meaning of Life" – fast-fingered guitar leads flying underneath the tumult – carry the fight with focused aggression.

Oddities like the bi-polar, deliciously sinister and heavy "Mystery" and a directionless acoustic number entitled "Secrets in Paradise" are strangers in this land of U.D.O., but Decadent rarely deviates from its righteous path of honest indignation and designing sharp-clawed metal constructs that are so familiar, yet so undeniably compelling. Though a somewhat less powerful statement of purpose than Steelhammer, Decadent has more to say and it does so in a more varied manner. still slamming its battering ram of a head against the wall and hoping for the betterment of human kind. Let's hope U.D.O. won't ever water down its ideals or its sonic assault.
– Peter Lindblad

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