Review Summary: In an effort to enliven their successful 80’s course, the German metallers, decide to buid on their current tried and tested formula, resulting in yet another satisfying release.9 of 9 thought this review was well written
Accept, were one of the most prominent bands in the middle 80’s. Managing to release 4 classic and influential albums (Breaker, Restless And Wild, Balls To The Wall, Metal Heart), they wrote their own chapter in the Bible of Heavy Metal. Eventually, their career went downhill, with weak releases taking place and Udo’s brief departure only to delay the inevitable. In 1997 the band went on a hiatus. During their 13 years of absence, each member found the appropriate time to relax and renew what seemed to have been long gone: the desire for music. Finally after many years, Accept decided to dust off their flying V’s and make their comeback to recording and touring in 2009. Udo’s refusal to reunite with his former members, forced the band to search for a new vocalist. Mark Tornillo, was hired as Udo’s replacement, joining the band in May 2009. Proving that he was more than a worthy replacement, Tornillo’s contribution was essential in the band’s surprising comeback. “Blood of The Nations” was an immediate success and after the tour, the recently formed line up lost no time to record it’s successor.
“Stalingrad”, Accept’s 13th studio album came to confirm that the band’s newfound success isn’t at all accidental. Musically, the album carries on from where it’s precursor left us. Focusing their lyrical ideas around the theme of war and most specifically, the epic battle of Stalingrad, Accept continues to offer us music of high quality, by using their trademark raw sound we all loved in their previous album. The ten compositions of “Stalingrad”, are aggressive and fierce, indicating a focused band that knows exactly how to write effective material, strong enough to send us hanging in raptures. In some people’s minds, the already overused classic Metal formula, may lack in innovation and it may offering few chances of experimentation, which may lead them to the conclusion that the album is boring. But thankfully, in Accept’s case, you won’t find yourself listening to some boring or recycled ideas, simply because, the material presented here is really refreshing (save for 2 or 3 songs).
I have said it before and I will say it again: Accept are lucky enough to have within their ranks one of the greatest, as well as underrated, guitarists in the guitar community, Wolf Hoffmann. The guy is a riff machine. Holfmann possess a more dominant role in respect to his duties back in the 80’s, where he wasn’t the band’s central composing figure. But nowdays, as the band’s main composer, he has write at least half of the songs here, but his role is a more intricate one, as he is also assigned as Accept’s lead guitarist. However, this doesn’t seem to put any extra weight on his shoulders, on the contrary, he seems to enjoy his role. Accept are also very lucky to have Tornillo as vocalist. Mark’s contribution shouldn’t be taken lightly. After Udo, he is probably the most suitable person to guide the band and perform the vocal duties. His style reminds me Udo’s a lot. He has some variety in his voice and he can deliever those high notes quite easily. In this album, he sounds even better and much more confident. Last but not least, we should also price Andy Sneap again for his work as a producer, which is top notch.
To conclude, I think that three years ago, no one would have thought that this band could make such an impressive comeback, especially, without their long time frontman Udo. Having submit their credentials with “Blood of The Nations” and regaining their status as one of the best Metal acts, with “Stalingrad”, Accept are already showing no signs of conformity in an effort to play a leading part again in the Heavy Metal scene. Their next decision will be a crucial one. If I could, I would advice them not to rush into things and release again new material shortly afterwards. They should consider carefully their next step. They have already make two great albums in a short period of time. Are they capable of making a third one in a row ? I really don't know the answer to that question. All I know is that, until then, we should enjoy their current success.
Accept have returned and they are back for good.
Some frequently asked questions:
Q: Is this album better than the previous one ?
A: No, “Blood” had no weak songs, compared to “Stalingrad”, where it has some filler songs. On top of that, two tears ago, “Blood” was received well partly due to the band’s absence. Now the element of surprice is gone; we know exactly what to expect from them.
Q: Musically speaking, does this album share any identical moments with “Blood” ?
A: No, you won’t find many identical moments between the two albums. However, “Shadow Soldiers” will remind you “Kill The Pain” a lot.
Q: Is this album different in any other ways ?
A: Yes, the concept of “Stalingrad” is quite different. On “Blood”, Accept explored many different themes and each song was like a different story. “Stalingrad” is like a concept album. It explores only one theme and the compositions are more aggressive.
Q: Is “Stalingrad” worthy of purchasing ?
A: Yes, all the ingredients you love about this band are founded here. Moreover, the album has got a replay value.
Hung, Drawn and Quartered