U.D.O. : Leatherhead E.P. Review

They Say :- Constancy, integrity and longevity – all these attributes perfectly fit on “Mr. German Metal”, Udo Dirschneider and his band U.D.O. Since 1987 the group around the former Accept members Dirkschneider (vocals) and Stefan Kaufmann (guitars) delivers first class heavy metal only.
After the very successful 2009’s studio album “Dominator”, U.D.O. now return with their brand new single, “Leatherhead”. As always this single preceeds a new album of course, which will be entitled “REV-Raptor”, scheduled to be released on May 20th.
For now with “Leatherhead” and “Rock’N’Roll Soldiers” two tracks from the upcoming new album are featured on the “Leatherhead” single. In addition two tracks are available here on CD for the first time ever: “Run!” and “Free Or Rebellion”, both previously only available on the “Thundervision” DVD from 2004.

We Say :- Like it or not the name Udo Dirschneider shall forever be associated with Accept, the band he fronted in the 80s, then rejoined for a while in the mid 90s. Like Max Cavalera and Sepultura the two are inextricably linked and no matter how many years have passed he will always have “that” label. People really need to move on….

So… Leatherhead is the latest release from former Accept vocalist Udo Dirschneider’s band U.D.O. The 4 song E.P. contains two tracks from the band’s upcoming REV-Raptor album which is due out later this year along with a couple that have been previously unavailable on CD.

The title track Leatherhead shows definite German industrial metal leanings, which is no bad thing. It’s not the flat out assault that you may expect but instead U.D.O. keep the tempo down without sacrificing the necessary heavyness. This is undeniably old school heavy metal but the band incorporate elements of their countrymen Rammstein’s drum and guitar sounds in the mix giving it something a little extra. It’s extremely well done and if there are more on the album like this then REV-Raptor will be well worth checking out.

The second track Rock’N’Roll Soldiers is, as you can probably tell from the title, straightforward heavy metal which ticks all of the cliche boxes you would expect. After all U.D.O. have built a considerable reputation doing what they do so why change it?

Having said that, there is definitely a different feel to this one, more than a whiff of Lordi about it.

Seriously.

Yep, that’s what I thought.

The two bonus tracks on this release are also well worth 10 minutes of your time, Free Or Rebellion has one of those sing along choruses that Judas Priest do so well, you know a proper fist in the air, scream your lungs out, bang your head thing. The E.P. closes with Run! where U.D.O. show off their more melodic leanings as Dirschneider turns balladeer, showing his softer side which is, to be fair, more metal than many a metal band’s metal side 🙂

This release also includes two bonus videos, The first is for “Leatherhead” itself and the second is “Jingle Balls”, a track which Udo recorded with Evil Disposition, a band made up of EMP staff. You can check this out below….