U.D.O. - 'Navy Metal Nights' (CD/DVD)

    U.D.O. is a German heavy metal band founded by lead singer Udo Dirkschneider in 1987.
    After Udo Dirkschneider left Accept in 1987, a large fan community followed him to U.D.O.
    Starting with the first albums 'Animal House' in 1987 and 'Mean Machine' in 1988 U.D.O. proved to be pure heavy metal without any Trend-Sound influences. Both albums continued where Accept had left off in 1986 with 'Russian Roulette'. Apart from Udo, Animal House was recorded by Peter Szigeti (guitars), Frank Rittel from Warlock on (bass), Mathias Dieth from Sinner and Gravestone (guitars) and Thomas Franke (drums).

    From 1987 - 1989 they toured with the following line-up: Udo Dirkschneider (vocals), Mathias Dieth (guitar), Andy Susemihl (guitar), Dieter Rubach (bass) and Thomas Franke (drums). They toured with Guns N' Roses, Lita Ford and Zodiac Mindwarp.
    By 'Mean Machine' (released in 1988) the band had a different line-up: only Udo, Mathias Dieth and Andy Susemihl remained. New additions were Thomas Smuszynski (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums).
    U.D.O. achieved success with the album 'Faceless World', produced by ex-Accept drummer Stefan Kaufmann. U.D.O.'s follow-up album was Timebomb, and it was their last for five years.
    From 1992-1996 Accept reformed their classic line up, and Dirkschneider put U.D.O. on hiatus to record three albums with his old Accept colleagues. After another break up, Dirkschneider returned to U.D.O., with Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), Jürgen Graf (guitars), Fitty Wienhold (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums). Udo Dirkschneider and Stefan Kaufmann then recorded tracks for the Tribute to Judas Priest compilation of Judas Priest cover songs, U.D.O. performing the track "Metal Gods".
    1997 saw the band return with 'Solid;, the first full-length U.D.O. album to feature the guitar work of Stefan Kaufmann. 'Solid' featured on the Rock Hard magazine reader charts for more than a year after release.
   'Solid' was followed by 'No Limits' in 1998, and featured a similar songwriting approach as the previous year's effort. The album also featured U.D.O.'s first returning lineup since the band's inception ten years prior. The album also featured a cover of the Austrian pop band Supermax's hit single "Love Machine".
    With the release of the critically acclaimed 'Holy' a return to the guitar-driven sound similar to Balls to the Wall-era Accept. A world tour followed with dates in the United States and several other major countries. Lineup changes occurred during the second part of the 1999 tour with Igor Gianola, ex of Gotthard, replacing Jürgen Graf. When the No Limits tour concluded, Schwarzmann quit the band, and on the Holy tour (2000) Lorenzo Milani took his place behind the drum kit. The tour also spawned U.D.O.'s first live album, 'Live from Russia' a two-disc affair which featured many of the classic Accept tunes (with the exception of "Balls to the Wall") that have since become staples of U.D.O.'s set.
    2002's 'Man and Machine' received a somewhat lukewarm response. Despite standout songs like the title track and "Private Eye", the album was ultimately less successful than its predecessor. It is notable for spawning a promo video of "Dancing With An Angel", featuring a duet between Udo and Doro Pesch (of Warlock).

    The next two studio releases – 2004's 'Thunderball' and 2005's 'Mission No. X' – were slightly livelier affairs, with the band's touring of Germany, South America, and Eastern Europe. Sonically, the former shared much in common with 'Timebomb', while the latter followed 'No Limits'.
    It was with 2007's 'Mastercutor', that U.D.O. returned to form. The album was the most financially successful in years and received universally high marks from musical critics and metal fans alike. Udo's appearance on Finnish metal band Lordi's album, 'The Arockalypse', exposed U.D.O. to a wider audience. Live DVD Mastercutor Alive was released in 2008.
    U.D.O.'s twelfth studio album, 'Dominator', was released on 21 August 2009. U.D.O.'s next studio album, 'Rev-Raptor' was released on 20 May 2011.
    On 12 September 2012 Stefan Kaufmann, longtime guitar player in U.D.O. has left the band for health reasons. The band has begun with the preparations for the forthcoming studio album and is looking for a guitar player with immediate effect. Stefan will continue to work in the surroundings of the band and produce bands in his own ROXX studio. 'Steelhammer' was released on 20 May 2013.

