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U.D.O. & The German Armed Forces Concert Band – We Are One

U.D.O. & Musikcorps der Bundeswehr - We Are One

4.3

Rating

4.3/5

Flyctory.com Pros

  • Great collaboration of metal sounds and symphonic orchestra
  • Nice weighting of elements
  • Strong and catchy production

Flyctory.com Cons

  • Album gets weaker towards the end
  • "Where the angels fly" was recorded too late for the album

When I read about the collaboration, I knew I just had to do a review of this project: one of the most famous German metal acts, U.D.O., collaborated with the German Armed Forces Concert Band (“Musikkorps der Bundeswehr“) for an album. I just was too curious about We are One, which has been released on 17th July 2020.

 

U.D.O. / Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – About The Artists

The big name behind the band U.D.O. is Udo Dirkschneider, who was born on 6th April 1952 in Wuppertal, Germany. Dirkschneider, who has a very characteristic voice, became big with Accept, before he founded U.D.O. in 1987. The band exists until today, with a hiatus between 1992 and 1996, when Dirkschneider re-united with Accept. The band overall produced sixteen albums and even made it once to the Top 100 Single charts in Germany, when they released 24/7 in 2005. Especially during the last years, U.D.O. became quite popular. The 2018 album Steelfactory placed seventh in the German album charts and also made it to the Top 10 of the US Heat Charts.

The Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, is part of the Military Music Services (Militärmusikdienst) of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). They are based in Siegburg near Bonn and are majorly used for representative reasons like official receptions and for tours in Germany and other countries. The current head of the orchestra is Christoph Scheibling, who is leading it since 2012. They already supported U.D.O. at the world-famous Wacken Open Air festival in 2015.

 

U.D.O. & Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – We Are One – Track by Track

The album contains 15 tracks. The playtime is amazing 74 minutes.

1. Pandemonium

Turning commercials into war
Is it hell we’re longing for
Guiding all mankind into doom
Fighting for Pandemonium

How would you expect a collaboration of U.D.O. and a symphonic orchestra to sound? Maybe exactly like Pandemonium! The orchestra gets its instrumental space as well as the guitars and drums. One top there is Dirkschneider’s voice. Pandemonium is fun!

2. We Are One

We are one – we are free
And we need a place to be
We are one – we will rise
Gonna be no compromise
We are one – we are free
And we need a place to be
We are one – we will rise
Never be a compromise

Here we go, the title track. It has been released before the album – and if there were any minor doubts to review this project’s album – We Are One just wipes it away. Cool track and nice sing-a-long. Loooove it!

3. Love And Sin

Love and SIn is the longest track of the album – the 7:11 minutes start will all classic music sound and a background choir and by that feel a lot like classic Symphonic Metal sound. Vocals incept after more then 90 seconds – it feels to be a quality of the We are One compositions that both parts, the metal sound and the symphonic orchestra can present theirself individually and in synergy. Love and Sin is an amazing, bombastic track finally!

4. Future Is The Reason Why

Future is The Reason Why is a very similar combination of elements: the orchestra, the band, DIrkschneider’s voice and a background choir. The track feels a bit harder, the chorus feels like a perfect one for a night out in Wacken when the people can shout back to the Northern Germany sky. Cool!

5. Children Of The World

One quality of the album – so far – is that there are tracks and parts which are rather for symphonic sound lovers, but also melodies for headbangers. Children Of The World is a lovely travel through different elements. Right after you are surprised how much fun it is to head-bang to the German Army strings, the choir gives you a children’s song alike intermission – and the next moment, your long hair is flying through the wind based on the rhythm of the guitars. U.D.O. and the military composers did an amazing job to weigh these elements.

6. Blindfold (The Last Defender)

Blindfold (The Last Defender) gives a lot of space to the orchestra and the the solo voice, Manuela Markewitz, who is typically more in the genre of musical. A very melodic, ballad-alike track. No Dirkschneider voice at all.

7. Blackout

Blackout is a 2:40 minute lasting instrumental part. Room for the instruments to play. Sounds a bit like the background music of an 1980’s movie

8. Mother Earth

After the orchestra and instrumentalists had their time, were are back in the harder sounds with Mother Earth. Very melodic, very catchy. Love it!

9. Rebel Town

Revolution is arising
In a rebel town
Ev’rybody’s sacrificing
We want it all
We are marching till the end
In this rebel town

The chorus feels a bit too simple, but finally, this track works – it just has a good sound!

10. Natural Forces

Natural Forces is more or less an instrumental track – there are some backing vocals, which feel like a Gothic choir.

11. Neon Diamond

After the title track, Neon Diamond was the second song which was released before the album. The song is a great duet between Dirkschneider and Markewitz in this song.

12. Beyond Gravity

Another instrumental – this time, there are even bagpipes in the orchestration. This one is a bit over-done in my point of view. It feels a bit more melodic, when there are some backing vocals towards the end of the 4:33 minutes, but overall, it feels too weak to me.

13. Here We Go Again

Do not shake your PC or mobile when you listen to this one for the first time – there are really rap elements in Here We Go Again. I just cannot rate this song at all. Something deep inside me shouts “Bullshit!” – but it just got a certain touch… Here is the video, I leave it up to you:

14. We Strike Back

We Strike Back is likely one of the songs, which die-hard U.D.O. fans without too much additiction for the symphonic orchestra will like most: it is hard, it is speedy, it is classic U.D.O. sound. Still got the orchestra touch, though.

15. Beyond Good And Evil

Last battle, the Armed Forces concert band and U.D.O. farewell their melodic weapons for a final 6:30 minute round. This battleground is fully instrumental again. A nice finish, but also not more.

 

U.D.O. & Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – We Are One – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget for We Are One:

 

Bundeswehr – Where The Angels Fly (Extra Track)

After the album has been finalized, U.D.O. and the German Armed Forces Concert Band recorded this additional track, which can only be found online and on a special version of the album. It is a thanks to the helpers during the Covid-19 crisis in Germany (coming with corresponding words beforehand):

 

U.D.O. & Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – We Are One – My View

Let’s start with two negative statements: it is really bad luck that one of the best songs (maybe the best one..) of this collaboration, Where The Angels Fly, is not part of the album. Secondly, the last tracks of the album are slightly weaker to me than the powerful, versatile and amazing beginning. Finally, the not that consequent finish of the album moves it to the lower Top Pick! rating regions, but We are One is definitely in. A courageous collaboration, which finally works out really well. I love it!

 

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