"Touchdown" (Atomic Fire Records; 2023)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Udo Dirkschneider, the German singer from the band Accept and all of various solo products, once again graced metal music with his latest release "Touchdown."

Seventy-one years old and still pounding out killer music. It's stunning, really. Check out his bio online to blow your mind.

 As much as I dig the music, the presentation is paramount. Udoís voice sounds fucking great. It's just pure and simple metal. It's in-your-face, no-holds-barred heavy metal. And, of course you know the voice, but there's so much more here. The band is incredible, especially the guitars. They are Peter Smirov and Peter Baltes, powerful dueling guitars that are simply remarkable.

Udo Dirkschneider is simply the Energizer Bunny of metal musicians, not to mention one of the most prolific. The Heavy Metal Community is a better place with Udo Dirkschneider in it.

For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"The Legacy" (AFM Records; 2021)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Udo Dirkschneider has been around the music industry since the late 70s and he is right up there with Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio and Rob Halford when it comes to the best of the best of metal singers.

I first saw Udo with Accept at the Foundations Forum music convention in Los Angeles and, ever since that day, I have been a big fan of his music.

The name of this recording is "The Legacy." It is a best of collection and that's just what it is. Thirty-three songs and 2Ĺ hours worth of music from throughout Udo's career. Man, I love my streaming service. If I were still listening to CDs, this beast is two full CDís long. Still, you'll want to listen to every note.

"The Legacy" covers so much of Udo's biggest songs over the years and I love that about this recording.

If you're into Udo Dirkschneider and his band, I suggest you go right out and buy this recording.

For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Game Over" (AFM Records; 2021)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I really don't know if I want to tell you my Udo Dirkschneider story here but, fuck it, here it goes: The year was nineteen-ninety-fucking-something. R. Scott Bolton and I were at Foundations Forum, a heavy metal/hard rock trade show that used to come around Los Angeles once a year.  Anyway, we are standing around in a hotel ball room with roughly 500 other people. This band comes on stage and everyone is singing back what the band is performing. The next thing I know, "Balls To The Wall" comes on and everyone is freaking out over what is coming from the stage. I had never heard of the band Accept and I had never heard of Udo Dirkschneider and then this short, round man that looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle motherfucker is standing on stage simply enveloping the entire venue with his presence. 

Okay, okay. I know who he is now and what he has contributed to the metal scene over the past few decades.

Time travel to 2021 and I see that Udo Dirkschneider has a new recording out called "Game Over" with his band U.D.O. and the only thing I can say is fuck, yeah. This recording is what metal needs to be right now: loud, in-your-face, full of piss and vinegar and with a shitload of attitude to boot. Simple songwriting, killer presentation and outstanding musicianship make this recording simply one of the best recordings I have heard in quite some time. 

One thing I need to mention is Udoís son, Sven Dirkschneider, is playing drums on this recording and sharing writing credits with his old man. I know they spend a lot of their time touring the world and for some reason they do not spend that much time in the United States, but I have to say, I would go see this band in a heart beat. 

Charisma coming out of the works, killer music and simply one of the best voices in metal. I would be in the front of the fucking line, no shit.  I can't fucking wait to spin this bitch again!

 For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Live in Bulgaria 2020: Pandemic Survival Show" (AFM Records; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

By now, anyone who's familiar with Rough Edge knows that we consider Udo Dirkschneider a rock god. So it should come as no surprise that this latest live album by the metal master earns a high rating.

Recorded at what, according to Udo himself, is the "first and last" concert of 2020 (due to COVID-19), "Live in Bulgaria" is two discs worth of Udo and his band performing some of their biggest hits, as well as a few Accept classics. Everything is performed with the usual high energy but also a hint of tangible melancholy that this will be the last show for some time.

Of course, the songs are the highlight here, especially numbers like "Midnight Mover," "Independence Day," "Animal House" and (of course), "Balls to the Wall," but itís also fun to hear Udoís between-tracks patter. Again, you can actually hear the joy and the pain as he talks about playing live and "this fucking virus."

