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One of the pioneers of metal music returns with MASTERCUTOR, a 12-track album that showcases German stalwart Mr. Udo Dirkschneider still going strong at age 55. Yes, the "Balls to the Wall" guy is still at it, whipping the asses of singers half his age on cuts like the emotionally-charged "One Lone Voice" and the throat-ripping "We Do- For You", the closest thing Udo has made to a commercial hit since his worldwide Accept hit. Despite this release sounding a bit formulaic and predictable at times, the power exuded by tracks such as "The Wrong Side of Midnight" and "Vendetta" is undeniable. Chances are if you still get hopped up on the virtue of bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, and Saxon, the new album by UDO will also appeal to you.
- Mike SOS