ACCEPT – Classic heavy metal was shaped essentially by three highly influential bands: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and ACCEPT.
ACCEPT are celebrating the biggest success of their lengthy career with their critically acclaimed 2010 album “Blood Of the Nations” and accompanying 2011 world tour: • “Blood Of the Nations”: Fastest selling album in ACCEPT’s history • #4 in the German Album Charts • #1 World wide on the MySpace Video Charts with “Teutonic Terror” • Named more than 50 (!) times “Album Of The Year” around the world • 180 concert appearances on sold out world tours • Celebrated headliner status at Bang Your Head and Sonisphere Festivals in Bucharest and Istanbul. • Triumphant stadium show supporting AC/DC in front of 150,000!
This immensely successful, almost unbelievable marathon of activity, which – by the way – almost brought down Twitter, even caught attention of media outlets not exactly known to be fans of heavy metal: CNN, BBC and even the New York Times had to take notice and report on this phenomenon. And the many skeptic voices that spoke so negatively prior to the release of “Blood of the Nations” were suddenly muted. Even though ACCEPT circled the globe twice during this time, Wolf Hoffmann and company still found time to write songs for a new album. The pressure was there to create a proper follow-up to “Blood of the Nations”, but we all know that ACCEPT love and even seek out such challenges. No voyage is too far, no sacrifice too big to create that perfect album or to construct that perfect show. Now is the time to unleash “Stalingrad“– a commanding statement about the loneliness of dying on the battlefield; friend or foe in death united by their last common breath. The songs on “Stalingrad” were forged by sweat and dust from packed concert venues and hardened by fire from the explosive zeal of a hundred thousand fans! The opening rumble of “Hung, Drawn & Quartered” and the domineering title track create yet another new lesson in the book of heavy metal for others to follow. What band other than ACCEPT succeed so formidably in the first three seconds to completely enthrall and delight their fans? Grandiose, enormous riffs, magnificent Cossack choruses, classically inspired solos, haunting refrains and the typical, raucous vocals – these are all legendary traits of ACCEPT and brought repeatedly to extreme front and center on “Stalingrad“.
All the vehemence and passion has empathetically been captured once again by none other than in-demand producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Masterplan, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Hell, Nevermore…) Next up? The massive “Hellfire” and the speed goliath “Flash to Bang Time”! The mammoth stadium anthem “Shadow Soldier” marches convincingly, the head banging “Revolution” echoes some of ACCEPT’s most loved classics…. “Stalingrad” is one definitive hit in pursuit of the next. With both eyes closed, one can instantaneously and indisputably smell the formidable mix of leather, sweat and euphoria! This is what classic heavy metal tastes like! The riff monster “Against the World” follows! Autobiographical? Nobody would hold that against ACCEPT! “Twist of Fate” spreads goose bumps with its quivers and ambiance. “The Quick and the Dead” states that… “there are two kinds of people”. The chorus grabs you by the throat and never lets go. Finally, the madness of the epic closer “The Galley” with its insane solo forces the listener to immediate action: REPEAT! “Stalingrad” is not a product of an easy-going muse or a reflection of veteran rockers. Instead, this album forces the air from screaming lungs, conjures hot sweat on the forehead and holds a clenched fist in your face. The world’s best riff machine stands up in perfect contrast to those magical, classically infused solos from Wolf Hoffmann. The well crafted harmony of opposites is – next to the Cossack choruses – the key heavy metal trait that ACCEPT proudly take full credit for. “Stalingrad” – again a strong International Top 10 Charter – represents classic metal at its finest. It easily sets the tone and the direction for the future of one of the most important, heavy metal bands. The future is today and the world’s stages at international festivals are ready for the assault. ACCEPT that!
Text: Brian Thompson
Photos: Sergey Belyakov