Sometimes you just need a straight forward heavy metal album that mines familiar territory with denim 'n' leather passion. That's what you get with a U.D.O. album and "Rev-Raptor" does nothing to steer the band away from that well-worn path. Most fans would agree that such a characteristic is a good thing.
Perhaps not apparent after only a spin or two, you may find that "Rev-Raptor" ends up a slightly better album than "Dominator" in large part because it has more of a consistent top-to-bottom feel to it, although some hair splitting was involved in that assessment. In addition to the sound of the diminutive one's voice bringing one word – and one word alone - to mind ("metal"), "Rev-Raptor" is chock full of mostly mid-tempo, iron-riffed grooves, many of which feature those "lighter" (i.e. picking, beat, ominous vibe) verses for which Dirkschneider has always been known, whether in U.D.O. or ACCEPT, and big choruses that are just melodic enough to get the job done. "Leatherhead", "Pain Man", "Rock 'N' Roll Soldiers", "Underworld", and the title track are all definitive examples of it. However, the tunes that are of a quicker tempo, such as "Renegade", "Terrorvision", and "Motor-Borg" (a notably catchy one), also happen to be among the album's most memorable, especially the latter two. Even "Dr. Death", with a chorus that comes off a tad hokey, will grow on you. A flowing, one might even say laid back, tune called "I Give as Good as I Get" is a good one too, as is the slower paced "Days of Hope and Victory", which boasts a certain majesty and features a triumphant refrain.
"Rev-Raptor" may not include any tracks that would be in contention for all-time-classic status. But it also doesn't include among its 13 cuts any throwaways. There are several here in fact that are strong additions to the U.D.O. catalogue. What all of that really means is that as a traditional album of German heavy metal, "Rev-Raptor" is solid through and through. U.D.O. still gets it and we still need it. By the way, I'm digging the Transformers-meet-The-Joker-and-Green-Lantern artwork that is found throughout the nicely assembled booklet.