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U.D.O. - Steelhammer

Published May 22 2013

=Staff's pick

A Cry Of A Nation
Metal Machine
Basta Ya
Heavy Rain
Devil's Bite*
Death Ride
King Of Mean
Never Cross My Way
Take My Medicine
Stay True
When Love Becomes A Lie
Book Of Faith

Genre Heavy Metal
Udo Dirkschneider
Tracks 14
Andrey Smirnov
Running time 62 Min.
Label AFM Records
Fitty Wienhold
Release 24 May 2013
Francesco Jovino
Country Germany/various
Producer U. Dirkschneider, F. Wienhold
Similar artists Accept

What a comeback to better days, now without long-time guitarists Stefan Kaufmann and Igor Gianola, who both announced their departures last year. The two latest releases, Rev-Raptor and Dominator, were the absolute weakest releases in the entire U.D.O catalogue. Gone is Kaufmann's robotic, flat and dead production that has overshadowed the latest albums and made them partially unbearable. The Russia-born Andrey Smirnov handles all guitarplay on this release, since the Finnish axeman Kasperi Heikkinen joined the ranks after the recordings.

Steelhammer presents a band that has returned to their earlier days and with the production from Dirkschneider and Wienhold this feels more alive again. With Udo in charge without Kaufmann's strong influence, there's clearly more room for a classic sound. It's no total early nineties album, yet older days are strongly evident. Something had to be done to create life and activity in this band again and they have actually succeeded.

U.D.O. uses their whole repertoire with fast songs, mid-tempo heavy metal tracks and actually and also a little unexpected, a true ballad in Heavy Rain. I can't say that Udo's voice is exactly fitted to ballads, but it's a cool move though. He has also gone back to a more Accept-like approach and although he's aging, he tries to sing many songs like he did earlier into his career with Accept's eighties releases and with U.D.O.'s earlier days. Perhaps because of his former band's great success on their two new releases?

The guitarists swap has totally made this band hot and on topic again. Most likely, this matter has created a new, or rather an older, viewpoint which is to release music the fans long for. I'm very satisfied with a number of songs and U.D.O. fans should indeed give this new piece a shot. Definitely their best work in many years. 8 chalices to a revived band. I can't see how fans to their classic sound wouldn't like this awesome return.

See also review of: Decadent , Live In Sofia , Rev-Raptor , Celebrator , Dominator , Infected , Mastercutor , Mission No. X , Thunderball , Man And Machine , Live From Russia , Timebomb , Nailed To Metal








8 chalices of 10 - Tobbe

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