U.D.O.: Mission N X
U.D.O. - Mission N X - [AFM Records]


Mission Number X is U.D.O's tenth LP. The band started off as a side project for vocalist Udo Dirkschneider somewhere in the late eighties, after Udo left Accept. U.D.O was on a break when the vocalist returned to Accept in the mid-nineties, but when Accept disbanded in 1997 U.D.O came back to life. Accept are touring in their resurrection world tour currently, but it doesn't matter much to Udo and his friends, for now. They're here for the music and they do it well. Igor and Stefan, the guitarists, put on a clean and professional display, Fitty Weinhold the bass player is working his magic in the background and the new drummer Francesco Jovino enters the fray as if he's with the band for years. But the main attraction in this German band is Udo with his Brian Johnson(the Australian from AC/DC) like vocals.
The opening song is the full version of 24/7 and it's a hit. It makes you jump in your seat, it highlights Udo and the backing vocals are genius. The full version of Mean Streets follows, and it's also a good and special song. It goes along with no Power Metal beat, but with a simple riff. Only in the chorus can you hear a Hard Rock sound that brings the song alive. It is worth noting the clever use of backing vocals on this track as well.
The next song is the theme song, the rhythm is excellent, Udo and the choir sing well, the solo is pleasant to the ears – a real treat of a song. Too bad it ends so abruptly. In fact, from that point on every song is abruptly stopped and it's really not understandable.
The next tracks are the short versions of 24/7 and Mean Streets, and although they're fun to hear I would have saved them for the bonus materials at the end of the album. Primecrime on Primetime is another decent song. It shows the usual AC/DC sounds plus an Alice Cooper like chorus and a change in the style of playing to something a bit more Metallic and that changes the perception of the song.
Eye Of The Eagle that follows is a quiet song and it's great. It has an almost anthemic rhythm, and it's a beautiful ballad. Shell Shock Fever takes it up a notch, and it's one of the few songs of the album that changes the Hard Rock for Power Metal, but it's not a change for the worst, on the contrary. Udo's voice stays the same, but the clean and fast riffs with the addition of a professional solo make it a song that stands out. Stone Hard brings the Hard Rock back and it also brings back the "we're on our way to complete a mission, please do not disturb" atmosphere that surrounds the theme song. In between Breaking Down The Borders and Way Of Life(the solo at the end of Way Of Life is highly recommended) there's another ballad.
Cry Soldier cry is devoted to someone probably, and to whom it may concern he should be flattered. This is a very emotional song. It's about losing friends who are soldiers in battle.

Mad For Crazy, the last song, brings Udo back to his days as an Accept member where the Speed Metal-Power Metal mixture was a key element, the same can be found here.

Nir Haviv

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