Album review: DIRKSCHNEIDER – Back To The Roots

DIRKSCHNEIDER - Back To The Roots

AFM Records [Release date 28.10.16]

If you don’t know who Udo Dirkschneider is, you’re either really young or not a metal fan. Former singer for legendary German metal band Accept, Udo has one of the most distinctive voices in the metal world (right up there with Lemmy.) You’ll never hear him record an album of standards like a Rod Stewart (though that might be something to hear,) but you can damn near bet if his name is on the album you’re going to get something legit heavy and metal.

Despite not being in the band for a long time now, and a long catalog of powerful metal albums of his own, his name will forever be linked with Accept. The song “Balls To the Wall” is as much a part of the musical collective as “Smoke On The Water” and “Paranoid.”

With nearly a 40 year career, Udo is closing the chapter on his Accept years with a tour next year featuring only songs culled from the albums that have shaped and molded much of the heavy music we listen to today from his original band, as well as the album ‘Back To the Roots’.

I have managed to see Accept once, but only with the current line-up. As stellar as that was I am totally psyched about seeing Udo perform these classics on stage. I wish it was with his metal brethren he recorded them with, but if ‘Back To the Roots’ is any indication of what to expect on the tour next year, I think I will be completely satisfied.

His voice sounds just as great as it ever has, having not lost anything over the years. The album is chock full of the classics one would expect like “Balls To The Wall,” “Metal Heart,” “Breaker,” and “Fast As A Shark,” but also deeper cuts like “Flash Rockin’ Man,” “Up To the Limit,” and “Midnight Mover” just to name a few. This truly is the sort of setlist that would make a lifelong fan of Accept totally drool with anticipation.

After years as UDO, this album is released under the name Dirkschneider, but the name change doesn’t mean a style change. Fans like myself have quarreled for ages with the desire to see them reunite, which they have done briefly, but this looks to be the end of the line for Udo and these amazing, classic songs.

If for whatever reason you’re unable to catch a show on the tour next year,’Back To the Roots’ will compensate that somewhat. I have to wait until January to see this show, but I hope that this tracklist is his setlist that night because it will be an incredible night of music without a doubt.  *****

Review by Chris Martin


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