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Predictable yet enjoyable - 70%

Dead1, February 21st, 2016
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, AFM Records

Some people just live and breathe heavy metal, and none more so than Udo Dirkschneider, lead vocalist of U.D.O., who dispels any notion that old age results in mandatory mellowing out. Indeed not many of the 1970s vintage metal pioneers still crank out meaty slabs of heavy metal, other than maybe Udo's old band, Accept or Raven.

Much like most things U.D.O., Decadent has both feet firmly implanted in the 1980s. The riffs, song structures, melodies and overall vibe would fit on any 1980s heavy metal album. The only thing modern is the production, though unlike so many European bands, it's not over-polished to the point of nausea.

And like most things U.D.O. has done since 2007's Mastercutor there's not much to fault here. Having been in the scene for 40 odd years, Udo knows what makes a good fist pumping heavy metal tune or cigarette lighter waving ballad or head-banging riff.

There's no real stand-out tracks here though. Whilst many songs such as "Rebels Of The Night" or "Secrets In Paradise" are good examples of the heavy metal art, they are replaceable by other similar sounding songs, either by U.D.O. or Accept. In essence they all sound extremely familiar.

Comparisons with Accept are inevitable, and Decadent comes across as heavier and more meaty than Blind Rage. However as always U.D.O. stays far more within the confines of traditional heavy metal which in turn makes it sound far more generic than Accept's last couple of albums which in themselves weren't mind-blowing in terms of originality. It's an extremely safe album, but then this is the norm in much of heavy metal these days.

In the end what we're left with is a reasonable if unremarkable and largely superfluous Teutonic heavy metal album. It will appeal to listeners with a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality but the "been there, done that" mob will not be impressed.