Accept
Herman Frank, Wolf Hoffmann & Udo

 

Accept was one of the premier heavy metal bands of the 1980's. Their foundations began in 1968 when Udo Dirkschneider and Michael Wagener got together and formed Band X. For many years after its founding, Accept went through constant changes to its line-up and was essentially kept on an amateur level, making sporadic appearances in festival concerts. In 1976, when they were invited to play at one of the first rock ‘n roll festivals in Germany, "Rock am Rhein" and were soon after given a recording contract. The band took their name from an album by British blues band Chicken Shack.

The first stable line-up of Accept was composed of vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarists Wolf Hoffmann and Gerhard Wahl, bassist Peter Baltes and drummer Frank Friedrich. Friedrich and Wahl quit the band after the release of Accept. (Michael Wagener is the same that would go on to be the famous producer working with bands such as Stryper, Dokken, Skid Row, etc.) Shortly after, longtime Accept and U.D.O. collaborator Stefan Kaufmann joined on drums. Stefan would later go on to become the guitarists in U.D.O. In 2009 came the announcement that the band was back in action, with former TT Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo taking over the singing.

I became a fan when "Restless & Wild" came out. Their sheer speed and aggression along with Udo's Dirkschneider's high pitched shriek made me an instant fan. Songs like "Fast as a Shark" had a distinct effect on the evolution of thrash and speed metal.

Accept Accept (Castle) 1979

1. "Lady Lou" (3:03)
2. "Tired of Me" (3:14)
3. "Seawinds" (4:29)
4. "Take Him in My Heart" (3:29)
5. "Sounds of War" (4:35)
6. "Free Me Now" (3:00)
7. "Glad to Be Alone" (5:12)
8. "That's Rock & Roll" (2:53)
9. "Helldriver" (2:40)
10. "Street Fighter" (3:28)

Like Judas Priest's "Rocka Rolla" or the Scorpions "Lonesome Crow" to the rest of their catalogue, Accept's debut album is very different from the metallic direction they took with "Breaker", "Restless and Wild" and "Balls to the Wall." Actually much of this CD reminds me of those early Scorpions discs. "Sounds of War" is a hard rocking song that has a sound similar to early Scorpions. Udo hadn't quite perfected his hallowed howl yet either. Also, Peter Baltes was sharing lead vocal duties. I believe it's his voice on "Seawinds." However, Udo's voice is recognizable on most songs, and there is the occasional scream, like on the ending of "Take Him In My Heart" that give a clue as to the direction Udo would be heading. There is plenty of catchy r-n-r here to keep my interest. From the rockin' "Lady Lou" and "Helldriver" to the melancholy "Seawinds", to the sweeping "Take Him In My Heart" this CD is actually quite enjoyable.

I'm A Rebel Breaker Accept - I'm A Rebel/Breaker (CMC International) 1979/1980

I'm A Rebel
DISC ONE
1."I'm a Rebel" (3:57)
2."Save Us" (4:33)
3."No Time to Lose" (4:35)
4."Thunder and Lightning" (4:01)
5."China Lady" (3:56)
6."I Wanna Be No Hero" (4:00)
7."The King" (4:10)
8."Do It" (4:11)
Breaker
DISC TWO
1."Starlight" (3:52)
2."Breaker" (3:35)
3."Run if You Can" (4:49)
4."Can't Stand the Night" (5:22)
5."Son of a Bitch" (3:55)
6."Burning" (5:15)
7."Feelings" (4:48)
8."Midnight Highway" (3:58)
9."Breaking up Again" (4:49)
10."Down and Out" (3:42)

Udo & Wolf Hoffmann

The first three Accept discs are a mixed affair. "Restless & Wild" was the first album by Accept that I got discovered, so the first three never quite matched up. Up until CMC International released the double disc, "I’m A Rebel" and "Breaker" were relatively hard to find on CD.

"I’m A Rebel" was the band’s sophomore release and showed a bit of maturity and progression from the hard rock of "Accept". Guitarist Jorg Fischer and longtime collaborator Stefan Kaufmann joined on drums, giving the band a slightly more metallic sound. It wasn’t quite the jump to greatness that Judas Priest made from "Rocka Rolla" to "Sad Wings of Destiny", but it began to show some sings of what was to come. A few songs on this album stick out. The title track is, of course, a classic Accept song and one that the band would continue to play in the future. The song was written by Alex Young, brother of AC/DC’s Malcolm and Angus Young. Songs like "Thunder and Lightning" and "China Lady" had a sound not unlike fellow German band, the Scorpions. Save Us" actually sounds like a disco tune with it's funky bass lines.

