U.D.O. has been very busy lately! The band embarked on a monstrous world tour to promote Rev Raptor, which was captured on the excellent Live In Sofia record.
One might think that U.D.O. would get to a well deserved rest after that, but the band is back with a new studio album… and it's an incredibly good one!
Steelhammer is a turning point in the career of U.D.O. It represents both, a change and a return to the roots.
Change, because the two long time guitarists, Igor Gianola and Stefan Kaufmann, are now gone. Stefan has to deal with health problems but remains close to Udo and the band.
The new guitar duo is made up by the Russian Andrey Smirnov and the Finnish Kasperi Heikkinen. More than ever, U.D.O. is an international band!
Stefan's departure brought another change, as Udo had to find a new partner to write the songs. This person was closer than expected. Udo wrote this record with Fitty Wienhold, who has been the band’s bass player for... 16 years!
The result can be surprising but it’s always high in quality. This is the return to the roots! The album sounds as fresh as ever and most tunes are as Metal as it can get!
The album starts with the song Steelhammer, which is a classic U.D.O. song.It sounds good, but the best it yet to come!
There are some great mid tempo songs. Cry Of A Nation is a good example, but Never Cross My Way is a masterpiece.
Some songs are made to stick to your mind for the whole day, like Metal Machine or Timekeeper. King Of Mean is also one of those, and I honestly think that this is one of the best songs U.D.O. songs ever.
Basta Ya is a rather unexpected tune. It’s a duet with Victor García from Warcry and it’s sung in Spanish. Udo is fluent in this language, since he left Germany to settle under Ibiza’s sun. But this song is not about monstrous parties until dawn, but about the serious social and economic problem that Spain has to face in the moment. Basta Ya translates as "that’s Enough", and that’s the scream launched by the Spanish youth, whom 50% is unemployed.
Oh, have you ever wondered how would sound the Udo's voice accompanied by a piano? You have to listen to Heavy Rain if you want to know the answer. Like it or not, no one can be indifferent to that song. I personally love it!
Stay True is a song that will soon become an anthem, a favourite on U.D.O.’s live performances. And those nostalgic about the old Accept, you really will love the song Take My Medicine.
With the departure of Stefan and Igor, U.D.O. fans could fear the worst. But Udo has found a new source of inspiration and somehow, the fountain of youth.
With some classic songs, other more surprising tunes, and some unstoppable anthems, Steelhammer is for sure one of the best records ever released by the band.
This album is a blind buy, and you can put the CD right next to Holy, Animal House and Mastercutor.