So, we’ve gone over the five most outrageous Watchtower moments and five times Voivod blew our minds, and, because we are very busy people with very active social and romantic lives, we figured the time was right to discuss five times Udo Dirkschneider ruled.
Let’s get something very clear: Udo Dirkschneider always rules. The man has one of the best voices in metal—hands down, easy—and has more charm and charisma than I could ever hope to. I’m not saying anything to be silly here or to get a cheap laugh—Udo rules. Here are five times he ruled the hardest.
5. The opening scream of “Fast As a Shark”
We tend to not consider Mr. Dirkschneider when contemplating the history of the more extreme side of metal, but lets never forget that when Accept dropped “Fast As a Shark” on 1982’s Restless and Wild, this one was of the fastest and most extreme metal songs around. And what kicks it off? Well, that weird kids’ music or whatever it is, but after that, what kicks it off? One of the craziest Udo screams of all time, cued to crank in the video above. Never forget.
4. The existence of “Trainride in Russia”
Udo and Russia have a good, solid history, and… everybody polka! This song is so berserk it’s almost inconceivable, but it’s also really, really good; and now that’s what I call a chorus. Plus, the humorous video for this (insane) song shows Udo’s lighter side, which is often forgotten given the generally quite sober nature of most of his songs. There’s nothing sober about this drunkfest, which makes me want to hoist more than a few ales with the man.
3. His version of “My Way”
To say I was excited when I found out that Udo was tackling the Frank Sinatra classic on the 2017 release of Back to the Roots – Accepted! is an understatement—I was ecstatic. Because Udo has done things his way (and, really, crafted out an impressive, solid, sturdy little corner of metal that only he really occupies), and because I wanted to hear him really go for it and own the song. Which, yup, he does. Udo’s version of “My Way” is nothing short of essential listening, and makes me want to light a cigar and sit back with a reading jacket on in my den—not that I have any of these things—and contemplate a life well lived. Udo’s, that is.
2. His sigh at 3:56 of “Balls to the Wall”
This album is a stone-cold classic, and one of my favorite metal albums of all time, and the title track is pure metal perfection. Sure, it’s got riffs for miles and a rockin’ rhythm section, but it’s also got one of the most vicious vocal performances Udo’s ever laid down (and he’s laid down a lot at this point). One of my favourite parts is when he lets out a quick sigh during the song’s breakdown (hit play on the video above to go directly to said grunting). What is he doing? Is this something to do with the balls? Why have I been thinking about this sigh for the past 34 years? We’ll never know, but one thing we do know is this song is one of the greatest songs in the history of mankind. So, there’s that.
1. When he showed up on Raven’s “Born to Be Wild” cover
We’re as bored with that song as anyone, but holy crap! This cover still gets our tickers pumping all these years later. Look, Raven at this point in their career were on fire, and when Udo shows up in the studio (we like to imagine him racing in, unexpected, as the band is tracking, grabbing a mic and singing along, then racing out, with no explanation given… or needed) it’s almost too much adrenaline. But it’s not too much, it’s just enough. This is a perfect moment in metal history, one that perfectly exemplifies why the genre rules, and one that perfectly exemplifies why Udo rules.