U.D.O. - Decadent (AFM Records)

Solid, but we expect more from this man...
Release Date: 
22 Jan 2015 - 11:30pm

Udo Dirkschneider: Living legend, metal treasure and, also, one of the hardest working men in (metal) showbusiness. It barely seems five minutes since he released his last effort, the heavy but largely disposable Steelhammer, and now here he is with a new full lengther, the heavy but largely disposable Decadent.

The trouble with having a Stakhanovite work ethic is that, in the rush to produce ‘product’, a little of the inspiration needed to produce truly necessary art gets trampled in the stampede to complete. And Decadent, though defiantly solid, is definitely a victim of Herr D’s industriousness.

Steelhammer had a couple of true gems hidden within its folds at least, but of Decdent the same can’t really be said. Every song here is very heavy, very metal – even the more balladic material – and Udo himself delivers his usual sterling vocal performance. But that’s about as far as the compliments can stretch this time around.  The melodically-charged Pain is probably the best offering here, a mid-paced piece of pop metal that might have been used as a b-side when Accept were  recording Metal Heart, whilst the title track features one of Dirkschneider’s now signature spoken word interludes and Meaning of Life and Rebels of the Night rollick along with a fine metallic flourish. Elsewhere Secrets in Paradise breaks things up nicely, being an acoustic-led bagatelle, and proves  the old adage that, especially on metal albums, sometimes less is more.

The fact is, however, that most of you probably weren’t absolutely hanging for new product from this artist in 2015; Maybe if the man and his band had delayed a little, and written a few more tracks of the calibre of Pain and Meaning of Life, then the release of this album might have been a bit more of an event, and more worthy of the U.D.O. mantle. As it is, this really is only worth recommending to U.D.O. completists or those of you whose appetite for solid Euro power metal is absolutely insatiable.