"Breaker" is considered by many heavy metal fans to be one of the band’s finest albums. The certainly found their sound on this albu. Songs like "Starlight", "Breakers" and "S.O.B" are prime Accept. Vocalist Udo Dirkschneider had nearly perfected his troll-like snarl. Wolf Hoffmann and Jorg Fischer were becoming metal machines on the guitar.  As well, the rhythm section of Peter Baltes and Stefan Kaufmann really found their groove. Together, these five men would become known as the classic Accept line-up. Still, “Breaker” was not the band’s pinnacle. They were still climbing the ladder and were discovering their sound. With their next album they would become one of the premier heavy metal bands in the early 80’s.

CMC offers a very cool double disc of these two classic albums. The insert is a single page with no photos, no lyrics and very little credit info. At least the cover art is the original art.

Metallium has recorded a cover of "Burn". U.D.O. recorded "I'm A Rebel."

Metal Masters Accept - Metal Masters (Razor Records)

1. "Lady You" (3:01)
2. "Tired of Me" (3:13)
3. "Seawinds" (4:29)
4. "Sounds of War" (4:35)
5. "Free Me Now" (3:00)
6. "Glad to Be Alone" (5:12)
7. "That's Rock n Roll" (2:52)
8. "Helldriver" (2:40)
9. "I'm a Rebel" (3:58)
10. "Save Us" (4:33)
11. "No Time to Lose" (4:30)
12. "Thunder & Lightning" (4:01)
13. "China Lady" (3:54)
14. "The King" (4:10)
15. "Do It" (4:08)

I'm A Rebel

I'm A Rebel
Two different LP version of "I'm A Rebel"

I bought this German import assuming, by the cover of the lady with the chainsaw, that this was the first Accept disc. While it has some of the songs off that album, what it actually is is a "best of" their first three discs. Not a bad compilation really, choosing some of the best songs off those discs.

Restless & Wild Accept - Restless & Wild (Portrait) 1982

1. "Fast As a Shark" (3:48)
2. "Restless & Wild" (4:12)
3. "Ahead of the Pack" (3:25)
4. "Shake Your Heads" (4:18)
5. "Neon Nights" (6:01)
6. "Get Ready" (3:41)
7. "Demon's Night" (4:28)
8. "Flash Rockin' Man" (4:28)
9. "Don't Go Stealin' My Soul Away" (3:13)
10."Princess of the Dawn" (6:17)

"Hei-di-hei-doe-hida, Hei-di-hei-doe-hida, hei-di, hei-do, hei-da, ha-ha-ha..." So goes the intro to this genuine heavy metal classic before breaking into that high, piercing scream and one of the finest metal songs ever written, "Fast As A Shark". This song is arguably one of the very first speed metal/thrash songs. (A song covered by Forte, Rage, Heathens Rage and Steel , among others.) I purchased this album as a new release in 1982 as a sophomore in high school and wore the grooves off the vinyl. At the time we were just all blown away by the speed, the aggression and the sheer metal attitude. Udo Dirkschneider was the ultimate metal screamer. His piercing siren howls laid on top of the aggressive German heavy metal was untopped by any in '82. The title track followed with a killer groove and a sing-along chorus. Mega-anthems like "Shake Your Head", "Demon's Night" and "Neon Nights" weresoundtracks to our youth. We were a pack of denim and leather clad high school rivet-heads, an image we had been perfecting since middle school. The dark, somber "Princess of the Dawn" finished things off perfectly. This song was a concert favorite that they played live right up to the time Accept folded some ten years later. As I already stated, "Restless and Wild" is a genuine heavy metal classic. There is just not a bad song on this disc and no serious metal fan should be without this disc.

I own this one on CD, an autographed red vinyl copy, as well as a vinyl copy with the classic burning Flying V cover.


