U.D.O. - Decadent

U.D.O. Decadent cover
AFM Records
The German Bulldog, The General, Udo Dirkschneider is back with if I am not mistaken in my count the fifteenth proper “studio” release. Having almost always served decent and on occasion superb albums, but never failing to deliver something that was quite good, even when he wasn’t that inspired.
Thankfully, “Decadent” is one of the more inspired efforts, Udo and his newest gang, have released, in recent years. Line-ups may not be permanent, but the “metal” you’re getting from the “man” is consistent.
“Speeder” is a typical, but very effective, fast paced opener, with a quite melodic chorus and guitars that complement it beautifully, bringing to mind, the earlier works of “Udo” or Accept, circa “BTTW”. What’s not to like. The duo of new guitarists has settled in quite nicely and they sound, like they’ve been there all along with simple but sharp riffs and blazing dueling solos.
“Decadent” is a mid-tempo affair. It was the first “single”/video to be released and I wouldn’t say it’s the most representative song of the album, but it seems more concerned with condemning the “corruption” and “inequality” going on around the world, because we’re decadent. The chorus, becomes endearing, but it’s a little unusual and not exactly the catchiest thing ever. The little spoken part in the middle is very “Balls” alike, but I could have done without it. A little repetitive tune, which could have lost a minute without anyone really noticing it.
“House of Fake” is a lot riffier and retains the levels of melody high. It’s got a rather bizarre bridge/chorus and would have benefited from maybe being a little simpler.
“Mystery” sports a heavy riff and Udo, singing in a mocking voice, that sounds like a sickly, drunken, out of tune, Alice Cooper... while it takes a few spins to sit in, it’s sick atmosphere, weirdly worked its charm with me.
“Pain” begins with some very spacey guitar lines that seem to be somewhat Maidenesque, but through a Teutonic prism. A great, ponderous chorus, about human suffering and a quite memorable solo, seem to complete this highly melodious tune, quite ideally.
“Secrets in Paradise” is the obligatory Udo, sung ballad. While Udo’s voice is quite “tortured” and worse for wear, after all the years of abuse, his spirit, seems to be ungelded and unbroken. The sentiment shines through the simple lines of this probably predictable tune, that turns into a power ballad midway through. The quite emotional solo goes on for quite a while driving the song to a nice if not a little unexpected conclusion.
The “Meaning of Life”… (is something everyone is preoccupied with discovering, from the average Joe to the Monty Python) but Udo, seems to explain everything with a killer barrage of riffs and leads that drive this really quite memorable number. The bridge/chorus, could have been a little shorter and somewhat better, but overall the result, leaves little space for complaining.
“Breathless” also sports a very Accept meets The Scorpions (toughest) moment, riff, that it builds upon and would have loved to have utilized the “restless/wild” rhyme, if it wasn’t already “taken”… hehe. It’s quite OK.
“Let Me Out” has this lingering and repeated, long riff-line, before it swifts into a somewhat higher gear, it fails a bit to deliver a totally memorable chorus, but has a nice melody that seems to compensate the listener quite nicely. (This is a bonus only to be found on Digi/Box editions)
“Under Your Skin” is the classic pedal to the metal, double bass signature, number, at a pace almost similar to “Fast as a Shark”, but obviously not able to replicate its glorious atmosphere. It however manages to provide a pretty calculated dose of excitement and has a rather impeccable timing in doing so.
“Untouchable” is dropping the speed along with the gauntlet of a big, meaty riff and via a big, sing-along chorus, manages to introduce itself as one of the better songs of the album, in classic Acceptoid, fashion.
“Shadow Eyes” seems to have the guitars, playing a variation of Kylie Minogue’s “Confide in Me” melody to begin with, which is a little surprising, but then turns into a rather obvious semi-ballad, that works rather well. (This is a bonus only to be found on Digi/Box editions)
“Rebels of the Night” introduces itself by a hefty drum barrage and proceeds to also turn into a rather typical, semi epic number, that is lifted by a rather cool refrain.
Finally “Words in Flame” is a more measured track, with strong melodies and a driving rhythm, which seems like a fairly good conclusion to the album with its main melody fading away quite splendidly.
What hits me, almost like a “Steelhammer” is the realization that, Udo is what’s missing from Accept and vice versa. While both sides, are releasing “fairly decent” or “pretty good” album it’s the amalgam, the special chemistry that they all had together, that created some of the 80s most memorable classic albums. It didn’t always work, but it’s sad to see that these older, but none the wiser dudes, cannot put their differences aside and go for equal shares and rock the world, once more. I must say, I enjoyed “Decadent” a fair bit more than Accept’s “Blind Rage”, but I thought it could have been a little “shorter” with fewer and somewhat more focused songs, in some cases.
“Decadent”, is the state of the world, we live in, but Udo, seems to be able to withstand the decay…