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U.D.O., Nailed to Metal: The Missing Tracks (AFM)
"Raised from the glowing ashes of cauldron iron/The Phoenix arose from the sanctum of metal." It might be corny compared to contemporary music, but classic heavy metal has proven to be incredibly resilient over the past 20 years, as veteran artists like Iron Maiden, Slayer, and Motorhead continue to ply their trade with just as much power as ever. Udo Dirkschneider, former vocalist for the great German band Accept, has been working with his solo project U.D.O. since the late '80s, and on this odds-and-sods collection of outtakes from the 2002 album Live in Russia, the little guy with the most recognizable voice in the history of heavy metal still sounds great on this well-recorded live performance. Nailed to metal is a real treat for Accept fans, as Udo and his ace band (with former Accept member Stefan Kaufmann in tow) tear through classic tracks like "Fast as a Shark", "Restless & Wild", "Balls to the Wall", "Princess of the Dawn", and "Metal Heart". Newer songs like "Holy" and "Raiders of Beyond" hold up very well compared to the classics, as does the obscure Accept track "X-T-C". Inexplicably, this hour-long CD has an unbearable, four minute drum solo, but the sheer power of all the other songs make up for it. The only thing you're left wondering is, "Why on earth were these great performances left off the original live album?"