At this stage in the game, what else is there for Udo Dirkschneider to do that hasn’t already done? He’s been named one of heavy metal’s most iconic lead vocalists.
He’s been rocking the music world for over four decades, starting out as the singer for none other than Accept, and then starting a highly successful career with his own band, appropriately named U.D.O. 24 studio albums under his belt, and he’s still he’s still kicking and screaming.
Most musicians would result to simply going out night after night, playing their classic hits for crowds of thousands, their passion for songwriting all but diminished. But U.D.O. are proving that they not only rock as a hard as they did in their heyday, but can continue to create standout heavy metal anthems, and they do so once again with their new album, ‘Steelhammer’.
The majority of the songs featured throughout ‘Steelhammer’ are built around contagious power chords soaked in powerful distortion and set to a galloping beat. This is most evident in the album’s stronger tracks, such as the properly chosen lead single, “Metal Machine”, and “Timekeeper”.
Udo gives a standout effort vocally throughout the entire record. He perfectly hits those spine chilling falsetto-soaked primal screams that generously scattered his earlier outings, which is no easy task for a 61-year old heavy metal vocalist. ‘Steelhammer’ also shows the band reaching into more experimental territory through such new compositions as “Book Of Faith”, which starts out as a quiet intro with conga drums and maracas, before evolving into a menacing metal song with “Balls To The Wall”-style backup vocals and crunching rhythm guitar work.
Just as the band recently did with their last studio album, ‘Rev-Raptor’, U.D.O. shows their softer side through a new piano power ballad, “Heavy Rain”. As compared to the 13 other ballbreakers on the disc, having Udo sing to an accompaniment of a symphony orchestra and soft piano playing admittedly does stick out, but is still in all rights a good song.
All-in-all, ‘Steelhammer’ is standout album from U.D.O., that shows the band continuing to take creative steps into new horizons, while still sounding like themselves, and creating thrilling metal anthems. If you’re a fan of his earlier works, then this is an album to go for.