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U.D.O. - Live In Bulgaria 2020 Pandemic Survival Show (AFM Records) Album Review

    Horace Cordier
    Senior Member

  • U.D.O. - Live In Bulgaria 2020 Pandemic Survival Show (AFM Records) Album Review

    Released by: AFM Records
    Released on: March 19th, 2021.
    Purchase From Amazon

    Recorded in Bulgaria - where life is cheap!

    Hot on the heels of his utterly bizarre We Are One collaboration (also reviewed here at RSP!), everyone's favorite Teutonic Metal ogre Herr Udo Dirkschneider returns with that ubiquitous staple - the live album. For a while now it has been common practice for legacy acts, or pretty much any band with a history over 20 years long, to release a live album or DVD/Blu-ray after almost every studio record. But of course with COVID-19 on the loose we have pretty much seen that go out the window for 90% of the Metal world. What on earth will DEEP PURPLE do to earn a crust and keep the pets fed and the plants watered??

    “What can you do about this fucking virus? - Udo on stage in Bulgaria 2020

    Not quite sure how they managed this, but manage it they did - hence this double live record's clever subtitle - The Pandemic Survival Show. I suppose we'll find out eventually since the show was recorded for a video release.

    I've personally seen Udo live twice so I can tell you that man is pretty much ageless vocal-wise. He's got the same scratchy but killer tone and has an impressive catalog of both solo and ACCEPT classics to pull from. There's been a few lineup changes in the last few years and Udo seems to now pull most of his guitarists and bassists from the Eastern Bloc Metal pool. The names of guitarist Andrey Smirnov and bassist Tilen Hudrap and sole schnitzel Dee Dammers (that's Deutschland to you) won't ring any bells for the average fan but they ably handle all the classic ACCEPT tracks and solo staples. Special note to Udo spawn Sven - Udo's kid is a damn fine drummer.

    Of course, Udo being Udo the workhorse, you get a bunch of tracks from the last couple of studio outings. Energy level is excellent, our man at the mic keeps the chitchat to a minimum, and you get a big fat live experience. Highlights? Cruiser missile opener “Tongue Reaper” from the Steelfactory album, weirdly effective power ballad “I Give As Good As I Get” from the unjustly overlooked Rev-Raptor and “Vendetta” is a great mid-paced stomper. For the classics, we get a nice gang chant rocker that opens with a pre-taped children's choir (!!) in “They Want War” from Udo's first solo album, a sizzling “Timebomb” from the album of the same name with a spectacular double-bass drum opening straight out of the JUDAS PRIEST Painkiller playbook and a flawless version of ACCEPT's Midnight Mover.

    Of course the three ton punch of ACCEPT closers “Metal Heart”, “Fast As A Shark” and everyone's favorite homoerotic anthem “Balls To The Wall” can't really be beaten and our boisterous Slavic Metal brethren do not disappoint with some lusty crowd accompaniment.

    Highly recommend for those in need of the sign of victory and all true Metal fans. Hail And Kill!
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