Friday 28 August 2020

Album Review: U.D.O. Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr - We Are One

01. Pandemonium
02. We Are One
03. Love And Sin
04. Future Is The Reason Why
05. Children Of The World
06. Blindfold (The Last Defender)
07. Blackout
08. Mother Earth
09. Rebel Town
10. Natural Forces
11. Neon Diamond
12. Beyond Gravity
13. Here We Go Again
14. We Strike Back
15. Beyond Good And Evil

It wasn't long ago that the former Accept front-man's old band released a live album where they were accompanied by a full orchestra (read my review of Accept's Symphonic Terror here). Now it's Udo's turn to put out a record with an orchestra. There does seem to still be some rivalry between the two camps, despite this being denied in the press. Regardless, I'm a huge fan of all eras of Accept and also any project Udo is involved in too. The last U.D.O album, Steelfactory (read my review here), was fantastic, so I've been excited for this new one.

Rock and Metal bands playing with orchestras is a common thing now. It seems a thing that many established artists do for whatever reason. Deep Purple, Metallica, Paradise Lost.. the list goes on. Even Spinal Tap joked about recording one in their movie. What makes We Are One very different is that these are original compositions, all written with the orchestra in mind, as opposed to pretentious classical interpretations of existing and established songs. That's a far more interesting concept for me, and the result is easily the best Metal-meets-Orchestra album I've heard. 

This album is musically quite eclectic and it takes a couple of listens to fully appreciate it, especially as it clocks in at a whopping 74 minutes. There's funky Aerosmith-esque funky Rock n' Roll of Here We Go Again, the brutal Power Metal onslaught of We Strike Back, and a few tracks with more Folk than Nightwish
Lyrically, it tackles topics such as climate change, current politics and social commentary in a way that shows us that Udo is an intelligent and switched on chap. It's certainly a refreshing change from songs about the awesomeness of Heavy Metal, giving the record a modern, and dare I say contemporary, relevance. 
The songs I enjoyed the most are the 80's-tastic Neon Diamond, Heavy Metal opener Pandemonium, and the environmentally conscious Mother Earth.

We Are One is an ambitious project, clearly tackled with both passion and expertise. It's a welcome change from the norm, and has plenty of great moments to keep any Udo fans happy.


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