.Editorial - The Curious Case Of Udo

Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Ben

I'm still going on about Accept. Deal with it, brah. One thing I want to discuss first before diving into the main meat of the article is that Accept is NOT a new band to me. I have listened to them for many, many years, albeit scant few selected tracks. Balls To The Wall, Fast As A Shark, and then the Nuclear Blast tribute album that came out in like, 1998. Btw, Nuclear Blast became known for releasing an abundance of decent to high quality tributes that involved lots of their melodic metal roster. The Accept tribute was first. Anyways, I'd been exposed to the band many years prior and even in the winter of 2015, I was driving around the living shithole that is Austin, Texas with only a tape of Balls To The Wall and Subhuman Race to stave off the shitty local radio. However, something about this band clicked hard on me recently. I mean so, so, very hard.

The obvious first main ingredient of the band that draws people in are the muscular and thick and veiny riffs provided by Wolf Hoffmann. Imagine a more angular Judas Priest style combined with German efficiency and a moderately charged militaristic feel. The second main ingredient is the completely unique vocals of singer Udo Dirkschneider. Much like King Diamond, there is no one else like him. What is crazy about Udo is that he can be extremely off putting to some people with his troll like screeching, but those same people could then rock out mightily when he whips out his Bon Scott / Brian Johnson raspy mode. On top of these techniques, Udo also delivers a low, manly, bark that is extremely hard to emulate well. So, the band Accept goes on to make several highly influential albums before the inevitable happens. They break up. But here is where the story gets a bit interesting.

When Accept split, the band in effect split down the middle and divided itself into two camps. Drummer Stefan Kauffman joined singer Udo and they went and formed the band U.D.O.. Wolf and longtime bassist Peter Baltes forged ahead and then after a nineties reunion that folded after a few albums, they reactivated the band in 2010 with a new singer and drummer. Now, I'm not gonna go into who's better or whatever or anything like that. What is interesting to note is that Udo, the singer, has quietly released over fifteen albums that for the most part, would likely have been a great discography for Accept! What I mean to say is that his solo albums are seemingly all excellent. This is extraordinarily rare for a singer to do this. How did this happen? Well, Udo had an ace up his sleeve with Stefan Kauffman being a writer and a guitarist / drummer. And, Udo himself was no slouch with a pen either. To see how exceedingly rare this is, look at the solo discographies of many other legendary singers. The discography of U.D.O. is like if Bruce Dickinson kept pumping out albums after The Chemical Wedding of the same high caliber as that and Accident Of Birth.

Then there's this recent Dirkschneider tour. Udo apparently has been or recently toured for a few years playing all his Accept songs before retiring them so to speak. To be completely honest, I balked at this idea. Because to ninety five percent of solo singers, their previous band's material is what people come to hear! However, U.D.O. really does have a massive and fat and great discography. Looking at the live releases of U.D.O., they change up the setlist constantly. Some shows have a plethora of Accept songs, then a DVD set released two years later will have NONE. But both work! How is this possible? How is Udo being able to play new material and no one complains! I don't think you guys understand what an anomaly this is! Hell, the main band Accept plays a majority of post 2010 songs too because of THEIR strength. This is the best band split since Gamma Ray and Helloween but I guess that doesn't count anymore because they all reunited in Helloween. We, as fans of metal, have been gifted around twenty bad ass releases between Accept and U.D.O..

As stated, I am riding high on all things Accept right now. And during my deep dive, the solo career of Udo really has fascinated me. While I am in the midst of a glowing fanatical state right now, I must still extol the virtues of this band and highly recommend people take dive into their world. A vast majority of the U.D.O. albums are on Spotify to browse as well as all of Accept's. This band really is a curious case study and they deserve more recognition.

Killing Songs :
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