Everyone knows and loves Udo Dirkschneider. As the founding member of Teutonic legends Accept, Dirkschneider’s inimitable gargling yowl was at the forefront of many a young man’s mixtape in the ’80s. Live – Back to the Roots is a double-length album of Udo’s favorite tunes from his Accept days, recorded live in Memmingen in April of this year.
This tour is Udo’s way of putting to rest rumors and hopes of him rejoining his Accept mates. Instead, he embarked on a tour of all-Accept material as a tribute to his past.
With near-equal representation from Accept’s big three albums Restless and Wild, Balls to the Wall and Metal Heart along with deeper cuts from Russian Roulette, Breaker, and I’m a Rebel, there’s something for every Accept fan on Live – Back to the Roots.
Dirkschneider’s unique style has withstood the test of time as well as can be expected. He’s really only got a few note vocal range, but his shrieks and growls still sound close to what they did in the ’80s. He clearly enjoys pounding through this old material, and his between-song banter (at least the parts in English) is fun to listen to. As one might expect, the crowd is totally into the show, and there are a lot of points where they take over singing choruses such as on “Balls to the Wall” and “Metal Heart.”
The band is in fine form throughout, although not nearly as tight as the original group was. While they execute well on all the songs, the chemistry of Accept is missing, as are the Teutonic backing vocals. This might only be noticeable by someone who listened to Accept a LOT back in the day. A number of songs have the obligatory extended solos, and these are all pulled off nicely, but this is clearly a labor of love for Dirkschneider more so than his band.
Live – Back to the Roots is a fun, nostalgic album. Performances are solid and Dirkschneider is in fine form throughout. Twenty-four songs is a big album, so you get your money’s worth here, but the quality doesn’t live up to the original recordings. Give it a listen and enjoy, but spend your money on the original albums.
(released October 28, 2016 on AFM Records)