The catalog featuring Udo's voice is mammoth and, as far as we're concerned, thereís not a clunker in the bunch. Keep 'em coming, Udo, and we'll keep listening! And looking forward to seeing you live on stage soon!

 For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"We Are One" (AFM Records; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

As far as I can remember, Udo Dirkschneider has never released a bad album. Which is one of the reasons that my pulse quickens whenever a new Udo album shows up in my mailbox.

But "We Are One" isn't just another Udo album. There, plainly across the album cover, were the words "Udo and Das Musikkorps Der Bundeswehr." To quote one of my favorite television programs, what the fuckity fuck is that? So I Googled it, only to discover that Das Musikkorps Der Bundeswehr are apparently the concert band of the German Armed Forces. What? "We Are One" is an album recorded by Udo and a 60-piece orchestra? But wait, there's more. It was co-written by Udo, his former Accept band mates Stefan Kaufmann and Peter Baltes as well as two Armed Forces composers.

Well, it that doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what the hell will.

So before you listen to a note of music, you're going to be asking yourself (as I did) whether "We Are One" is going to be an atrocious piece of cheese, like so many other rock/orchestra combos became, or a highlight of Udo's illustrious career. It had to be one of the other, there was no middle ground here. It was either going to suck or kick total ass.

Total ass is kicked. "We Are One" works utterly brilliantly, with the epic orchestral music melding to perfection with the rock'n'roll and with Udo's unmatched voice of steel lending a scorching sense of emotion throughout. It's an epic album from beginning to end, a record that begs you keep twisting the volume knob up and up again. It's bigger than life, it's wall-to-wall sound, it's irresistible and thought-provoking.

Part of what works so well on "We Are One" is the fact that it's a cautionary tale that pulls no punches. "When the seas are rising, the skies are turning black, when nations start colliding, there is no turning back." That's some pretty grim shit. But the album offers triumph and hope as well. Songs like the blistering "We Strike Back" intimate there is hope and that hope is worth fighting for.

And for those of you who have been following Udo as long as we have, you will not be disappointed. The man's voice is a strong and distinctive as it's every been.

"We Are One" is completely different Udo than you've heard before but it's everything you want to hear. It's epic music, anthemic lyrics, and hard rock (in this case mixed in with orchestral music that sometimes sounds like a gladiator movie, other times like a pirate movie), not to mention Udo's unique vocal style. It rocks hard, it actually has something to say and it's a showcase for a true master: Mr. Udo Dirkschneider.

 For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Steelfactory" (AFM Records; 2018)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I simply cannot believe it's been eleven years since we last reviewed an UDO CD. What I find harder to beleive is that it's been eleven years since we last reviewed an UDO CD and that the man (and band) are still putting out kick ass records.

"Steelfactory" is fifteen slabs of molten UDO metal. Well, fourteen if you don't count "The Way" which is the album's obligatory ballad (but still pretty entertaining). It's a hard, heavy collection with chunky guitars, fast paces, fiery solos and, of course, the voice of the man, Udo Dirkschneider, which seems to have changed very little in the past decade or so.

We can sit here all day and debate whether it sounds more like Accept or Dirkschneider or UDO or any other line-up that Udo Dirkschneider's been part of but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that UDO is much like the mighty Motorhead (prior to Lemmy's death, of course) or Judas Priest. He's been pumping out hard rock / heavy metal music for decades now and shows no signs of slowing down. "Steelfactory" is solid proof of that, a raging, old school heavy metal record that truly delivers the goods.

UDO: Udo Dirkschneider (Vocals), Andrey Smirnov (Guitars), Fitty Wienhold (Bass), Sven Dirkschneider (Drums).

For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Mastercutor" (Candlelight; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

One of the pioneers of metal music returns with "Mastercutor," a 12-track album that showcases German stalwart Mr. Udo Dirkschneider, still going strong at age 55. 

