U.D.O. - Thunderball
AFM Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs (40'47)
Release year: 2004
U.D.O, AFM Records
Reviewed by Marty
Major event
The man with the barbed-wire voice is back. Along with guitarist Igor Gianola, bassist Fitty Wienhold and fellow Accept band member Stefan Kauffmann (guitar and production), Udo Dirkschneider and company have yet again delivered another solid slab of classic heavy metal that is big on the riffs, defies any influence of current trends in metal and still flies the flag of 80's metal very proudly. All of the band's previous albums had their moments and some really great songs, but a few had their share of very standard and almost filler-type of tracks. A couple of the band's better efforts like Animal House and Faceless World were more balanced albums with great sounding tracks and all round solid songwriting. This new album, Thunderball, has more of a sense of that balance in the killer sound and production as well as the arrangements and quality of the songs.

With an overall razor-sharp production and a "muscular" metal sound, this album is a triumphant celebration of everything that is pure heavy metal in the strictest Accept tradition. From the fast charging riff-fests of tracks like the title track, Thunderball and Hell Bites Back to the slower pounding heaviness of The Arbiter, The Bullet And The Bomb and The Magic Mirror, the "gang" style of classic Accept choruses ring out on almost every track. This album is as fine a balance of slicing power chord metal and shredding lead guitar that you're ever going to hear nowadays. This is pure classic 80's style Accept metal. Along with many solid albeit somewhat "typical" tracks, are several that stray a bit from the norm for this band but work extremely well in giving the album more of a sense of variety. The Land Of The Midnight Sun, with it's more laid back but still pounding heavy beat evokes a strong sense of emotion and drama and has a wonderful chorus. This one comes in at just the right time and is nice change of pace. Trainride In Russia is an autobiographical look at the band's experiences during their Russian tour several years ago. Complete with accordions and some Russian lyrics, this one has a Russian folk song quality to it and works surprisingly well with the heavy U.D.O. sound. The last track, Blind Eyes, has the same sort of feel as the track Winterdreams from the Balls To The Wall album. With cellos and other orchestration, this one has a great emotional vocal by Udo.

There's always a point with U.D.O. albums (usually about mid-way through) where you get several filler tracks that usually sound good but sound oh so typical and predictable. There's a couple of tunes on this album that might fall into that category but overall, this is one of the best sounding albums this band has done in many, many years. The production is huge with a great thick guitar sound and the double bass drumming just hammers out of your speakers. Udo Dirkschneider is in fine voice and shows no signs of aging despite being in his early 50's now. Production-wise, this album puts many of the band's other albums and even some of the Accept albums to shame. It may not be ground-breaking, but one thing's for sure, when you see the U.D.O. logo on a new CD, you can be guaranteed of quality heavy metal. For fans of Accept and of U.D.O., this one's a must have.........

Killing Songs :
Lots! but my personal favs are: Thunderabll, Pull The Trigger, Fistful Of Anger and The Land Of The Midnight Sun
Marty quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by U.D.O. that we have reviewed:
U.D.O. - Decadent reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
U.D.O. - Dominator reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
U.D.O. - Mastercutor reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
U.D.O. - Mission No. X reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
U.D.O. - Nailed To Metal - The Missing Tracks reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
To see all 8 reviews click here
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