By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Udo Dirkschneider is still the same old Udo on the new U.D.O. album.
Udo Dirkschneider is always Udo. His characteristic voice became one of the most recognisable in heavy metal when he fronted Accept in the 1970s and 80s. He continued to play the same kind of guitar-happy meat-and-potatoes heavy metal with his solo band U.D.O. which released its debut album in 1987. Over the years he has reunited with Accept a couple of times, but in recent times he has focused on his own music projects. Now in his fifth decade as a professional artist, his voice is intact and the energy is still there. On the new U.D.O. album, “Game Over”, he continues with the same straightforward heavy metal that he has always played. Guitars, catchy melodies and with THAT voice always present. Either you like Udo or you don’t. This is more of the same. The current line-up of the U.D.O. band consists of Udo’s son Sven Dirkschneider (who did a stint with Saxon) on drums, Andrey Smirnov (who has toured with former Iron Maiden vocalists Paul Di’Anno and Blaze Bayley) on guitar, Tilen Hudrap (who has played with Testament, Vicious Rumors and Pestilence) on bass and Dee Dammers on guitar. The new album contains no fewer than 16 tracks, including gems such as the anthem-like “Metal Never Dies”, “Prophecy”, “Like a Beast”, “Thunder Road” and “Midnight Stranger”. The somewhat awkwardly named “Kids and Guns” (about US gun control) has some terrific and playful guitar work. “Don’t Wanna Say Goodbye” is a track that stands out because it is an emotional ballad showing a different side to Udo. Personally, I prefer my Udo loud and angry.
U.D.O.’s new album “Game Over” will be released on 22nd October via AFM Records.