Review Summary: Accept goes down quality-wise, but Metal Heart still contains some of the band's best material.
Accept are probably the best and the most successful German Heavy Metal band. They played a huge part in creating the German Heavy Metal scene and also contributed to the Speed Metal scene. After reaching mainstream with their 1983 album Restless and Wild, and releasing their best-selling album to date, Balls to the Walls, just one year after, Accept had high expectations for their 1985 Metal Heart. With this album, Accept tried to reach even deeper into the American music scene, with more melodic and catchy songs, and even though they failed, Metal Heart is one of Accept's greatest releases.
The album begins and ends with two epic-like tracks; the opening and title track is obviously greater and more famous. Considered by many to be a Heavy Metal anthem, the song actually uses two Classical melodies, the first being Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March, and the second being Beethoven's Fur Elise. This track actually resembles more the old Accept, less commercial and heavier than rest of the material to be found in Metal Heart.
Bound to Fail is also an amazing track, beginning and finishing with an extremely melodic and catchy riff, and also having some of the album's best verses and choruses.
The rest of the tracks in the album don’t reach the five minute mark, when only two go on over four minutes. Tracks such as Living for Tonite and Screaming for a Love Bite show the more mainstream side of the album. Screaming for a Love Bite is probably the simplest song of the entire album, consisting only of simple power chord riffs. The lyrics in the song are, as for most of the album, downright awkward. Other songs like Midnight Mover and Wrong Is Right are much faster and heavier, but they both maintain a very mainstream sound, with catchy choruses, the former probably having the catchiest chorus of the album.
The rest of the album follows expectedly, except the very bizarre Teach Us to Survive. The track touches some strange Jazz territories, and it is obviously influenced by Progressive Rock. While being pretty nice, most of the song will make you wonder what the hell Accept were going for here, and the combination between Jazz and Heavy Metal is pretty weird, especially with Udo Dirkschnider trademark vocal style. Although, Teach Us to Survive has some of the album's best instrumental work, and in contrast to the rest of the album, where the bass is barely audible, the bass shines here.
Together with the bass work, due to the bands turn to a more commercial sound, the whole instrumental section went down a notch. The band still plays great though, as the standards of the last two albums are huge, and the vocals are just as good as ever. The production is also amazing, and this was Accept's first album to be recorded digitally.
To conclude, I think Metal Heart is one of the greatest 80's records. It is not as good as the band's last two albums, because of the band giving up some of their sound in order to become more popular, but it's still very essential. This album could easily be someone's gateway into Heavy Metal; I highly recommend it for anyone who hadn’t checked out Accept yet.
Metal Heart was released in May 24, 1985. The record label is Portrait and it is 39:38 minutes long.
- Metal Heart
- Bound To Fail
- Midnight Mover
Udo Dirkschneider – lead vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – lead & rhythm guitars
Jörg Fischer – rhythm guitar
Peter Baltes – bass
Stefan Kaufmann – drums, backing vocals