Studio albums:

'Animal House' (1987)
'Mean Machine' (1988)
'Faceless World' (1990)
'Timebomb' (1991)
'Solid' (1997)
'No Limits' (1998)
'Holy' (1999)
'Man and Machine' (2002)
'Thunderball' (2004)
'Mission No. X' (2005)
'Mastercutor' (2007)
'Dominator' (2009)
'Rev-Raptor' (2011)
'Steelhammer' (2013)
'Decadent' (2015)
Live albums:
'Live From Russia' (2001)
'Nailed To Metal – The Missing Tracks' (2003)
'Mastercutor Alive' (2008)
'Live In Sofia' (2011)
'Steelhammer - Live from Moscow' (2014)
'Nailed To Metal - The Complete History' (2003)
'Thundervision' (2004)
'Mastercutor Alive' (2008)
'Live In Sofia' (2012)
'Live From Moscow' (2014)
'Navy Metal Night' (July 31 2015 in Europe and August 18 2015 in the U.S)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------REVIEW BELOW-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.) "Intro" (Das Boot)
2.) "Das Boot"
3.) "Future Land"
4.) "Independence Day"
5.) "Animal Instinct"
6.) "The Hall Of The Mountain King"
7.) "Heart Of Gold"
8.) "Man And Machine"
9.) "Dancing With An Angel" (feat. Doro Pesch)
10.) "Faceless World"

11.) "Ride"
12.) "Days Of Hope And Glory"
13.) "Cut Me Out"
14.) "Trainride In Russia (Poezd Po Rossii)"
15.) "Stillness Of Time"
16.) "King Of Mean"
17.) "Book Of Faith"
18.) "Animal House"

1.) "Das Boot"
2.) "Future land"
3.) "Independence day"
4.) "Animal instinct"
5.) "The Hall Of The Mountain King"
6.) "Heart Of gold"
7.) "Man And machine"
8.) "Dancing With An angel"
9.) "Faceless World"
1.) "Ride"
11.) "Days Of hope And glory"
12.) "Cut Me Out"
13.) "Trainide In Russia (Poezd po rossii)"
14.) "Stillness Of time"
15.) "King Of mean"
16.) "Book Of faith"
17.) "Animal House"



    Love or hate Udo Dirkschneider or his work with Accept and his own band U.D.O. his impact on the world of heavy metal is undeniable as it continues today.             'Navy Metal Nights' was recorded on February 20, 2014 in front of a sold-out crowd in Tuttlingen, Germany with the German Navy Orchestra Marinemusikkorps Nordsee. Heavy metal artists performing with an orchestra is nothing new from Kiss to Metallica and now U.D.O., the deference is this worked and felt as the orchestra belonged. The show opens with the orchestra playing "Das Boot" (meaning "The Boat" if you don't speak German). After "Das Boot" the band opens their set with "Future Land". Many times heavy metal rhythm guitar arrangements have empty spaces in between the riffs. So one of the first things I noticed as a musician was the orchestra fills in those empty spaces. This gives the songs not only a more full sound but also a more in your face feel live. One of the songs I found myself replaying a lot was "Independence Day". If there is any doubt in your mind that this format worked just listen to this track! "Hall Of The Mountain King" was performed by the orchestra. If I had a complaint with the release it would be this. I would have liked to have heard the orchestra playing the song underneath some sort of lead guitar solo. I really loved the way they arranged the song "Man and Machine". Doro was there that night to join Udo on a duet of "Dancing With An Angel". "The Ride" was performed solely by the orchestra. There are many reviewers who are complaining of the setlist the guys chose.  I guess these writers don't realize that Udo has a huge catalog of songs that do work with an orchestra, plus make the fans happy. Personally, I feel he accomplished this. 'Navy Metal Nights' is a grand accomplishment for Udo and the rest of the band and I feel it would make any U.D.O. fan very pleased. Scratch that it would make all metal fans ecstatic !!!!