Friday, May 17, 2013

U.D.O. - Steelhammer

There is no need for further introduction of an artist of a caliber of Udo, not only because of his past and his contribution in the music we all love, for his influence of so many Metal bands, but also for his ability to continue creating music that sounds fresh and interesting, without recycling his past. The departure of Stefan Kaufmann marked the end of an era, and as Udo states, a turn back to their roots, something that the listener understands from the first minute. The music here, bears all the trademarks of the U.D.O. sound, yet it sometimes has a retro feeling, which I found really cool and interesting. Banging our ears with the furious opener title song, with it's super catchy riffs, the steady Teutonic rhythm section, and the well known vocals of Udo Dirkschneider, create the dream-come-true of any fan of the band. With a rhythm that sticks into your mind, vocals from an Udo that sounds as young and full of energy as he was when he started, and some remarkable guitar performance for the new guitar players, this album is a sure bet. As with any of their albums I can remember, there is also variety here, fast and groovy tracks, up-tempo songs, and some more melodic moments, with Udo giving a great performance, only to come back on the next song, more furious and aggressive than before. Another strong point of the album in the rather old fashioned atmosphere the music and the performance has, an atmosphere that reminds of 80's, but all this in a modern shinny package. The songs are very good, well written, groovy and catchy enough, and have this certain thing that makes you wanna bang your head and sing along, something that assures that this will also become another milestone in their career. The production is also very good, shinny and heavy, exactly the kind of production such an album needs. Although replacing Stefan Kaufmann would be a tough job, the new guitarists are doing a stunning job. Pretty much you know what to expect from an U.D.O. album, groovy music to bang with and make you feel like young again.

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