Udo just doesn't stop. Between precursor EP releases, full lengths, live records and the occasional DVD this tiny German with the big voice has become the eternal icon consistently putting his face out there year after year. AFM has stood by him for the better part of a decade giving this talented showman the ability to constantly release albums. With the recent success of Accept one has to question Udo's decision to stay with his solo venture. He obviously has been putting out the same record year after year with very little in the way of advancement or diversity. Nevertheless there is the oddly titled "Rev Raptor" to mark Udo's thirteenth solo record to date.
The band once again use Stefan Kaufman to produce and record in the same studio they have used for the last ten years. I really wish Udo would visit Denmark or England and grab one of today's cutting edge producers to do something a little different with the guitar tone and vocals. With these records, including this new one, the guitar tone is just missing any bottom end, as if all the bottom tone is just mixed high and given way to much treble to really shake it. It is a slippery slope considering this man's tenure and experience...would you tell Lemmy to mix it up at this point in his career?
"Rev Raptor" is a decent offering considering these songs have absolutely been done to death. The band at this point is suffering from creative drive (and has been since the 90s) and way too many recycled-rehashed Accept grooves. Udo's releases utilize the same cookie cutter mold with tracks that are braced with mid-tempo grooves and quick-paced numbers that use the familiar gang vocals for emphasis. The drums are so insufficient and complacent, sounding like they were phoned in from last night's stop. Anthems, power ballads and mandatory German rockers are all intact here and for the most part the songs themselves are catchy. But I'll be damned if I'm not doing the math in my head the whole time and calculating which riffs were used where (Grave Digger, Scorpions, Accept, U.D.O). Lordy Mercy the German jar is running low.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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