ALBUM REVIEW: U.D.O And The Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – We Are One

No introductions required here. Whether you are a casual listener or a die-hard fan, the name Udo Dirkschneider is hard to miss within the rock and metal community. Alongside his band and the Musikkorps der Bundeswehr (Concert Band of the German Armed Forces), he is due to release a special musical experience titled We Are One. Given the uncertain times we are currently living in, this album could not have come at a better time.

The album kicks off Pandemonium. First impressions of the music, it’s all very well done and arranged brilliantly. It didn’t grab my attention straight away but it piqued my interest enough to stick around to hear what the rest of the album had to offer. All I can say is that I am glad I stuck around to hear the remainder of We Are One.

Each of the songs on the album are about different challenges we are currently facing. Future Is The Reason Why looks into climate change. Children Of The World look into the worldwide refugee movements. Mother Earth is about the pollution of our environment.  Opening track Pandemonium looks into U.D.O and the German Armed Forces taking a clear position against society ‘s right wing and Rebel Town is a hymn about thirty years of a reunited Germany. With topics such as this, the music has got to leave a lasting impact and that’s exactly what it does. Below are my personal favourites on this record.

Knowing what the track Children Of The World looked into, I wondered how it would sound. I was not expecting what was to come and that’s a good thing. The sudden impact hits you hard. The arrangements of this track are very well done. You have the heavier parts that to me represent the seriousness of the situation. The softer parts leading up to the children’s voices give off a strong sense of innocence and hope. These voices sing the powerful and moving lyrics that make you stop and listen:

“When the seas are rising, The skies are turning black, When nations start colliding, There is no turning back”

“We are a million voices, Demanding to be heard, So let us build a future, For the children of the world”

These are honestly some of the best lyrics I have heard for a long time and I am sure this song will grab the heartstrings of many listening to this.

As mentioned earlier, Mother Earth looks into the pollution of the environment. It’s no secret that we need to look after our planet if we wish to ensure the future of it. There is no planet B as they say. The marching beats catch your attention first and the majestic arrangements from both UDO and the Concert Band.  Strong lyrics such as “time to take control of what’s left now” and “Mother Earth will soon avenge, the end of me and you” are not messages to be taken lightly.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Disney’s Fantasia comes to mind when I first listen to Natural Forces, which is a good thing. It does a great job matching the power and impact natural forces have. Images of torrential rain, thunder filled skies, crashing waves and blustery winds come to mind as I listen to this.

The moment I heard the authentic bagpipes on Beyond Gravity, I pictured myself on top of the windy highlands feeling free and powerful. This track consists of mighty chants, finger blistering guitar work, a beautiful voice and thunderous drums. Expect to feel like you can take on anything after listening to this triumphant track.

The album ends gallantly on the tracks We Strike Back and Beyond Good And Evil. These give one last blast of what was on the album.

I have one word for the album We Are One, mind-blowing. Udo Dirkschneider fans needn’t fear as he is still going strong and this album is solid proof of this. If you need to show someone that two very different musical styles can create something of high quality, We Are One is all the proof you need.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Lotty Whittingham

We Are One will be released this Friday via AFM Records.

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