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U.D.O. – Steelhammer


Label: AFM Records

Release Date: May 21, 2013

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: ToddStar

There are some rockers that need to call it a day and then there are others that are still churning out metal magic.  “Steelhammer” is the opening track on the latest from Udo and his solo band.  This song has all the balls of his earlier releases, along with killer riffs and vocals.  The minute he cuts loose, you know he has come to rock your ass off.  “A Cry Of A Nation” keeps the rock coming and the attitude in check.  This track features a great chugging guitar line that plays well with the rest of the rhythm section.  The bridge has a cool guitar solo that doesn’t drone on and on.  “Metal Machine” is another rocker, but seems to back off the gas a little, until the chorus kicks in that is.  The vocals are all Udo – it is hard to mistake his voice.  The drums are really tight and drive this song, along with a heavy bottom end from the bass.  “Basta Ya” is sung in a foreign language, but it doesn’t lessen the effect of the metal component.  The background vocals coupled with the searing guitar solo and riffs make this a rocker regardless of its language.  “Heavy Rain” is the one track you don’t expect from Udo.  This piano heavy ballad seems so anti-metal, but somehow turns into one of the better tracks on the disc.  The vocals are heartfelt and are complimented by the piano.  “Devil’s Bite” returns us to the rock mode, but without ramming the metal down the throat.  The verses and chorus are well  constructed and fit the rhythm of the track perfectly.  This is another good metal track that keeps the disc flowing.  “Death Ride” has a killer guitar intro that features great drumming.  This song is all metal and doesn’t let up until the last note.  The riffs are cool and just enough, without going overboard with notes.  The rhythm section keeps this one on time.

“King Of Mean” has that feel of metal that has been a part of Udo’s complete career.  There is even a cool Judas Priest groove to this track that makes it stand out in my mind.  The guitars attack the song and keep it chugging along.  “Timekeeper” is another solid song that keeps the disc flowing with crunchy guitars and metal vocals.  The song isn’t as hard as some of the tracks here, but it has an edge that keeps it in line.  “Never Cross My Way” is another favorite due to its variance from the cookie cutter of Udo’s career.  This song is more rock than metal, but it is one of the better tracks.  The vocals show the less metal screaming side of Udo as well as demonstrating the ability of the band to play great rock.  “Take My Medicine” turns the metal back up and gets this disc back inline with what fans of the band will expect.  The vocals kick in and remind you of the hits from Udo’s career.  This one features great guitar work and a playful bass line.  “Stay True” is another rocker that gets the head banging like old school metal.  The drums lead the attack, but only until the vocals kick in and take over.  The guitars and bass play off each other nicely through out the track.  “When Love Becomes A Lie” slows down the pace a bit.  The songs guitar parts are well placed and enhance the track.  The vocals play between singing and metal vocals from Udo.  The song somehow hows a softer side of the band, but that is a good thing as it gives another dimension to the group and disc.  “Book Of Faith” closes the disc in another direction than you may anticipate.  Elements of classic rock and metal are woven through the track.  At times it seems as if the song was taken over by Sabbath.  The groove created different and good.  Can’t wait to see what they unleash on us next.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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