Review Summary: Balls....To....The......Walll. du du du du...
Balls To The Wall. An album famous for several things. 1. This album managed to produce one of heavy metal’s biggest hits in the 1980’s with their explosive self titled track featuring a pummeling main riff and Udo Dirkschneider’s bull dog like image highlighting the music video. 2. The album is also notorious for displaying an extremely close up snap shot of a hairy dude exposing his thigh to the audience. With all of the leather and metal on display I wouldn’t be surprised if the man on the cover was Rob Halford himself. 3. The band has also been credited with developing speed metal in it’s earliest form, managing to garner some critical acclaim in the mid to late 80’s only to begin fading away from the mainstream audience. The influence is still felt to this day, with Balls To The Wall making a cameo in a popular heavy metal documentary. So who was Accept and how did they explode into the hearts of many with this particular release?
Accept was a heavy metal band that took form in Soligen, Germany sometime around the early nineteen seventies. The band has released several albums in their career, experiencing the highs and lows of being a rock star. It wasn’t until the early eighties that Accept started receiving some positive feedback from the public eye. “Balls To The Wall” was released in 1984 which managed to catapult the band into metal stardom, if only for awhile, that included several big hits, featuring the blistering title tack and Fight It Back. This album managed to be the band’s most successful album to date, reaching platinum status before slowly dissolving as the success from this album began to fade. Front man Udo Dirkchneider certainly had the charismatic qualities capable of turning some heads with his brutish image and distinctly loud and oppressive vocal delivery certainly. He doesn’t necessarily have a great metal voice that could rival that of Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford but he more than made up for it up for with balls and swagger.
Distancing himself somewhere between a loud yelp, a Rob Halford- esque falsetto, and several other head turning vocal styles I fail to completely run through, Udo was certainly an explosive front-man. The lyrics manage to be a strong point on this album with Fight It Back serving as an anthem for the downtrodden. Explain the pitfalls of conformity, Udo delivers a hell bent tirade that pumps my fist straight into the air every time I put it on. Balls To The Wall manages to touch up on slavery issues concerning revolt from within. Udo is a great feature to the band and the record itself but the highest regards “can be directed to the impressive guitar work from Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank. They form a tightly knit duo feeding each song with catchy riffs and blazing solos. Technicality means nothing to me when it comes down to a good riff. If I hear a riff that catches my ears and inspires me to the point of throwing cats like footballs and back handing waitresses, it could be the most simplistic riff ever written by man and I‘d still love it. Hell, a 12 year old novice could have come up with it in two days and I’d still applaud. Frankly, head and bang could not be fitted together for an album more perfectly than Balls To The Wall. Simple, heavy, and fist pumping, that is what these guys excel at. And like the good book says, don’t mess with success. Excellent bass work from Peter Baltes solidifies the four string position as a deadly weapon. Peter plays some tapping lines perfectly synching to Herman and Wolf’s guitar patterns as well as managing to be creative and interesting enough to want to dissect. Now, as a drummer, Stefan plays at a pretty basic level exhibiting just enough variation to slide by unscathed. He does manage to hold a rocking beat and for that he accomplishes his goal as a drummer.
Balls To The Wall is an excellent metal record that fans of Judas Priest and all those other old metal bands that your dad is into should check out if you haven’t checked this out already. As one of my first straight up heavy metal records ever given to me I must say I didn’t like it at first but as soon as I began to open my mind things began to change and I started blaring this repeatedly. The album features many stand out tracks on their own such as Fight It Back, Head Over Heels, and Guardian Of The Night, so even if you decided not to check them out you must give the title track a listen in good ol remembrance to my chosen online handle.