Restless & Wild autographed/red vinyl (Heavy Metal Worldwide/HMI LP 6)

Restless & Wild
Restless & Wild European cover


Balls to the Wall
Accept - Balls to the Wall
(Portrait) 1983

1. "Balls To The Wall" (5:42)
2. "London Leatherboys" (3:51)
3. "Fight It Back" (3:38)
4. "Head Over Heels" (4:25)
5. "Losing More Than You've Ever Had" (5:10)
6. "Love Child" (3:34)
7. "Turn Me On" (5:12)
8. "Losers And Winners" (4:19)
9. "Guardian Of The Night" (4:24)
10. "Winterdreams" (4:52)

Balls to the Wall
Autographed "Balls to the Wall" LP

Wolf Hoffmann

This was the album that broke Accept lose in America, and world wide for that matter. Thanks to the popularity of this album, Accept became one of the biggest bands to emerge from Germany, along with the Scorpions. The band’s sound changed slightly as they dropped the speed assault for a more anthemic sound. The title track became the band’s calling card. To this day when you mention Accept you'll get the reply, "Didn't they have that song 'Balls to the Wall'?" I've even heard the song played at professional hockey games! (Hockey is such a metal sport.) Much like "Restless & Wild", this LP is solid from beginning to end and is basically remembered as one of the classic heavy metal albums to come out of the 80’s. Unfortunately for the band, they would never again match the popularity of this album and many consider "Balls to the Wall" to be the pinnacle of their success. There is not much else to say on this album except that it is one of the all time classics of heavy metal. Udo strut his stuff all over this one. My wife still cringes every time she hears those balls being squeezed in the title track.

I own this one on vinyl and CD. The vinyl comes with two slightly different covers. Some versions of the cover features the Accept logo, while others are just the photo (as seen above).

Hammerfall does a killer version of 'Head Over Heels' with Udo sharing lead vocals. Sinner recorded a cover of "Balls to the Wall" which was released on an Accept tribute disc as well as their "The Second Decade" disc. Fozzy also recorded a cover of "Balls to the Wall."

Midnight Highway Accept - Midnight Highway (PVC) 1983

SIDE ONE
1. Breaker (3:35)
2. Helldriver (2:40)
3. Lady Lou (3:03)
4. China Lady (3:56)
5. That's Rock 'N' Roll (2:53)
6. Son of a Bitch (3:55)
SIDE TW
7. I'm a Rebel (3:57)
8. Midnight Highway (3:58)
9. Tired of Me (3:44)
10. The King (4:10)
11. Burning (5:15)

A compilation of early Accept tracks, obviously released to cash in on the band's growing success in '82 through '83. The tracks are culled from the band's first three, completely unalike albums, making for a very uneven listen.. This album is more of a collector's item than anything else. There is nothing new that an Accept fanatic like myself won't already have. All this is wrapped up by a cover featuing one tough looking metal chick and her biker friend. Too much fun

Metal Heart Accept - Metal Heart (Epic) 1985

1.   "Metal Heart" (5:19)
2.   "Midnight Mover" (3:05)
3.   "Up to the Limit" (3:47)
4.   "Wrong Is Right" (3:08)
5.   "Screaming for a Love-Bite" (4:06)
6.   "Too High to Get It Right" (3:47)
7.   "Dogs on Leads" (4:23)
8.   "Teach Us to Survive" (3:32)
9.   "Living for Tonic" (3:33)
10.   "Bound to Fall" (4:58)

When "Metal Heart" was first released in 1985 I honestly thought that Accept had "sold out". "Metal Heart" was so much more melodic and commercial than their past two albums and the production was much cleaner as well. I didn't buy it for the longest time but had a collage roommate that loved it and played in constantly. Over time I've come to accept it as one of the band's best albums, even though it is not as aggressive as "Balls to the Wall" or "Restless & Wild". There is no denying the infectious melody of tracks like "Midnight Mover" and "To High to Get It Right," which would both be concert highlights for years to come for both Accept and U.D.O. However, much like their last two discs, the entire album is quite good; from the screaming guitar solo in the middle of the title track, to the pop metal sounds of "Screaming for a Love Bite" to the hard as nails album closer "Bound to Fall." It's just good, solid, memorable heavy metal!

 

Metal Heart promo photo
Accept promo photo

Accept
Accept 1985

Accept - Kaizoku-Ban (Portrait) 1985

SIDE ONE
1. "Metal Heart"
2. "Screaming For A Love-Bite"
3. "Up To The Limit"
SIDE TWO
4. "Head Over Heels"
5. "Love Child"
6 . "Living For Tonight"

The original vinyl release of the "Kaizoku-Ban" EP was released in 1985 with this cover. It was latter re-issued on CD and re-titled "Live in Japan" (see below). All six tracks are available as bonus tracks on the 2002 BMG remasters of "Balls to the Wall" (tracks 3 & 4), "Metal Heart" (tracks 5 & 6) and "Russian Roulette" (tracks 1 & 2). I picked up the autographed vinyl copy pictured above at a record show in Albuquerque, NM. I couldn't pass it up, especially since it was singed to Scott.

Live in Japan Accept - Live in Japan (BMG/Ariola) 1985/1992

1. "Metal Heart" (5:23)
2. "Screaming for A Love Bite" (4:24)
3. "Up To The Limit" (4:58)
4. "Head Over Heels" (5:54)
5. "Love Child" (4:46)
6. "Living For Tonight" (3:50)

Originally released in 1985 under the title "Kaizuko-Ban" with a different cover art, this EP was finally re-released in Europe on BMG as "Live in Japan". Not much to write about this one. The performance is excellent, Sir Udo is in rare form and the whole package is a great listen. Only complain? Too short! At this point in Accept's history, they were on a career high. A full length live album could not have been out of the question. (thanks Kurt)

Russian Roulette Accept - Russian Roulette
(Epic) 1986

1.   "T.V. War" (3:26)
2.   "Monsterman" (3:24)
3.   "Russian Roulette" (5:23)
4.   "It's Hard to Find a Way" (4:19)
5.   "Aiming High" (4:25)
6.   "Heaven Is Hell" (7:11)
7.   "Another Second to Be" (3:16)
8.   "Walking in the Shadow" (4:27)
9.   "Man Enough to Cry" (3:13)
10. "Stand Tight" (4:10)

Not a bad Accept album, but no where near as memorable as any of the last four albums. The songwriting just wasn't as memorable, and the energy that was present on albums like "Balls to the Wall", "Restless and Wild" and even "Metal Heart" isn't there. Udo left soon after "Russian Roulette". I still am unclear if it was due to the creative differences with guitarist Wolf Hoffman, or if it was pressure from the record company. Regardless, Udo formed U.D.O. and returned to the heavy metal approach of Accept's uncompromising breakthrough "Balls to the Wall." Wolf went on to explore more commercial avenues with the Accept name. This disagreement over style may have been why "Russian Roulette" was such an unfocused album. Bought my copy through Dream Disc for a mere $6.

Eat the Heat Accept - Eat the Heat (Epic) 1989

1.   X-T-C (4:26)
2.   Prisoner (4:15)
3.   Love Sensation (4:42)
4.   Chain Reaction (4:37)
5.   D-Train (4:04)
6.   Generation Clash (4:25)
7.   Turn the Wheel (6:23)
8.   Mistreated (4:58)
9.   Stand 4 What U R (5:29)
10.   Hellhammer (6:54)
11.   Break the Ice ()


Accept 1989

My initial review for this CD simply stated, "this CD sucks!" This was based on the fact that Udo had been replaced and that the sound was more "pop" than past Accept discs. The fact is, however, that this CD is actually pretty good. Had it been released under a different name, rather than Accept it might better accepted by fans. They should have changed their name rather than try to convince fans that this was the same mighty metal machine of the past. I have argued with fans who claim that Reece was a better vocalist. New vocalist David Reece really does have a decent set of pipes and songs like "X-T-C" are actually pretty darn good. Whether or not he is a better vocalist than Udo is purely subjective and a matter of opinion. In my opinion, Udo has undeniable charisma, attitude, and aggression. He defined their sound. In other words, Udo IS Accept! No one can replace him and the whole idea was just a joke! The album is a good metal album in itself, but not really an Accept album. Accept without Udo is like Zeppelin without Plant, Aerosmith without Tyler or the Stones without Jagger. It's just not the same band.. This is probably why U.D.O.'s "Animal House" sounds more like Accept than Accept did at the time. Of course, "Animal House" was written by the members of Accept and probably should have been their next album. Thankfully, "Eat the Heat" was the one and only CD for David Reece, who went on to form Bangolore Choir after the demise of this Accept line-up.

Besides the obvious change in vocalists, the other problem here was that this was an obvious attempt at commercialization. For the most part, "Eat the Heat" sounds like generic American pop metal and sounds nothing like the German power metal that Accept are pioneers of. However, "Generation Clash" and "X-T-C" are actually pretty decent songs. U.D.O covered "X-T-C" on an Accept tribute CD. Their cover of this song rules and forced me to go back and check out the original version again. It was this re-evaluation that made me realize my initial review was a bit to harsh. However, I still stand by this statement, "No Udo Dirkschneider, No ACCEPT!"

"As for Reece, the fans hated him and never accepted him. I can see why they didn't. He didn't really have much in common with what the band had been. It was a deliberate change but, in hindsight, not a good one really. Despite that, though, I thought we made a great record."
-Wolf Hoffamn, Metal-Sludge, 20 Questions Interview

Staying A Life Accept - Staying A Life (Epic) 1990

1.   "Metal Heart" (5:26)
2.   "Breaker" (3:41)
3.   "Screaming for a Love Bite" (4:32)
4.   "Up To The Limit" (4:46)
5.   "Living for Tonight" (3:35)
6.   "Princess of the Dawn" (7:48)
7.   "Guitar Solo-Wolf Holfmann" (4:31)
8.   "Restless & Wild" (2:32)
9.   "Son of A Bitch" (2:34)
10. "London Leatherboys" (3:55)
11. "Love Child" (5:00)
12. "Flash Rockin' Man" (6:32)
13. "Dog On Leads" (5:53)
14. "Fast As a Shark" (5:26)
15. "Balls to the Wall" (10:28)

This album was suppose to be the end of Accept as they had supposedly called it a day. It didn't happen, but this live offering shows Accept in their prime on the "Metal Heart" tour. Every song is well executed and the production is excellent. Good way to introduce someone to the band's large catalogue.

Breakers on Stage Accept - Breakers On Stage (BMG Greece)

1. "Metal Heart" [live] (5:26)
2. "Breaker" [live] (3:40)
3. "Living for Tonight" [live] (3:53)
4. "Princess of the Dawn" [live] (7:49)

A short little import EP that is a nice little collector's disc but not much else as the songs are all exactly the same as on "Staying A Life." Got it in a trade for a tape I bought for a buck.

Objection Overruled Accept - Objection Overruled (CMC International) 1992

1.   "Objection Overruled" (3:38)
2.   "I Don't Wanna Be Like You" (4:19)
3.   "Protectors of Terror" (4:03)
4.   "Slaves to Metal" (4:37)
5.   "All or Nothing" (4:32)
6.   "Bulletproof" (5:05)
7.   "Amamos la Vida" (4:39)
8.   "Sick, Dirty and Mean" (4:33)
9.   "Donation" (4:48)
10. "Just by My Own" (3:29)
11.  "This One's for You" (4:10)

Accept in the 90's have not really changed much. Accept know what they do best and that is play METAL! Some decent songs on this reunion disc with UDO back at the helm. Favorites songs are "Slaves to Metal" and "Objection Overruled."

Death Row Accept - Death Row (Pavement) 1994

1. "Death Row" (5:17)
2. "Sodom & Gomorra" (6:28)
3. "The Beast Inside" (5:57)
4. "Dead On!" 4:52
5. "Guns 'R' Us" (4:40)
6. "Like A Loaded Gun" (4:18)
7. "What Else" (4:38)
8. "Stone Evil" (5:52)
9. "Bad Habits Die Had" (4:41)
10. "Prejudice" (4:14)
11. "Bad Habits Die Hard" (4:41)
12. "Generation Clash II"(5:04)
13. "Writing on the Wall" (4:25)
14. "Drifting Away" [instrumental] (3:02)
15. "Pomp & Circumstance" [instrumental] (3:44)

Accept as a single guitar band still rock heavy! As long as UDO is behind the mic, Accept will always sound like Accept, but without the dual guitars, the music suffers only slightly. Of the post reunion CDs "Death Row" is my favorite and also has the most memorable songs. The title track and "Sodom & Gomorra" are two very good Accept tunes. The last two tracks are more of Stefan Kauffman solo tracks than Accept tracks; sounding a bit like Joe Satriani or Steve Via.

Predator Accept - Predator (RCA) 1996

1.   "Hard Attack" (4:46)
2.   "Crossroads" (5:13)
3.   "Making Me Scream" (4:14)
4.   "Diggin' in the Dirt" (4:01)
5.   "Lay It Down" (5:02)
6.   "It Ain't over Yet" (4:17)
7.   "Predator" (3:37)
8.   "Crucified" (3:01)
9.   "Take out the Time" (3:12)
10. "Don't Give a Damn" (2:58)
11. "Run Through the Night" (3:19)
12. "Primitive" (4:38)

Another fine true metal album with 'ol Udo and Co.! Unfortunately, it would be their last. Loads of cool riffs that the Scorpions should check into, as Accept have stayed much more interesting over the years than their fellow German metallers. Lead vocals on three tracks were recorded by bassist Peter Baltes.

The Final Chapter The Final Chapter
Accept - All Areas-Worldwide
(CMC International) 1998
Accept - The Final Chapter
(GUN) 1998
 

DISC ONE
1.   "Starlight" (5:23)
2.   "London Leatherboys" (4:43)
3.   "I Don't Wanna Be Like You" (4:29)
4.   "Breaker" (4:49)
5.   "Slaves to Metal" (5:15)
6.   "Princess of the Dawn" (10:46)
7.   "Restless and Wild" (2:47)
8.   "Son of a Bitch" (3:27)
9.   "This One's for You" (4:09)
10. "Bulletproof" (6:18)
11.  "Too High to Get It Right" (5:44)

DISC TWO
12.   "Metal Heart" (6:20)
13.   "Fast as a Shark" (3:51)
14.   "Balls to the Wall" (11:11)
15.   "What Else" (5:28)
16.   "Sodom & Gomorra" (6:40)
17.   "Beast Inside" (6:26)
18.   "Bad Habits Die Hard" (4:53)
19.   "Stone Evil" (4:33)
20.   "Death Row" (6:03)

"The Final Chapter" was recorded during the band's final tour. It was designed as Accept's farewell album, which is a respectable way to depart. All songs are well executed and have that live energy that makes live discs so important. A great way to go out and an excellent testament to one of the heaviest German bands of the 1980s. Nice to hear some of those later day Accept tunes live as well. "Slaves to Metal", "I Don't Wanna Be Like You" and "Death Row" all fitting in nicely with their classic catalogue. Accept pulled out a couple early classics for this CD as well. Starting off with "Starlight" was a cool. For years I was in search for a copy of "All Areas-Worldwide", which was only released in Europe. I had assumed that it was a different recording than "Final Chapter". Unfortunately it's the exact same recording with slightly nicer insert.

Blood of the Nations Accept - Blood of the Nations (Nuclear Blast) 2010

1.     Beat the Bastards (5:23)
2.     Teutonic Terror (5:12)
3.     The Abyss (6:52)
4.     Blood of the Nations (5:36)
5.     Shades of Death (7:30)
6.     Locked and Loaded (4:27)
7.     Time Machine (5:24)
8.     Kill the Pain (5:46)
9.     Rolling Thunder (4:53)
10.   Pandemic (5:35)
11.   New World Comin' (4:49)
12.   No Shelter (6:02)
13.   Bucket Full of Hate (5:11)

Wolf Pick
Wolf Hoffman signature guitar pick

Herman Frank pick
Herman Frank signature guitar pick

When I had heard that Accept were reforming without the mighty Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, I wasn't immediately thrilled. After all, Udo is the voice of Accept and has kept the music and metal spirit alive over the years with U.D.O. However, when I read that Mark Tornillo of TT Quick fame was to be the band's new vocalist my opinion immediately changed. Not only is Mark a killer vocalist, but he and TT Quick have been one of my favorite bands since I was a kid growing up in NJ in the 80's. Their EP and "Metal of Honor" are heavy metal classics that have withstood the test of time and continue to see regular rotation in my playlist. "Blood of the Nations" is the first Accept studio release in nearly 14 years, since the release of "Predator". Of course Accept is headed up by guitarist Wolf Hoffman along with guitarist Herman Frank, bassist Peter Baltes, and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann. Together this new version of Accept have released one of the finest heavy metal albums to be released in 2010. This album is absolutely outstanding! From the buzz saw production courtesy of Andy Sneap to the blood thirsty shrieks of Mark to the classic metal riffing. Accept hasn't sounded this good since the mid-1980's. Actually, though it may sound trite, this album blends the German metal style of Accept with the American metal of TT Quick quite well. While a song like "Time Machine" and the epic "Shades of Death" leave no doubt that this is the legendary Accept, other songs like "Teutonic Terror", "Beat the Bastards" and the up-tempo "Locked and Loaded" would sit well in a set list next to classic TT Quick songs like "Front Burner", "Metal of Honor" and "Metal Man". Having said all that, is Tornillo superior to Udo behind the mic? Never! Both are great vocalists with their own style and charisma. Regardless, Tornillo came into a situation when there was going to be massive fan bias and delivered the goods. Much like U.D.O. or the last several Saxon albums, Accept have effectively modernized their sound without forsaking their roots, streamlining their sound and making it appealing to old fans and new fans alike.

Had a chance to catch Accept on this tour in Hollywood, CA and meet the band.

Accept 2010
Herman Frank, Peter Baltes, Mark Tornillo & Wolf Hoffman

Peter Baltes
My friend Bill Bafford, Accept's Peter Baltes, and myself, Oct., 2010.

Stalingrad Stalingrad Accept - Stalingrad (Nuclear Blast) 2012

1.   Hung, Drawn And Quartered (4:35)
2.   Stalingrad (5:59)
3.   Hellfire (6:07)
4.   Flash To Bang Time (4:08)
5.   Shadow Soldiers    (5:47)
6.   Revolution (4:08)
7.   Against The World   (3:36)
8.   Twist Of Fate (5:31)
9.   The Quick And The Dead (4:27)
10. Never Forget (4:52)
11. The Galley (7:22)

"Stalingrad" (subtitled "Brothers in Death") is Accept's second release on Nuclear Blast Records and their second release with new vocalist Mark Tornillo. Having been a big Accept fan, as well as a life-long TT Quick fan, that album was a no-brainer for me. 2010's "Blood Of The Nations" was at the top of my favorites for that year. It was doubly cemented in as a favorite after seeing the band in Hollywood. Accept were back with a vengeance! Obviously there are high hopes for the follow-up. I must confess, on the first spin, I wasn't immediately drawn in like I was with "Blood of the Nations". However, with a few more spins, I can say that "Stalingrad" passes with flying colors.

In fact, the band doesn't deviate that far from the formula they successfully delivered on "Blood Of The Nations". It is literally and effectively the logical continuation of "Blood of the Nations. If anything, "Stalingrad" might be slightly more melodic, sort of like comparing "Balls to the Wall" to "Metal Heart". The formula is very similar and the two albums fit together like matching puzzle pieces, but there is that slight difference that gives the two albums distinction. "Stalingrad", the band's thirteen album overall, is eleven tracks of head-banging, fist-pumping heavy metal at it's very best. There are the mid-tempo pounders in songs like "Shadow Soldiers" and "Against the World" as well as the more upbeat songs such as the pounding "The Quick and the Dead" and "Revolution".

"The Galley" is the tune that closes out the disc and is a seven-minute epic number that deals with the plight of slaves. The heavy churning guitars fit perfectly with Schwarzmann's drums while the backing vocals chant, "Row! Row!". It's fairly epic and has those classic Accept characteristics. The song ends with a peaceful instrumental that fades into the distance. It was a great song to end the album. Thankfully the 'bonus track', "Never Forget" was put in the ten slot so as not to destroy the flow that ends the album.

As he did on "Blood of the Nations",  Tornillo turns in an exceptional, over-the-top performance. His singing voice is gritty and gruff, while his screams are heavy metal defined. Mark has lost very little with age. Sure there are some similarities to the mighty Udo, but few fans would mix the two up. Mark has a sound and style that is all his own. He still has that same charisma heard back on the classic "Metal of Honor" record. The rhythm section of Peter Baltes (bass) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums) is precise and pounding as they ever were. Guitarists Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank are the stars of the show as usual, with their guitar work; heavy riffs and stellar licks.

"Stalingrad" is heavy metal! It is an album that other traditional heavy metal bands will have to measure up to and that includes the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

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U.D.O.
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