U.D.O. – Navy Metal Night (DVD/ double CD)
The man with the Teutonic metal roar returns in a different double CD/DVD collection, capturing a special show in February 2014 where U.D.O. would perform a selection of songs from his discography with the German Navy Orchestra (Marinemusikkorps Nordsee). So for those ready to decry ‘another live DVD/CD collection from U.D.O.’ (this is his third in the last four years), hear me out when you find the addition of the orchestra makes these songs more cinematic, symphonic, or theatrical than ever before.
A 17 song set list with no Accept songs means that U.D.O. chooses to let their own catalog do the talking – and there are some great numbers that rarely see air time in his conventional metal stage show. Remember the semi-swinging "Cut Me Out" from "Holy"? Or the power ballad "Dancing with an Angel", that features Doro Pesch? Others like "Trainride to Russia", "Independence Day" as well as "Animal House" receive a different level of brightness that may have been taken a touch for granted in their original state. You also get the Navy’s interpretation of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and "Das Boot" to give the regular band some rest – I would imagine that the audience would be just as special because fans of classical music and metal could unite together on this one of a kind celebration. Udo keeps his stage banter in German for the hometown crowd, and I love the cheering, clapping, and choir moments that appear throughout.
Favorites? "Man and Machine" still gets the blood racing, that drum march intro and flute combination is the stuff of legends, while the heavier "King of Mean" gains even darker impact through the use of brass and woodwinds. Realizing this may not be mandatory for the casual metal fan, U.D.O. will do this again at Wacken Open Air in the summer with another orchestra and include some Accept classics in the mix. Proof that the two genres have a lot in common for dynamics, tension, and musicianship – "Navy Metal Night" thankfully can live on here.