Udo Dirkschneider has been delivering quality heavy metal for over 40 years. Beginning his career with Speed Metal forefathers, Accept he fronted the band for seven classic releases. In 1987 Dirkschneider departed Accept beginning a successful solo career and has issued an immense catalog of music under the U.D.O. banner. Returning briefly in the 90’s for a three-album stint, he again broke out under the U.D.O. banner. Tiring of the Accept material, he embarked on a Farewell to Accept tour in 2016. Deeming that this would be the final times playing the material before closing the chapter, the unmitigated success saw the tour spread worldwide. And the success overwhelmingly continued, spawning a second leg, Back To The Roots II. Now that Udo has completed his Accept material tours it’s time for a new album, U.D.O. – Steelfactory out August 31, 2018, on AFM Records.
U.D.O. – Steelfactory (Album Review)
The short-statured German Metal Master serves up 13 blistering assaults, all above the four-minute mark on Steelfactory. Odd since many reports show 15 songs, but my advance promo has some song differences. As with many U.D.O. albums, the name Steelfactory evokes images of smashing power and molten metal. The lineup has seen some changes with guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen stepping down in place of Bill Hudson for Back to the Roots II Tour. It was later announced that Hudson had moved on, so I’m not sure if he played on Steelfactory or not. For sure involved are Fitty Weinhold (bass), Andrey Smirnov (guitar) and Sven Dirkschneider (drums).
Steelfactory vaults out of the gates with “Tongue Reaper”. Anyone know what that is? The song itself is loaded with blistering riffs, pounding rhythms and Udo‘s signature gravel-raked vocal delivery. Next up is “Make the Move”, a great track reminiscent of Accept‘s “Living for Tonite” perhaps. Check it out below. Things pound along, subtle differences surfacing from track to track, showcasing some influences. So far, three advance singles have been issued. You can listen to all below including the official video for “One Heart One Soul” filmed in Russia I believe.
It’s the eighth spot where things seem to differ track-wise. My copy delivers “Hungry and Angry” where others show “The Devil Is An Angel”. I, in fact, do not have this song in my promo. Also absent for me is “Pictures In My Dreams”.
U.D.O. – Steelfactory (Final Words)
This is what I’ve waited for. Well more prolific with U.D.O. than his Accept years, there is a lot of high-quality metal in the 15 album discography. I’m happy that Dirkschneider has returned to U.D.O. and this 16th Steelfactory release under that moniker. Overall, consistency is a strong part of what U.D.O. does, but still manages to keep it fresh and once again the hard working German has outdone himself here. Thirteen blistering songs from one of Metal’s biggest legends and unmistakable voices. Now I just hope to hear some U.D.O. deep cuts during his sets aboard Monsters of Rock Cruise in February 2019!