Album review : U.D.O. – Steelhammer Live From Moscow

U.D.O. - Steelhammer Live From Moscow

AFM Records [Release date 23.05.14]

I’m not really a fan of live albums and these days they are a dime a dozen with certain bands releasing what seems like endless streams of them. So what does Mr Udo Dirkschneider have to offer on this one apart from the live DVD/Bluray as well as double CD?

From the title you’d never guess that Steelhammer was recorded live in Moscow in support of 2013’s Steelhammer album and one third of the songs featured are lifted from said album. Udo and his gang ignore all post-millennia albums for the remaining tracks and digs deep into his back catalogue but only final track Metal Heart features from his years in Accept.

To my ears nothing really stands out on here with the early Animal House era tracks standing up the best. In The Dark is the best on offer with its change of pace and atmospheric opening.

Everything else just blends together with sub-Judas Priest riffing and Udo’s sandpaper vocals…the years have not been kind! It sounds like somebody has dug out an early Casio keyboards for Devil’s Bite…images of Trio’s Da Da Da spring to mind…

Audience interaction is kept to a bare minimum with a few English introductions and nothing in Russian apart from “Spasiba” (thank you) after every other song.

One for the die-hard fans only.  **

Review by Phil Berisford

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