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15.01.2021

U.D.O./Das Musikkorps Der Bundeswehr

We Are One

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(AFM Records, 2020)

Karakter: 4/6

U.D.O. album cover.jpgThis huge-sounding opus entitled ”We Are One” is rather interesting in that it sees the renowned heavy metal outfit U.D.O. teaming up with the 60-piece brass orchestra known as Das Musikkorps Der Bundeswehr (i.e. the Concert Band of the German Armed Forces no less), and the whole thing is a concept album comprised of original song material. Pretty cool, right?

As you can probably imagine, this is a sonically powerful document with a triumphant vibe and a punchy feel to it. The sound is incredibly crisp and massively heavy, and the entire ensemble chimes in with an outstanding performance. The band and orchestra move as one and there is generally a great flow to the arrangements. The legendary Mr. Dirkschneider is on fine form too and there is simply no one like him out there.

While most of the compositions are good (and in some cases excellent), there are a few bland and uninspired ones to be found also (one of which is the dreadful track named "Here We Go Again"), and the record is therefore neither flawless nor able to maintain its momentum at all times. For the most part though, this is an exciting and pretty damn epic listen, and I admire and applaud the vision of those involved and their ability to make two vastly different musical entities complement each other so well. Judging from the liner notes and lyrics, one could certainly argue that there is an ideological and/or political dimension to ”We Are One”, but I shall refrain from commenting on any of that and merely end this little of review of mine by stating that although the record is uneven it is nonetheless quite cool and entertaining. It is not as if there is any shortage of robust riffs or big choruses on the disc, which is evidenced by the bombastic “Mother Earth”, the colorful, melancholy “Neon Diamond”, and not least the galloping "We Strike Back".




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