Udo Dirkschneider is a name that will always be associated with German heavy metal legends Accept and as his band mates plan yet another comeback, this time with Mark Tornillo behind the mic as Udo refused the invitation, Udo, the band and the man prepare for what is quite amazingly their twelfth studio album with the release of Infected.
Whether you call it a single or an EP, what U.D.O. has served up is a five track disc with two exclusive studio numbers, one remix, one live song and the title track which is a taster from the forthcoming Dominator album. It's limited run of 2222 will surely make this a collectors piece among his fans.
For anyone familiar with Udo's output over the years Infected will hold few surprises, however it does still get the blood pumping with it's efficient, racing riff and insistent drum bashing. Udo really hasn't moved on sound wise since his later albums with his original band and it's to his credit that even after all these years his songs still sound fresh and invigorating. The man himself still has a rough and rugged voice, however it was always perfect for this sort of unapologetic metal workout and he is a true, if underappreciated legend of the genre.
The two exclusive studio songs never sound like second rate left overs and are every bit as strong as the title track. "Systematic Madness" could easily have been lifted from Accept's Metal Heart album with a guitar line weaving its precise pattern over another meaty riff. "Bodyworld" is a perfect vehicle for Udo's layered gang like vocals with the title sung repeatedly over the mechanical guitars it is another top notch rocker that leaves you growling the chorus in your head as the day goes on!
"Platchet Soldat" is a remix of a song taken from the band's previous release Mastercutor and is a considerable change of pace with an accordion taking centre stage at times and a chorus more reminiscent of a traditional Russian folk song than a Germanic metal song. I can't say it's one of my favourite Udo tracks, but they do execute it well.
That leaves a live version of "Poezd Po Rossii" which translates to "Trainride In Russia", it takes the accordion like theme from the previous track and highlights it further in what sounds like a Cossak anthem reworked in to a gentle rock song. Judging by the crowd reaction it's a fan favourite as they enthusiastically sing the melody line through the instrumental. It's not the most vital Udo track you will ever hear, but it has its merits.
As an appetizer for Dominator, this five track release does its job perfectly as the title track and the two exclusive songs prove that Udo still has a strong part to play in the European metal market and that his ex band mates will have to work hard to match his work.
2. Systematic Madness
4. Platchet Soldat (Remix)
5. Poezd Po Rossii