U.D.O. – Steelfactory

U.D.O. - Steelfactory
  • 8/10
    Daniel Waters' score - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Steve Shred's score - 8.5/10


AFM Records
Release date: August 31, 2018

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

REVIEW by Daniel Waters

Pugnacious and prolific belter Udo Dirkschneider returns with U.D.O’s well-named sixteenth studio album Steelfactory. Udo, the man not the band, perhaps doesn’t get the credit due him as one of Metal’s most enduring and consistent voices; lists naming the great front men of the genre often overlook him despite ten studio albums with Accept, decades of touring, and an impressive output with U.D.O. Dirkschneider is clearly one of the hardest working men in Metal, in a career spanning forty years he’s never gone more than two years without a new studio or live album. Steelfactory makes a strong argument for re-evaluating Udo’s overall contributions to the field, especially the Classic Metal for which Udo can correctly be named a progenitor of.

The thirteen songs on the album all cook, and despite his alpha status Udo knows when to step back from the mic and let the musicians loose which they do with ear-pleasing frequency. Perhaps this was easier to do because Udo’s son Sven has picked up the sticks on this album. U.D.O, like most tenured Metal bands, has gone through its fair share of line-up changes over the years (and more to come; the touring guitarist for Steelfactory is not Andrey Smirnov, who played on the album) and one wonders if the excitement of playing Metal with family has helped to bring a higher level of energy to the project. As usual, most of the hardest hitters (“Tongue Reaper”, “Make The Move”) are front loaded on the running order, but listeners can jump in at any point for a heavy experience. Nothing very adventurous, but everything save introspective closer “The Way” is hard as steel.

REVIEW| by Steve Shred

Steelfactory is the 16th album from German Metal band U.D.O. The band features legendary Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, and for the first time, his son Sven Dirkschneider on drums. Dirkschnieder formed U.D.O. in 1987 after parting ways with Accept that same year, and it has served as his main musical focus, with the exception of a brief Accept reunion from 1992 to 1996, and a current tour under the moniker Dirkschneider, touted as a “farewell to Accept” tour since about 2015. Plans for a new U.D.O. release and tour will hail the end of the Dirkschneider farewell tour, leaving Dirkschneider and his fans free to focus on the new material.

Fans of both Accept and Udo himself know full well what to expect from Steelfactory. Dirkshneider’s trademark gravelly vocals are unmistakable, much like the great Kevin Dubrow and Dee Snider, and the melodic range and power of the vocals stand alone in Metal history. Joined by his son Sven on drums, Andrey Smirnov on guitar, and Fitty Wienhold on bass, Steelfactory is the next step forward in a 40+ year legacy. It is neither overly modern sounding, nor dated. Excellent production, excellent production, and great songwriting are the earmarks of this record, and Dirkshneider, unlike many of his contemporaries, is in fine voice. For any serious Metal fan, Accept fan, and U.D.O. fan, Steelfactory is a must own.



  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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