It has become a tradition: After each studio album, U.D.O. record a live CD during the following tour. They have done so since Mastercutor Alive (2008) - with the small exception of the Dominator tour. So, here it is again, a live release - available as BluRay or DVD, both come with two CDs. This is already the third live release in only six years. Whether this unusually high number of live releases makes sense or not is not the topic of this review - everybody has their own opinion about it – but instead I will have a closer look at band performance, sound quality (I only had access to the audio tracks) and the setlist.
First of all the performance: It is, as usual for U.D.O., on a very high level. I was a bit curious to hear the two new guitar players, Andrey Smirnov and Kasperi Heikkinen, as both are somewhat dark horses in the scene. But they fit in perfectly, playing on a very high level as well, which you can hear best when listening to some of the solos they play. And also the band leader himself delivers a great performance. Despite his 62 years of age, his vocals are still really powerful. Sometimes he sounds a bit too good for a live recording… Not so great is the sound. It is not bad but it could be a bit more energetic. Especially the guitars sound flat. Concerning this point, the “Mastercutor Alive” album is the clear winner. Finally, the setlist is a real balancing act: It is nearly completely different from its predecessors (only “Metal Heart” is on all of them) but nevertheless great. Not less than five tracks are taken from the great new album “Steelhammer”, the rest comes from the huge arsenal of 14 great UDO albums, which as we know contain lots of fantastic songs and a large number of classics.
If you do not own a U.D.O. live release yet or if you want to expand your collection, don´t hesitate to buy this one.