"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 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 apt 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 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?

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 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 visit http://www.udo-online.de

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

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.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 Mar 2016 12:03:43 -0500.