German heavy metal legend Udo Dirkschneider returns with his 18th studio album under the U.D.O. moniker – ‘Game Over’. Ah, I remember as if it was yesterday (it was actually 1986) when I heard Accept’s ‘Restless and Wild’ album for the first time. The opening double bass drum barrage of Fast as a Shark had a huge impact on this young drummer. That album was a major influence on the thrash and speed metal genre with Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament et al citing Accept as a huge inspiration. They had further worldwide success with the follow up ‘Balls to the Wall’ which went gold in the US and Canada.
Accept’s then frontman Udo Dirkschneider made an impact with his distinctive voice and image. After leaving (or being fired from) Accept in 1987 he formed U.D.O. and enjoyed continued success. With this latest album Dirkschneider tackles important subject matter ranging from climate change, war, and political corruption. The album delivers everything you expect, and I have to say Dirkschneider sounds fantastic, he sounds as good today as he ever did. The band also deliver some top-notch performances with riffs galore from guitar duo Andrey Smirnov and Fabian Dee Dammers and Udo’s son Sven delivers a fantastic performance on the drum throne.
Great song titles like ‘Fear Detector’, ‘Metal Never Dies’ and ‘Like A Beast’ sound just like you would imagine, metal to the core! One track that stands out though is ‘Kids and Guns’ with its almost AC/DC like groove. It feels a little out of place with the other tracks, but I like it all the same. Let’s be honest, if you’re checking out this album you know what to expect, it’s true head banging heavy metal that delivers what it says on the tin. A strong album that will appeal to U.D.O.’s hardcore fan base.
With a career that spans over forty years you must admire Dirkschneider for sticking to what he does best for all these years. As Accept famously said… ‘Shake Your Heads’!
Game Over is released on October 8th through AFM records.
Author: Kenny Kendrick