19/04/12 || Cobal
Maybe this time my ignorance on the reviewed band’s career will work for the review itself. I mean I have been well aware of their existence, I’ve read several articles on the influence they represent (ed) for all kinds of music that share speed metal as a common root, their classic songs and I even thoroughly listened to their previous release, and kinda enjoyed it!
With “Stalingrad”, Accept seem to be trying to emulate (not imitate) a more traditional sound, except this time UDO ain’t there to support and validate that sound. It appears these guys decided to simply go for it. Not an experiment but a risk, it resulted well…enough.
‘Tis true that this record stands for a more 80’s rocker sound, but due to Tornillo’s competence as a singer, they had the chance to refine it. Songs aren’t as fast as one could expect from a German heavy metal band, they’re rather a bit more sophisticated and easy to listen. In many ways, including the harshy falsetto performed for the vocals, and the general post-production of the master, the whole thing create a heavier AC/DC like atmosphere; this is evident in “Twist of Fate”. Indeed this is a back to basics ol’move by Peter Baltes and Wolf Hoffmann, but they visited the barber’s first.
Despite (or because of?) the above, I think you already know exactly what to expect from this one: a bunch of old fucks trying to revive their days of glory, inside the area of comfort of course, playing just the music they’ve been playing for three decades now. Wrong? I wouldn’t go as far as saying this is a mistaken release, but to be honest, I’m sure they could have done better.
It’s not “Stalingrad” is bad, but too average. And good. And mediocre. Meaning OBVIOUSLY these guys are professional musicians, and that condition’s something that almost totally prevents them from releasing anything that completely sucks. That’s something we have to give to mainstreamers, they’re usually good, and if we add that to the looooooooooong list of amateur shitty acts out there, together shift my perspective on this one.
Songwriting is actually cool, playing is fine, soloing is pretty decent, and production is flawless, I mean, what else did you expect? In short, almost everything in this album is good, except the album as a whole, which is sort of boring, the same way tons and tons of “old school” releases are.
Shall you listen to “Stalingrad”? It’s up to you, know in advance it’s a fine album, but trullier than ever it’s nothing new though.
My favourite tracks: “Shadow Soldiers”, “Revolution” and “The Galley” (the last one clearly resembling Alice Cooper if you ask me).
- Released: 2012
- Label: Nuclear Blast
- Website: www.acceptworldwide.com
- Mark Tornillo: vocals
- Wolf Hoffmann: guitars
- Herman Frank: guitars
- Peter Baltes: bass
- Stefan Schwarzmann: drums
- 01. Hung, Drawn and Quartered
- 02. Stalingrad
- 03. Hellfire
- 04. Flash to Bang Time
- 05. Shadow Soldiers
- 06. Revolution
- 07. Against the World
- 08. Twist of Fate
- 09. The Quick and the Dead
- 10. The Galley