Reviews - U
This band is headed by ex-Accept (legendary German 80's metal gods) singer Udo Dirkshneider. Also, Accept's longtime drummer is in U.D.O., as a guitarist. In comparison, this could be described more or less similar to the melodic and catchy metal of Helloween, Running Wild, and Blind Guardian. Of course, "Holy" is bound to have sounds, riffs, lyrics, and (naturally) vocals that will remind the listener of Accept, but because U.D.O. is not Accept, this release is subjected to different expectations. Thus, "Holy" is not expected to be as good or as godly as say "Restless and Wild" by Accept, I had more fun listening to "Holy" than "Death Row", one of the last releases that Accept put out when they reunited in the 90's. With extremely catchy songs, riffs that stay in your brain long after the song is over, and Udo (the man) singing in his familiar high, screechy voice, this makes this release a keeper.
ULTIMATUM - "PUPPET OF DESTRUCTION"
This is Christian thrash metal. This is from 1998, but it could easily be from 1985 or so. It doesn't really matter though, the voice is annoying, and not fresh at all. If you like re-hashed mid 80's thrash, then this is for you.
UNDERTHREAT - DEATHMOSPHERE
Underthreat is powered by the riff and the blast!! They bring the jams, simple as that. There is a fast and blasting melodic death element going on here: each song goes from solid, compact, marching riff to riff. The riffs practically have written all over them; "you really should bang your head, or mosh, or at least shake your head, or do something." These guys probably like the faster Dark Tranquillity stuff quite a bit, but they employ the blasting speed way more often. The guitar rhythms are actually quite good, but I recognize that it's difficult to be truly groundbreaking. The band uses melody in every song, but it's not super-melodic, just catchy, thrashy, and memorable. The vocals are growled (no clean vocals), though there are some higher pitched growl-screams. One thing that is important is that the band sounds motivated and excited, like they are out to prove something: that melodic death can blast and be aggressively catchy. I have a lot of melodic death albums that I listen to, but I do not have a single one that keeps up the energy this high throughout the whole album. As it turns out, if you try to be creative, there is always something interesting that you can bring to metal. Good job, good album. It's very promising and the band has already begun delivering on the promise.
UNHOLYGHOST- TORRENTIAL REIGN
Don’t like blasting, frantic death metal? Stop reading, Florida’s Unholy Ghost has three ex-Diabolic members. This sounds completely different than Diabolic. There are several reasons why this debut is good, like variety, "The Calling of Sin," "Soul Dement, " and "Decimated" are hyper-fast numbers, while "Under Existence" is a plodding, dark track. "Eyes of Lost" is a mid-paced song showing that death metal can be played somewhat slower. "Cross Contamination", has mid-paced, fast and super-fast parts all in one song. The vocals have a strong presence, guttural but enunciated; low at times, higher for emphasis at other times. Bands like Unholy Ghost often get compared to Krisiun, but I think Krisiun doesn’t have memorable songs. Unholy Ghost is catchy. The solos are easy to get into, a definite strength. Something good has begun.
UNLEASHED - "EASTERN BLOOD-HAIL TO POLAND"
What can I say? If you do not know who this is, well....shoot yourself! This is a live CD containing 21 songs! Excellent live release to get you ready for the following album, hopefully it will be better than the previous. I love UNLEASHED, but the previous release was a huge disappointment for me. This is a must have for all UNLEASHED fans!
UNLEASHED: SWORN ALLEGIANCE
Unleashed is the kind of band that radiates stupidity. "Only the Dead" deals with necrophilia. Never mind that it's a tired subject; it's more that the lyrics just sound so stupid. "The Longships Are Coming" is another clichéd we-are-vikings type of song. It could be that when a band keeps doing the same thing, it is no longer making music. It becomes a parody of itself, except that the band doesn't know it. They think they are keeping real. Well, this tired Swedish death metal gives good old-school Swedish death metal a bad name.
USURPER - CRYPTOBEAST
The best to way describe Usurper is that they take inspiration from old thrash bands like Slayer and Kreator (you know...) and play thrash with more modern touches, like blast beats (here and there) and (intelligible) growling. This band doesn't claim to be the "best" and the most "innovative", blah, blah, blah. Look it, they have songs called "Kill for Metal" and "Return of the Werewolf", ok? They wear leather and spikes and have Tom G. Warrior-inspired "ughs", alright? By the way, the chorus/chant to "Kill for Metal" does in fact go like this: "Kill! Kill! Kill! ...for metal! Kill! Kill! Kill!...for metal!" This is catchy thrash steeped in the 80s and with that "primitive" attitude.