Album Review By Adam McCann
AFM Records – 2018 – Heavy Metal
Over the last 20 years, many established backs have been getting in touch with their roots, playing albums in their entirety, reconnecting with ex-members or once again working with producers which made them big and U.D.O. are no exception. Following his three-year deviation appreciating his past as Dirkschneider, Udo Dirkschneider returns with U.D.O. with his sixteenth studio album ‘Steelfactory’.
The time spent playing under the Dirkschneider moniker has seemingly reminded him of his past glories and because of this, the influence of Accept is stamped all over ‘Steelfactory’. Dirkschneider hasn’t sounded this good in years as the 66-year old’s voice remains untarnished by time as he turns back the clock and sounds as good on ‘Steelfactory’ as he did in 1983.
There is no need to take ‘Steelfactory’ as a one shot, unabashed tribute album to Accept, of course there are elements of that music within this, from the chugging opening of ‘A Bite of Evil’, to the melodic scaling of ‘Keeper of My Soul’ and ‘One Heart One Soul’ which could easily be placed on any Accept album, whilst ‘Tongue Reaper’ sets the tone of ‘Steelfactory’ immediately with only the albums closing track ‘The Way’ falling sub-par with Dirkscheider and guitarist Andrey Smirnov almost writing their own version of ‘My Way’ within the song.
With ‘Steelfactory’, it is good to have U.D.O. back doing what the band does best and that is excellent heavy metal music with German engineering. This album is loud, and it is proud of its roots, easily managing to look back, take it on board and deliver an album that is more than enjoyable. In an era where Accept have been releasing some of their best work to date, U.D.O. express that Dirkscheider is not just that bloke that was in Accept, but show that with ‘Steelfactory’, they are more than able to keep up.
Rating : 89/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann