U.D.O. Announces “Touchdown” Studio Album, First with PETER BALTES As Official Member

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After touring Australia and Japan as well as kicking off this year’s festival season by introducing new bassist Peter Baltes last month, U.D.O. — the heavy metal five-piece led by former ACCEPT vocalist Udo Dirkschneider — let the next cat out of the bag today: In between various live activities throughout the year, the band have been very productive having recorded a massive, 13-track album, at various locations. Crafted with producer and mixing engineer Martin “Mattes” Pfeiffer at Redhead Studio (Wilhelmshaven, Germany) and mastered by Stefan Kaufmann at ROXX Studio (Solingen, Germany),“Touchdown” is scheduled to land in the end zone of the heavy metal world on August 25 through Atomic Fire Records. The record also includes a guest appearance by violinist Stefan Pintev on the closing track, and bass tracks were recorded by Baltes. Artwork was provided by Martin Häusler who was also responsible for shooting band photos in support of the new album campaign.

“Touchdown” Album Artwork

“Touchdown” track listing:

 1. Isolation Man
 2. The Flood
 3. The Double Dealer’s Club
 4. Fight For The Right
 5. Forever Free
 6. Punchline
 7. Sad Man’s Show
 8. The Betrayer
 9. Heroes Of Freedom
10. Better Start To Run
11. The Battle Understood
12. Living Hell
13. Touchdown

The LP’s first single, “Forever Free”, as well as album pre-order options, will become available on Friday, June 23.

Last month, Baltes officially joined U.D.O. and DIRKSCHNEIDER, the two bands fronted by Udo Dirkschneider. The former ACCEPT bassist had been playing bass for U.D.O. since last September, initially as a temporary replacement for U.D.O.‘s then-bassist Tilen Hudrap who was hospitalized after the band’s show in Munich, Germany.

Baltes says in a statement: “Since my departure from ACCEPT, I kept myself very busy writing and recording for film/TV productions and various artists around the globe. That’s how I reconnected with Udo working on his solo album ‘My Way’, the U.D.O. album ‘We Are One’ and the DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG album ‘Arising’. Since Stefan Kaufmann [guitar; ex-ACCEPT drummer] was also involved, it all had a very familiar feeling. That’s why when Udo called me in September to fill in for his injured bass player I did not hesitate. The set list had mostly U.D.O. songs which I was not familiar with and a few ACCEPT tunes. When I arrived in Berlin a few days later for the first show, I was nervous and had no idea what to expect. But as soon as we all took the stage standing next to Udo, it felt like home: His voice took me right back to where it all began. It was a total surprise for the audience at first, but as we played on I realized they were as happy as I was to see Udo and me together again. Over the next three months, I really got to know Sven [Dirkschneider, drums], Dee [Fabian Dee Dammers, guitar] and Andrey [Smirnov, guitar] as extremely talented musicians but also as very humble and respectful guys. It all feels very authentic. That made my decision to say ‘yes’ very easy when Udo asked me to join the band permanently.”

Dirkschneider adds: “I have a very long friendship with Peter Baltes which has never been shadowed by the disagreements with ACCEPT over the past few years. The arguments were exclusively with another person and his wife. It should be clear to everyone who is meant! All other ACCEPT members have always been united in friendship. It meant a lot to me when Peter spontaneously helped us out on some U.D.O. tour dates last year. From the first day, I experienced the great feeling and trust from the past with him again. A feeling that always connected us throughout the years in ACCEPT.

“I’m aware that Peter had many lucrative offers from other bands on the table, all of which he had turned down over the years. To be honest, he can’t earn these sums with us. It means even more to me that he still decided to stay with U.D.O. and to also join DIRKSCHNEIDER as bassist. This shows me that he has a real metal heart beating in his chest and that friendship and fun are more important to him than money. Thank you, Peter!

“We are very happy that after so many years you are finally having fun on stage again!”

DIRKSCHNEIDER is the name of Udo‘s band which performs ACCEPT material exclusively. Although Udo announced eight years ago that his initial DIRKSCHNEIDER tour would mark his final time performing ACCEPT songs, he has continued to play select shows under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner.


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