I once gargled a bag of gravel hoping to sound like Udo Dirkschneider. Let’s just say don’t try it unless you want to be picking pebbles out of your nose for a week afterwards. Accept has been left far behind, and Udo throws us into his latest work of Teutonic metal.
Rev-Raptor is an album that has certainly moved with the times. Like Dominator and Mastercutor before it, the guitar tone has that extremely high gain sound that can end up leaving it sounding a little midi-like. Thankfully, the guitars sound similar to Painkiller-era Judas Priest, and coupled with the slight click on the kick drum gives the album a very slight industrial tinge to it. This may be in part to the horrendous digitising of every single instrument, the metallic sound of the clean guitars that are drenched with at least half a dozen different effects do get weary after a while. As I said, it’s a sound for Udo, and by his own admission it’s what he wants to do instead of making Fast As A Shark every other year.
The songs are pretty solid, Rock & Roll Soldiers has a stomping chorus that will invite horns in the air on any occasion. It’s good to see after forty years the man can still write a good song, and plays with some interesting characters; the theme of robots, cyborgs and the cyberised future play very heavily through the album, which is in fact complemented by the very modern sound that can be hard to embrace. The softer side of Udo is shown on the grittily futuristic I Give As Good As I Get, which actually surprises the listener with honest to Christ vocal harmony, while a single guitar cries wistfully in the background.
While Accept continue to push forward with their ‘classic’ sound, Udo has found a sub-genre of industrial-lite metal that suits his rough vocals perfectly. And while it’s not the most versatile or varied release of the year, Rev-Raptor is a dark, melancholic and aggressive record bursting with energy from a true metal legend.