There comes a time in nearly every veteran metal musician's life when the urge to collaborate with an orchestra becomes irresistible. It's actually quite surprising that Udo Dirkschneider waited so long to conjure a project as unashamedly overblown as "We Are One", but if anyone has earned the right to tick off the few remaining goals from his metal-as-fuck to-do list, it's the none-more-metal ex-ACCEPT frontman. Admittedly, the appeal of U.D.O. — Dirkschneider's titular crew, on and off, since 1987 — has always been noticeably narrower than that of his former band, but he is one of metal's most adored vocalists nonetheless, with a towering legacy and some of the genre's greatest ever anthems on his CV. Teaming up here with DAS MUSIKKORPS DER BUNDESWEHR (the official Concert Band of the German Armed Forces, no less!), and with former ACCEPT colleagues Peter Baltes and Stefan Kaufmann involved in the creative process, this could only be more metal if a zombie Paul Baloff delivered the vinyl to your door. Of course, plenty of metal-plus-orchestra endeavors have ended in disaster. There's no need to name names, but it's not an idea that always works, and it needs the meticulous attentions of an expert in arrangement to make such a potential cacophony fall into sonic place. TRIPTYKON's masterful "Requiem" springs immediately to mind, and while "We Are One" is rooted firmly in the unapologetic catchiness and pomp of traditional metal, there's a similar attention to detail and organic fluidity to the MUSIKKORPS's contributions that makes everything sound wholly natural. The fact that these are all original songs, rather than fluffed-up renditions of old classics, means that "We Are One" stands or falls on its own merits. Assuming that you do enjoy the sound of a German heavy metal legend shrieking majestically over some thunderous, symphonic hard rock anthems, it's really hard to find fault with it. Everything from cast-iron crowd-pleasers "We Are One" and "Children Of The World" through to the stately grind of "Rebel Town" and the razor's edge bombast of instrumental "Natural Forces", Udo's perfectly justifiable self-indulgence has led to an explosive and wildly entertaining celebration of unity, strength and deafening crescendos. Yes, there are moments that are so unapologetically cheesy you may feel like you are teetering on the abyss of a giant, iron-plated fondue, but therein lies the joy. We are one. Udo gets it. Now with added trumpets. And bagpipes.
Legendary guitarist Peter Frampton has blasted Donald Trump after the U.S. president retweeted a post claiming that doctors and public health officials are telling "outrageous lies" about COVID-19. Earlier this week, the president promoted to his 83 million followers a tweet from 1980s game-show host and fervent Trump supporter Chuck Woolery. "The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19," Woolery wrote. "Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it's all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I'm sick of it." Trump's retweet of Woolery came as the White House sought to discredit the country's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Over the weekend, one Trump official gave reporters a list of nearly a dozen past comments by Fauci that the official said ultimately proved to be wrong. Trump's latest comments came nearly two weeks after he gave an interview to Fox Business Network in which he said that the coronavirus will "just disappear," despite the rising number of cases. Earlier today, Frampton, who frequently tweets against Trump's policies and in support of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, took to the social media platform to write: "Data from new cases recoveries and deaths must stay transparent. Otherwise next week king trump will tell us we only 15 more new cases and those'll just disappear." In other tweets, Frampton made it clear he has confidence in Fauci, sharing the hashtag #WeStandWithFauci. He also praised New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who announced in June that almost all domestic coronavirus restrictions would be lifted after the country said it had "eliminated" the virus. "It's because she followed the science and took medical advice," Frampton tweeted. "NZ wanted to wear masks because they knew it would help. It did. Congratulations on zero cases!!" Last year, Frampton launched "Peter Frampton Finale - The Farewell Tour". The trek was billed as the rocker's final live appearances because he is suffering from the autoimmune disease Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM). IBM is a progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness, and atrophy. Data from new cases recoveries and deaths must stay transparent. Otherwise next week king trump will tell us we only 15 more new cases and those’ll just disappear. — Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 15, 2020 Thank you Steven #WeStandWithFauci https://t.co/MrXUIw8K9y — Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 14, 2020 I can’t believe you even have to say that. But thank you VP Joe Biden. We need you in the WH asap!!!! https://t.co/lWLxu2onrW — Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 3, 2020 It's because she followed the science and took medical advice. NZ wanted to wear masks because they knew it would help. It did. Congratulations on zero cases!! https://t.co/4qe7iRHtt3 — Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 12, 2020