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Same old, same old...
on 30 December 2013
I daresay diehard Accept fans will find it unAcceptable (see what I did there? ;-) ) that, whilst I like them, they were never my favourites. They took a while to reach their peak; Restless & Wild and Balls To The Wall were their best work; and stayed there only briefly before fading again. They tried to change their sound for the US with Metal Heart, didn't succeed, lost a lot of ground, and never really made it back. I confess, whilst I quite enjoyed MH, I never followed them at all after that, but some time recently I discovered they'd released a couple of new albums in the last few years and... they're really rather good!
Of the two new albums (Stalingrad being the 2012 one), this is the better; let that be said at the start. It has their signature sound - the riffing is the same, the tempo is the same, the lyrics are the same, the vocals are... almost exactly the same. The new singer, Mark Tornillo, shrieks a couple of tones lower than Udo used to. It does work rather well, being a little more of a growl, a little less shrill. It also makes the vocals a bit more intelligible. Tornillo can also carry a tune in a bucket i.e. can sing without the rough edge to the voice, which Udo never really managed. In other words, Accept have found a new vocalist who sounds almost exactly the same, but slightly lower in tone and with a little more stylistic range.
"Same old, same old..." is a comment, not a criticism. If you loved Restless or Balls, you will love this. Having said that, though, whilst I would give both of those albums 5*, coming back 30 years later & playing the same album again when music has evolved since... It is a bloody good album. The stand out tracks for me are the opening Beat The Bastards, Locked & Loaded, Rolling Thunder, No Shelter, and Bucket Full of Hate. But it's not quite worth 5.