Yes, the "Balls to the Wall" guy is still at it, whipping the asses of singers half his age on cuts like the emotionally-charged "One Lone Voice" and the throat-ripping "We Do For You," the closest thing Udo has made to a commercial hit since his worldwide Accept hit. 

Despite this release sounding a bit formulaic and predictable at times, the power exuded by tracks such as "The Wrong Side of Midnight" and "Vendetta" is undeniable. Chances are if you still get hopped up on the virtue of bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, and Saxon, the new album by UDO will also appeal to you.  

For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Thunderball" (The End; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I know there are many great questions in rock and I have another that I think needs to be addressed: Why isn't Udo Dirkschneider and the band Accept much more popular than they are? 

Accept is as hard and heavy a band as any out there and Udo as a solo artist is strong and on the cutting edge. Regardless, Udo and Accept remain on the outskirts of today's heavy metal scene. 

Well, not if I have any say in the matter.  

After hearing "Thunderball" I immediately I went online toAfter hearing "Thunderball" I immediately I went online to www.udo-online.de/ and I was amazed at the body of work Udo has delivered over the years. The success of "Thunderball" made me want to check out as many of them as I can. 

"Thunderball" is hard, heavy and done with such attitude and presence that the entire CD is alive with dark metal pictures that held my attention as though nailed to the CD with each and every spin. "Thunderball" is an aptt title for this release. It's one hell of a ride.title for this release. It's one hell of a ride.

Performing on "Thunderball" are: Udo Dirkschneider - vocals; Idor Gionola - guitar; Fitty Weinhold - bass; Stefan Kaufmann - guitar; Lorenzo Miliani - drums.  

You will not find a more explosive lineup or metal presentation in the metal world today. Udo is one of the kings of the genre, right up there with Lemmy of Motorhead, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Zakk Wilde and Rob Zombie.

I will continue to sing the praises of Udo and Accept on this site, guaranteed!!!

For more information, check outFor more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Nailed to Metal: The Missing Tracks" (AFM Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

UDO's "Nailed to Metal" is a curious, although admittedly welcome, release. With the 2001 release of "Live From Russia," it seems strange that Udo and company would release yet another live album with only the 2002 release of "Man and Machine" between them..

The fact that this CD is subtitled "The Missing Tracks" offers part of the answer. "Nailed To Metal" contains a total of ten tracks (eleven if you count the drum solo, but that's kind of cheating). Only two of these tracks were featured on the previous "Live From Russia" CD. Of the nine new tracks, many are some of Accept's best-known tunes: "Metal Heart," "Fast as a Shark," "Princess of the Dawn," "Restless & Wild" and (!) "Balls to the Wall." There are also some rare tracks here that haven't been heard for awhile, including "X-T-C" (which is one of the best tracks on the CD).

A quick visit to Udo's website supplies the rest of the answer. There, the band announces the release of "Nailed to Metal," explaining, "When 'Live From Russia' (was) released, a lot of people (were) asking for the ACCEPT classics on it, but our concept for that album was to record only U.D.O. classics, and those songs that ACCEPT did never release live. But those people will be satisfied very soon ..."

So, basically, "Nailed to Metal" is really kind of a Disc 3 to add to the "Live From Russia" collection. And it fits pretty damn well. Like that record, "Nailed to Metal" contains great Accept and Udo songs, performed by a terrific band with strong charisma. 

And, hey, it's got Udo on vocals. What the hell else do you need?And, hey, it's got Udo on vocals. What the hell else do you need?

Performing on "Live From Russia" are: Udo Dirkschneider - vocals; Stefan Kaufmann - guitar; Igor Gianola - guitar; Fitty Wienhold - bass; Lorenzo Milani - drums..

For more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Live From Russia" (Breaker; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Former Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider continues to prove his still got the chops to deliver high-powered, heavy metal rock'n'roll with this two-disc collection of live performances recorded during the band's tour of - guess where? - Mother Russia.

