By Bob Nalbandian

Nuclear Blast

It's safe to say that the former Accept belter has definitely not mellowed out with age! Holy marks U.D.O.'s 7th studio release and Accept fans will not be disappointed in the least. If Accept had your Balls To The Wall, than U.D.O. will surely have your balls plastered against the roof!

The disc opens with title track, an ode to all that is metal. "Raiders of Beyond" follows with a rip-roaring beat and thunderous riffs. This album is relentless! Udo Dirkschneider has recruited (former Accept drummer) Stefan Kaufmann on guitar, who is just as impressive on the axe as he is on the skins. Stefan's Blackmore influenced solos and bombastic riffs are the perfect compliment to Mr. Dirkschneider's savage vocals, which sound remarkably stronger than ever before. The production, handled by Udo and Stefan, is top-notch. In fact, Michael Wagner and Dieter Dierks together couldn't have produced a ballsier, meaner sounding record.

Other highlights include; "Thunder In The Tower," "Back Off," and the funked-up rocker "Cut Me Out," all displaying traditional power-metal at it's finest. If you're looking for a new formula, forget it! No additives, no alternatives...This is pure metal!

Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous
Metal Blade

This CD I really tried getting into...but couldn't. The previous King's X CDs grew on me the more I listened, but no luck this time. Even after several listens, I just could not get into Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous. This marks the Houston, Texas trio's eighth studio release, and the record does have it's highlights, like the first two tracks "Fish Bowl Man" and "Julia," but from there on out, it's the same ole monotonous riffs and croons. Their Beatles-gone-grunge approach to rock was uniquely refreshing back in 1990 (with their Faith Hope Love release), but now it's wearing thinner than an anorexic Ethiopian.

I am a King's X fan, believe me. And I would still argue that this band is one of the most talented heavy rock bands on the scene today. Doug Pinnick, still one of the most powerful and soulful vocalists in rock'n'roll today, offers very little in the vocal department on their latest release. Instead, he whines, croons, and moans like Eddie Vedder! Has this man lost his balls, or what?! What happened to the Doug Pinnick who belted out heartfelt vocals on previous hits like "Over My Head"? [From the 1989 release Gretchen Goes to Nebraska]. The CD picks up momentum with "Smudge,"-a great tune, but then drops right back into the usual monotony. A brighter production and better dynamics would have made this album much more interesting and enjoyable, but it seems King's X have lost their integrity this time around. No wonder Mr. Bulbous won't come home.

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