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UDO: Steelhammer
UDO - Steelhammer Review

UDO: Steelhammer

Heavy Metal
4.5/5.0

Here's the thing: with his distinct, almost immediately recognizable, raspy grizzly bear voice, you either like Udo Dirkschneider or you don't. Some would say that his distinctive style is so constant, or predictable, to allow for little or no variation and, therefore, you need to judge each new album on the merits of the metal music. But you would be wrong, at least on the former supposition.

UDO - Steelhammer Band Photo

UDO: and band.

UDO returns with his fourteenth studio album as a heavy metal vocalist (24th if you add his Accept albums), Steelhammer. Once more Dirkschneider and company bring classic melodic heavy metal, with speed metal accents. There's few artists in the 30 plus years of the genre who understand it quite as while as UDO, and get it right almost every time.

Steelhammer gets it right from first to last; it's a fine dose of 'keep it true' heavy metal. There's a good variation in tempo across the songs, with lots of catchy melodies and hooks, and burning guitar solos. For pure heavy metal, some of the best tracks are A Cry of a Nation, a commentary on world financial politics, King of Mean, Steelhammer, the accessible Never Cross My Way, and Stay True. The most curious song here maybe the final one. Book of Faith is developed with a strong symphonic layer for an epic feel and has some interesting religious allusions.

Of course there's Udo's trademark vocal style. While that grizzly bear raspy growl remains, Dirkschneider can vary his approach. Probably the most notable is on Heavy Rain, a ballad where Udo is equally raw and smooth, not a contradiction for him. Then there's the audio effects applied in Timekeeper. Then there's his true melodic metal side in Never Cross My Way and When Love Becomes A Lie. Or the Spanish language song Basta Ya, written and performed with Victor Garcia Gonzales of Warcry.

UDO's Steelhammer is simply a very good classic melodic heavy metal album, with Dirkschneider at full strength and in fine form. Easily recommended.

UDO - Metal Machine (Official Video)


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In Short

UDO's Steelhammer is simply a very good classic melodic heavy metal album, with Dirkschneider at full strength and in fine form. Easily recommended.

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