Those who only know Udo Dirkschneider from his German metal band Accept, which (via "Balls to the Wall") enjoyed a shimmer of success during the '80s metal heyday in the U.S., won't find any surprises with his newer project, U.D.O. The latter group's genesis actually goes back to the late '80s, after the split of Accept (who would reunite in the mid-'90s). Many '80s metallers had a tendency to dismiss their lumpen roots in later years; Rob Halford explored Trent Reznor-like industrial music in the wake of Judas Priest, while Tommy Lee went all indie rock and emo on 2005's Tommyland. Dirkschneider is woefully unbound by the tides of taste, however: the gargled, glassy shriek and power chords you hear on Mission No. X ("mission number ten") are precisely the same flourishes he employed when "Balls to the Wall" was on the lips of fashion-challenged headbangers everywhere. Tracks such as "24-7" and "Mean Streets" seem suspended in hard dollops of '80s amber, right down to guitar tone and production value. The former track also displays one of Dirkshneider's lyrical tendencies: using his English skills to glory in opaque, youthful clichés: "You're going to live it, 24-7...24 hours, seven days a week!/You're going to give it, 24-7...24 hours, seven days a week!" (The other tendency would be inscrutability: witness the confounding call to "Put your balls to the wall!"). This album is clearly and unabashedly for that shrinking clutch of metalheads still trying to feed their jones for '80s power metal.
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AllMusic Review by Erik Hage