Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Udo Dirkschneider is among the legends of the heavy metal scene, there's no doubt 'bout this. His 'special' vocal abilities establish him as one of the 'cult' metal singers of all time. Also, it's a case of loving or hating him and, in my case, I'm somewhere in the middle!! With Accept, this guy achieved to build a strong reputation around the band but, also around his name. With U.D.O. (his own band) took the sound of Accept into another level.

For all the metal fans around the world, by hearing a new U.D.O. record the expectations are high. Nowadays, the legendary shouter is releasing his brand new effort which is titled "Steelhammer" and according to Udo's words it's a comeback to the band's earlier works. "I just had this strong deja vu of how we felt back in the old days and it inspired me to go kind of back to the roots with this album" Dirkschneider admits. Two of long time Udo's partners, guitarists Stefan Kaufmann and Igor Gianola, have left the building and gave their place to the Russia-born shredder Andery Smirnov and Finnish axeman Kasperi Heikkinen.  Kaufmann had a groovier sound that gave to the band's a trademark sound but this time this groovier sound is gone and replaced by a much warmer and more organic metal vibe.

"Steelhammer" is the opening song and believe me it's a classic heavy in-your-face U.D.O. tune. Powerful performances, a huge rhythm section and amazing guitar riffs/solos straight out of hell in this ass kickin' track!! "A Cry Of A Nation" and "Metal Machine" are both solid metal tracks while "Basta Ya" is a speedier one with a catchier chorus line!! "Heavy Rain" is a ballad. To be honest, I was totally surprised by this one!! It's an amazing emotional piano driven ballad with a sweet melody and it's among the highlights of this record. "Devil's Bite" features some 'modern' metal elements and "Death Ride" is again a 'punchy' metal tune with lots of attitude!!! "Never Cross My Way" is the absolute highlight here!! It features a hard rock vibe in it, Udo's more 'straight' performances and a monstrous solo!! Brilliant, just brilliant!! Another favorite from this new album is "When Love Becomes A Lie".

All in all, this a solid metal album! There are some excellent tunes in it, the guitar work is stunning and the two new members are delivering the goods in "Steelhammer"! All of the songs here are well-played, well-performed, there is an old-fashioned metal air in each and every song, the trademark performances by this legendary shouter are here and as Udo says : "....we are not writing any boogie or blues stuff, we are still doing metal........".
Heavy Paradise's Rating : 8/10

Track List :
01. Steelhammer
02. A Cry Of A Nation
03. Metal Machine
04. Basta Ya
05. Heavy Rain
06. Devil's Bite
07. Death Ride
08. King Of Mean
09. Time Keeper
10. Never Cross My Way
11. Take My Medicine
12. Stay True
13. When Love Becomes A Lie
14. Book Of Faith

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