Starting with "Holy" (see album review below) and going through 26, count 'em, 26 songs (including a powerful drum solo track), UDO delivers something from every point of Udo's career. From his early days with Accept ("I'm a Rebel") the his most recent solo stuff ("Holy," "Raiders of Beyond.") Thankfully, the older stuff holds up really well. And the newer stuff is due to become classic as well.

It's all done explosively well and with a live charisma that translates from the original concert through the sound captured on this CD. I love double live CDs (yes, they should be double CDs) and this is going to become one of my favorites - right up there with the final Accept double live CD.

Add to that the pure uniqueness of Udo's singing voice. It's almost impossible to describe but it's closest to AC/DC's Brian Johnson. I'm fond of saying "There's only one ..." and then adding a name and it's never been more true than when I say there's only one Udo Dirkschneider.

The CD reviewed here also came in a terrific book-like package complete with a hardcover and a dozen or so pages of color photos from the tour. It reminded me of the packaging of Pink Floyd's last live CD or the Star Wars deluxe edition soundtracks. Great stuff!

Performing on "Live From Russia" are: Udo Dirkschneider - vocals; Stefan Kaufmann - guitar; Igor Gianola - guitar; Fitty Wienhold - bass; Lorenzo Milani - drums..

For more information, check outFor more information, check out http://www.udo-online.de

"Holy" (Nuclear Blast; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Udo Dirkschneider was the lead vocalist for Accept for years and for all of that band's big albums. "Balls to the Wall," "Metal Heart," you name it. And he's had a terrific solo career as well, with the band that bears his name, UDO.

"Holy" is the latest release from the former Accept vocalist, and it's more of the great heavy metal that we've come to expect from Mr. Dirkschneider. Loud guitars, epic songwriting, and - of course - Udo's trademark gravel vocals.

The CD begins with the forceful title track, which will have you singing its chorus aloud despite its frequent use of a certain four letter word. And it goes on from there, never losing its power or its drive.

Udo's vocals are a cross between Brian Johnson of AC/DC and Klaus Meine of the Scorpions and he uses it to full effect. Anybody who's heard "Balls to the Wall" knows that Udo is a terrific, unique vocalist and "Holy" is evidence that he's not losing his touch.

There is one rather strange track on the CD: The closer, "Cut Me Out." What's interesting about this song is that it starts out almost like a Billy Joel lounge lizard classic. But it isn't long before Udo's voice re-gains that rough edge and the guitars begin to chunk along with fury.

Fans of Accept and Udo simply must add "Holy" to their collection. Even if the music wasn't superb (it is), how can any album with a painting of a church and the words, "Metal Is Our Religion" carved into an alter be bad?

UDO are: Udo Dirkschneider - vocals; Stefan Kaufmann - guitar; Igor Gianola - guitar; Fitty Wienhold - bass; "Guess Who" - drums..

For more information, please visitFor more information, please visit http://www.udo-online.de

"Animal House" (AFM Records; 1987)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have a Udo Dirkschneider story, but I am not going to tell it now. Let's just say I have been a fan since the mid- to late 80s.

To say Udo is a signer's singer is like saying a bird is a bird. He is the archetype of what metal singers are, right in the same vein as Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Dan McCarrerty of Nazareth, Ozzy Osbourne and Bon Scott (also AC/DC), just to name a few. This guy knows how to rock and Udo can mix it up with anyone in the metal business today.

UDO and their debut recording, 1987's "Animal House" is metal in-your-face from the word go and delivers a stunning performance through out. Great music now and, back in 1987, this shit must have been on fire to witness first hand. Udo and his band are right up there and what great metal sounds like. From the first note of music, you know you are in the presence of brilliance. Great songwriting, killer production and, of course, the voice of Udo Dirkschneider all combine to make this one killer release. This was 1987! How much has UDO released since then? What have I been missing! Well, I have to say that I am missing no more. Udo Dirkschneider and his killer vocal style will be explored by me and  you'll see the reviews here at RoughEdge.com.

"Animal House" gets a balls-up 4 guitarsaws. More fucking UDO reviews to follow!

For more information, please visit http://www.udo-online.de

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better..

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl..

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2023 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.