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Accept - "Stalingrad" (CD)

Accept - "Stalingrad" CD cover image

"Stalingrad" track listing:

1. Hung, Drawn And Quartered (4:35)
2. Stalingrad (5:59)
3. Hellfire (6:07)
4. Flash To Bang Time (4:06)
5. Shadow Soldiers (5:47)
6. Revolution (4:08)
7. Against The World (3:36)
8. Twist Of Fate (5:30)
9. The Quick And The Dead (4:25)
10. The Galley (7:21)

Reviewed by on April 9, 2012

"[Accept] is 100% back to making instant classics again, a trait almost unheard of for a band around for 33+ years with members in their mid-50's."

From the beginning of my love affair with metal, Accept was there. "Metal Heart" was the second metal album I ever bought. The year was 1985, the height of metal's domination (in my opinion). Although modern times find three times as many acts in the business, the quality of acts in the mid-80's was about 90% and copycats were non-existent. Accept was at the forefront of German metal and over all of the reunions the band has gone through, with Udo Dirkschneider or without, none have been as widely accepted as the current one with ex-TT Quick frontman Mike Tornillo.

Accept with an American singer isn't new. We all remembered the failed experiment with David Reece for "Eat the Heat" in 1989, when the band succumbed to the hair metal revolution. Looking back, "Eat the Heat" is more acceptable now then the abomination it was back then. Accept without Udo was unheard of and usually resulted in failure. So, in 2010, when only the second non-Udo Accept album "Blood of Nations" was released, die-hard fans of the band held their collective breaths. On exhaling, what we all found out is that it turned out to be just the breath of fresh air required to jump start the band's career. After all, Wolf still has it, the re-addition of guitarist Herrman Frank was a pleasant surprise, Stefan has always been an amazing drummer, and Peter Baltes is simply Peter Baltes.

A lot of metal fans praised Udo's departure...I was not one of them. Udo holds a very special place in my heart. With that said, "Blood of the Nations" was as much stunning for its instant Accept classic feel as it was being a good non-Udo album. Tornillo proved amazing, with his Udo-esque style that fit Accept like a glove.

When the band members announced "Stalingrad" as the follow up, I wondered how they could ever top themselves. In the Last reunion, Accept put out the amazing "Objection Overruled" and then followed up with the "death nell" "Death Row." With "Stalingrad," fans should find comfort in the fact that Accept is safely back in the realm of "can do no wrong." Right from the opening riff of "Hung, Drawn & Quartered" you can easily tell this album has a magic to it. It keeps getting better and by the time you get to "Flash to Bang Time," even the most hardened fan of Udo can find their icy "metal heart" melting away in face of the Udo-less Accept. Tornillo, at times, is interchangeable with Udo.

In fact, the band is so rejuvenated, you forget the band members are no longer in their 20's, which is exactly how this album sounds. "Shadow Soldiers" is one of the finest Accept songs ever written, quickly followed by another in "Against the World." Hoffman is a brazen songwriter and his solos couldn't be more tear jerking. Those as much moved by great metal as I will totally understand it when I say that the tears streamed down my cheeks as much from the first play of "Shadow Soldiers" as the 30th spin.

Classics permeate through the entire opus as "Revolution," "Hellfire," and "The Galley" will undoubtedly be talked about for years to come (along with the aforementioned "Shadow Soldiers" and "Against the World"). There are some albums where the a "classic label" isn't applied until years later, but with "Stalingrad," the classic value is instantaneous. With an album showcasing Mother Russia, Accept could very well have brought the center of the metal universe back into the fatherland where it enjoyed so many years as its capital!

"Stalingrad" easily recaptures the glory the band had with classics "Breaker," "Balls to the Wall" and "Russian Roulette" (no pun intended). Take it from a battle hardened Udo worshipper, Accept is no longer just a "reunion" or a band that comes across as being "heavy for heaviness sake." The band is 100% back to making instant classics again, a trait almost unheard of for a band around for 33+ years with members in their mid-50's. It comes just in time too - right when power metal needs it the most!

Highs: Instant classic. A band this old shouldn't sound this young!

Lows: Absolutely none.

Bottom line: With an album showcasing Mother Russia, Accept brings the center of the metal universe back to the Fatherland!

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)