Nima : As you undoubtedly know Udo Dirkscheinder is closing the Accept-chapter of his career and since 2016 had been touring under the name Dirkscheiner where he only played Accept-classics. It all may have lasted a bit longer than intended, but the last Dirkscheinder show will take place next month. Between the touring Udo and his men, including his son, Sven, had also continued working on a new U.D.O. album, which has just been released.
With a forty-plus-year career it is nowadays a given that you always know where you stand with Udo and co., and that is no different with this sixteenth studio album, ‘Steelfactory’. This is classic U.D.O. and has everything you expect from the band. Another given is that Udo equals quality and also on that matter 'Steelfactory' leaves nothing to be desired. The thirteen songs (fifteen on the limited digipak edition) are all strong, catchy and of course versatile and wonderfully familiar-sounding compositions with all the characteristic Udo Dirkscheinder components. The surprise element is nihil and regularly riffs, melodies and vocal lines pass by that remind you of another song, but with which artist with such a long career is not that the case anyway? The charm of Udo and co. which makes them so recognizable, as well as the fact that they possess the gift to provide each song with a special, unique character, ensure that you are sold every time. Listen to those typical speed demons like 'Tongue Reaper', 'Rising High' and 'Eraser', or the typical 80s rockers like 'Make The Move', 'Hungry And Angry', or the mysterious, magical oriental spheres in 'Raise The Game’ or ‘Keeper Of My Soul’ and the typical U.D.O. ballad 'The Way' and you will immediately know what I mean. And fortunately that applies to all tracks.
The extensive touring in the current line-up has clearly paid off, because the band sounds very solid and also very close, which has only benefited the overall atmosphere, power and intensity. Another elaboration of the Dirkscheinder tour however is also the Accept-value, which is even more present here. Well the line between U.D.O. and Accept has always been quite thin, but feeling- and vibe-wise the material on 'Steelfactory', is more in line with classic Accept and the earlier U.D.O. albums, than for example ’Decadent’, ’Rev-Raptor’[/ur] or ’Dominator’ and ’Mastercutor’. In many ways 'Steelfactory' is also more in line with ’Steelhammer’. Don’t get me wrong though, because this is by no means a repetition of the Accept glory and it is clearly and utterly an U.D.O. record, but you probably know what I mean. Not that it makes a difference anyway, because this is simply a solid and a very pleasant record that not only should not be missing in any Accept- and U.D.O.-collections, but also one that every heavy metal maniac simply must have.