UDO – STEELHAMMER

 

udo_steelhammer

Released 24th May 2013 on AFM Records

Writing an UDO review can be as easy as copy/pasting your last review, really.  Some albums have more of an Accept vibe, others are slightly more contemporary, but basically you know what to expect. Does their latest release break the pattern?

“Steelhammer” is a fairly safe release, with some keyboards thrown in for added flavour and some excellent guitar playing. Unfortunately, precious few of the songs manage to ignite the spark. After the strong opening salvo of the title track, things start going downhill. “Metal Machine” is as pedestrian as metal gets and they manage to follow it up with the even more groan-inducing “Basta Ya”… Fortunately there’s tracks like “Death Ride” to even things out a bit. The second half of the album is actually better than the first.

It doesn’t help that Udo’s voice is starting to show serious signs of wear (ballad “Heavy Rain” is painful), or that the guitars sound very synthetic.

Personally, I liked predecessor “Rev-Raptor” a lot better, as that one sounded far more inspired.

If you’re an UDO fan, chances are this album won’t disappoint. If you’re looking for an introduction to the band, you’d be better off checking some other releases first.

Rating – 78%
Review by Sancho

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UDO – CELEBRATOR

Out now on AFM Records

A new Accept album? That obviously means Udo Dierkschneider can latch on with a release of his own…

UDO, the band, have been on quite a strong streak in recent years. Mastercutor, Dominator, Rev-Raptor were all quite strong albums.

Seeing as Rev-Raptor was only released last year, it was a bit soon for a new studio album. Enter Celebrator, a compilation of “rare tracks, remixes and collaborations”. Or, put more concisely, assorted leftovers. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine many people waiting for a version of “Balls To The Wall”, rearranged as a piano ballad. “Platchet Soldat”, a bland metal track with lyrics in Russian? A duet with Doro Pesch? Please…

The best tracks are the remixes of tracks that appeared on earlier albums, but those really don’t add anything to the original versions.

It’s not a bad album, but a totally pointless one. Just stick with the regular albums if you want to discover UDO.

Rating – 60%
Review by Sancho

UDO – REV RAPTOR

Released 20th May 2011 on AFM Records

A new UDO album is a rather unchallenging affair for any reviewer. Mostly because you can write the review before hearing the album. As per usual, UDO has not deviated from the template : solid Germanic metal.  Choruses are catchy in a Viking-chant-singalong way, and most songs are based on a foundation of thundering drums and chugging metal guitars. Of course you can’t help but think of Accept at times…

What differentiates between UDO albums is basically how much you like the songs on offer. Opening track “Rev Raptor” is so typically UDO I’d almost call it generic. “Leatherhead” wouldn’t have been out of place on “Metal Heart”, one of Accept’s more adventurous albums. One of the album’s highlights for me. “Rock n Roll Soldiers” may be a bit pedestrian, but songs like “Terrorvision” and “True Born Winners” more than make up for it.

Overall, this is one of the better UDO releases. The songs are catchier and somewhat less cliché than the last couple of predecessors.

Production and performance are beyond reproach, as you’d expect. UDO sounds a bit gruff, no doubt his age is starting to catch up with him. I do prefer this over the sometimes exaggerated screeching of the past.

There is some particularly good guitar playing on this album. I think it’s the first time the guitar leads on an UDO album have made me sit up and take notice. Check “Pain Man” for a good example.

Another solid addition to UDO’s ever expanding discography. Recommended for fans and a good starting point for those new to the band.

Rating – 85%
Review by Sancho