U.D.O - 1991 Timebomb


ALBUM: Timebomb
SERIAL: PD 74953
YEAR: 1991
CD REISSUE: 2013, AFM, AFM 430-2


LINEUP: Udo Dirkschneider - vocals * Matthias Dieth - guitars * Thomas Smuszynski - bass * Stefan Schwarzmann - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Gutter * 02 Metal Eater * 03 Thunderforce * 04 Overloaded * 05 Burning Heat * 06 Back In Pain * 07 Timebomb * 08 Powersquad * 09 Kick In The Face * 10 Soldiers Of Darkness * 11 Metal Maniac Master Mind



1990 was perhaps the lowest point of Udo's career, both 1988's 'Mean Machine' and 1990's 'Faceless World' met with less than enthusiastic responses from fans and critics alike.

The uncompromising metal values of his Accept years and U.D.O.'s 1987 debut 'Animal House' was toned down dramatically.

To top it off Udo suffered a heart attack that year, the result of stress reportedly. It must have revitalised him as 'Timebomb' was a comeback of major proportions, in much the same way that Iron Maiden and Judas Priest achieved with 'No Prayer For The Dying' and 'Painkiller' respectively in returning to their metal roots.

Reviews were positive, the album released just as metal started to decline commercially. Way off base were suggestions that Udo had ripped off Priest's sound on 'Painkiller', allegations still mentioned to this day.

The Songs

The proof that Udo was 'back' was obvious without even listening to the album. Titles like 'Metal Eater', 'Thunderforce', 'Burning Heat', 'Powersquad' and 'Metal Maniac Master Mind' raise expectations that thankfully are met.

The sound is consistently fast, emphasising technical guitar work from Dieth and near thrash drumming from Schwarzmann.

Instrumental 'The Gutter' leads into opener 'Metal Eater' which imposes these elements in abrasive terms, fully fledged trad metal that never sacrifices melody, U.D.O's usual European sound intact.

'Burning Heat' is the track which inspired the Priest rip off cries, and while similar is a sound U.D.O. had used for years, even on their weaker efforts. Taken on its own terms it's a more well rounded heaviness than Priest in 1990, a more satisfying attack.

The title track leaves all in its wake, the chorus something special, 'we are timebombs, cold killing machines.' Little can better 'Soldiers Of Darkness' and it's consistent spitfire riffs, although the well titled 'Metal Maniac Master Mind' is more epic, with a slower approach and some vintage chanted backing vocals, always an U.D.O. staple.

In Summary

This was the last U.D.O. album until 1997's 'Solid', when Udo joined a reformed Accept, who never came close to 'Timebomb's intensity on their resulting three albums. Neither have 'U.D.O.

Themselves, despite some fine efforts including 'Solid' (1997) and 'Holy' (1999). Certainly this is the high point of Udo's solo career, ranking up there with Accept favourites 'Breaker' and 'Restless And Wild'.

Twelve years hasn't dated it one bit and if in doubt about Udo's contributions to the history of metal as a solo artist, this might change your mind in a hurry.

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