Udo: Udo Dirkschneider (vocals); Stefan Kaufman, Igor Gianola (guitar); Fitty Wienhold (bass); Lorenzo Milani (drums).
To the delight of '80s-era headbangers, it's good to know that the vocals of former Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider sound as "sandpapery" as ever (nearly 20 years later), as evidenced by his 2001 solo release Live from Russia. Although not as well known to the metal masses as Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio, Dirkschneider's vocals are certainly as instantly identifiable, and Accept recordings must have sold well on the black market in the Soviet Union, as evidenced by this double-disc set. While the set does indeed include several "Accept-era tracks," except for "Midnight Mover" most of the Accept classics you'd expect ("Fast as a Shark," "Balls to the Wall," etc.) are nowhere to be found. But taking their place are headbanging tracks that will certainly please leather-jacketed Accept/U.D.O. fanatics: "Animal House," "Raiders of Beyond," and "Break the Rules." While it may not be as strong as an Accept live recording from their artistic/commercial peak (such as the German group's 1985 live EP Kaizoku-Ban), if you're an admirer of tough '80s metal, Live from Russia should certainly warm your ear holes. ~ Greg Prato