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Steel-Plated Classic! - 100%

ExMachina, March 8th, 2009

I am in a unique position among most U.D.O. fans. As a fan of the earlier Accept output, I was much more interested in tracking down the U.D.O. albums that bore the strongest resemblance to the sound showcased by Accept throughout their storied - if all-too-brief - Heavy Metal career. As such, I tracked down 'Animal House' first,as it was actually written by Accept, then 'Mission No. X' and other such albums that have that classic, catchy, groove-laden Accept songwriting approach at the forefront.

Then, somewhere in the last year, I finally picked up the one album that every U.D.O. fan had been recommending that I purchase - Timebomb. I knew that no matter what, U.D.O.'s vocals and musical sensibilities would be present, so the album couldn't possibly be a dud. In retrospect, the fact that I even momentarily entertained the possibility of Timebomb - one of Heavy Metal's best-kept secret classics - being a dud is more than slightly comical.

Timebomb is an opus.

From beginning to end, it is a relentless assault of Speed Metal-infused Classic-style HEAVY Metal, and not one song isn't worth multiple spins. Even the intros and the brief guitar solo that leads into 'Burning Heat' at the halfway point warrant repeated listenings. ANYONE who can respect the sound of Judas Priest's 'Painkiller' can latch onto U.D.O.'s sound on Timebomb immediately. Given that this record was released a year after the J.P. album in question, and given that Udo Dirkschneider was not shy about publicly declaring his love for the album in the early 90's, it should come as no surprise that the album flows in much the same manner, and some of the songs bear a more than passing resemblance to much of the material on 'Painkiller'.

But the link between the two albums is more of a spiritual one, rather than an overt ripping off of Priest. Timebomb has strengths that Painkiller didn't have. No ballads, for one. Although 'Touch of Evil' is far from a stagnant track, U.D.O. doesn't slow down their murderous Metal rampage for nearly long enough to even consider a ballad like the song in question. I imagine that after the slow, catchy, poppy approach of 'Faceless World', Udo and company had their fill of this type of saccharine buffoonery, and arrived ultimately at a far more brutal style.

The production quality - particularly on the remastered, digipak version - is top notch. I could have done with perhaps a bit more low end, but the vocals cut through it all like a knife, and the overall production never seems too treble-drenched for its own good. Producer and drummer Stefan Kaufmann really outdid himself on this one, and whomever was turning the knobs did an absolute bang-up job.

Standout tracks? This album has several. But choosing one is like choosing a favorite child. It's that good.

Buy it immediately and bang your head until your brain haemmorrhages.

There is no filler to be found here - 88%

KK, March 8th, 2005

Man, this is a great disc.

First of all, this album is HEAVY. You won't find any silly ballads or covers here. There is a short guitar solo, but it does work where it's placed on the album. The intro might be a little silly, but I think it works also. Those are really the only two tracks that are questionable, but they are completely overshadowed by the rest of the CD.

The highlight of the disc for me is Back in Pain. It has a pretty groovy main riff which shifts into some hardcore ass kicking, melding the best elements of Accept and the heaviness of U.D.O. There are also some great leads in this song, almost reminiscient of Jet Moto or Megaman X, and that's a good thing. It's a short song, but thoroughly splits your head open without meandering and wasting time.

Then it leads into the title track, another uncompromising behemoth. See above. That description also applies to much of the album.

Udo's vocals are in top form here, as he shrieks and squeals his way through the album with that oh so unique delivery that has annihilated for over 25 years.

This album is metal. By metal I mean Metal Church "Start the Fire" and Judas Priest "One Shot at Glory" metal. If given an opportunity to pick this up, I highly recommend it.