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

This is the typical case of a review that started to be written the moment I received its press-release. It’s no news for everyone that follows my reviews that I absolutely adore and revere vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and his former band Accept. I don’t have enough words to express what their music meant to me when I was an insecure teenager with all the problems and troubles that puberty brings to an individual. In addition to that to worsen things I saw myself as a proud and dedicated metalhead in a place and time when to be a metalhead was a severe act to be punished with all the mockery and disdain possible. I respected them even more when I discovered some “hidden” facts of their lyrics as that most songs were written by their manager Deaffy covering some women point of view of some subjects as sex. That in the 1980s for a crowd that is known to be sexist. Bold enough for you?

Okay, then, now about U.D.O. & Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr and “We Are One.” Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr stands for the official Concert Band of the German Armed Forces as well as the German Armed Forces’ composers Guido Rennert and Alexander Reuber. The project also features two former Accept musicians drummer Stefan Kaufmann and bassist Peter Baltes have been part of the songwriting. In the words of the participants “We Are One” is to be put as a critical reflection of a world in which we all leave our mark, and in which we all have to show responsibility. Its lyrical content reunites a lot of controvertial, and for that relevant and important, subjects of our life on this 21st century. I never do this but I’ll quote Udo’s words about the album:

“We all live on this planet. No matter who we are or what we do, we all just have this one planet. There is no planet B. When I see the pictures of all the plastic in our oceans and when I hear about the next climate catastrophe in the news, I really start wondering how respectless and irresponsible we sometimes are. It ´s not just about us, it’s also about all the others and last but not least about our children!”

Alright, that all put and said. Let’s go to the album. Before I start to say anything about the album, I’d like to posit a fun and ironic fact of my own. The first time I heard Grave Digger’s “Witch Hunter” the feeling I got was that it was Accept with a faster and heavier cadence. No kidding, my child of the night. Time went on and Grave Digger went through a lot of musical changes. Well, then, while I was listening to the album there were some moments that I thought “Wow, this is Grave Digger!” The ironies of life.

In order to be absolutely fair and honest and frank, I’d like to divide this review into two subjects: first is the political, and philosophical, relevancy of it and the second is the music within it. I don’t know if the fan had noticed or paid attention to the importance of the fact the armed forces of a country (Germany) that historically was responsible for one of the most cruel and evil events of humankind, the Shoah (the way European jewish people refer to the holocaust) decided to write an album with lyrics which covers the most important matters of our reality with a very, but very humane standpoint. The message couldn’t be more clear: We are one! Lesson learned, my friends.

Musicwise, “We Are One” is the result of two most beloved German passions: classical music and Heavy Metal. So one might have wondered why not have both together? I know this kind of fusion isn’t exactly new, but it surely works due to the emotional and powerful content both do have. A note to Udo and Accept’s fans, this album is completely different from whatever they did in their lives. I confess that the first listen to first track “Pandemonium” I got a bit disappointed with all the horns and wind instruments. I really don’t appreciate them and that’s why I chose Metal as the soundtrack of my life not jazz or blues – Don’t you dare ever think I considered listening to pop! There are moments as in “Neon Diamond” that the saxophone takes the lead making a very interesting intervention. As I said before, this could easyly be a Grave Digger album due to the combination of the 60 piece orchestra and a Metal band. If you don’t believe me go right to “Beyond Gravity.” I guess the fan will understand better what I mean making this simple comparison. I won’t highlight any track because I think it wouldn’t be fair to this honorable project. 

I’ll finish with two more words: first, if you are a nazi, or support any kind of nazi thoughts, please, do not listen to this album nor read this review. They’re not for you. Second, I’ll once more quote Udo:

“Never before critical words agains worldwide exaggeration of consumption or all this cyber insanity have been this loud. Never before the voice against protectionism, nationalism and against the right wing have been that intense. Let us join forces for a better planet! We are one!”

U.D.O. & Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr “We Are One” will be released on July 17th via AFM Records.

Wow! This is the longest review I’ve written here. Almost a thousand words. I won’t push any longer to reach the thousand.

Track Listing:

  1. Pandemonium
  2. We Are One
  3. Love and Sin
  4. Future Is the Reason Why
  5. Children of the World
  6. Blindfold (The Last Defender)
  7. Blackout
  8. Mother Earth
  9. Rebel Town
  10. Natural Forces
  11. Neon Diamond
  12. Beyond Gravity
  13. Here We Go Again
  14. We Strike Back
  15. Beyond Good and Evil

Watch “We Are One” official music video here: