Classical heavy metal has mainly been shaped by three bands. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and ACCEPT. While the first two weren’t able to tie in with their masterpieces of the 80s within the last years, so that new songs only raise restrained applause when played live, ACCEPT recently celebrated the biggest success in the band’s history with “Blood Of The Nations“ in 2010 and 2011.
This sensational winning streak that, by the way, almost knocked out Twitter, even got a favourable mention in rather less metal friendly media such as CNN, BBC News and the New York Times. And the sceptics’ voices who had commented negatively prior to the album release have suddenly become silent.
During two world trips in these eventful times, Wolf Hoffmann & Co. still found time and inspiration to write songs for the new album. The pressure was tremendous, but as we all know – ACCEPT love challenges and search for them! No distance too far, no burden too heavy for a perfect record, for the perfect show.
And here comes “Stalingrad“ – a statement for the iron will to succeed. Songs forged in the sweat and haze of the concert halls and hardened in the fire of hundreds of thousands fans’ excitement.
With ‚Hung, Drawn And Quartered’ and the title track a new chapter within the textbook of heavy metal is opened enthusiastically. Which other band than ACCEPT is able to play itself into the fans’ hearts within the first three seconds of an album? Terrific! Thunderous riffs, noble chorals, exceptional but yet classically inspired solos, highly catchy choruses and the typical raw, throaty vocals – on “Stalingrad”, ACCEPT’s trademarks are as pithy as never before. Of course staged perfectly by no less a figure than star producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Exodus, Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Hell).
Massive ‚Hellfire’, the speedy stunner ‚Flash To Bang Time’, the stomping stadium anthem ‚Shadow Soldiers’, the fast banger ‚Revolution’ and many more follow… it’s one hit after another! Close your eyes and you can almost smell the matchless mixture of leather, sweat and euphoria. That’s the taste of heavy metal!
The riff roller ‚Against The World’! Autobiographical? Who could blame the band for that. ‚Twist Of Fate’ – the tension, the atmosphere … goosebumps all over! ”There are two kinds of people – ,The Quick And The Dead’!” This chorus gets its teeth into your eardrum persistently. For days! And the epic conclusion in the form of ‘The Galley’ with its crazy solos makes the résumé easy for you – REPEAT!
“Stalingrad” ain’t no product of light entertainment or a work of staid rockers coined by the leniency of the old age. This record presses out the air of your lungs, makes you break out in sweat and thrusts its clenched fist right into your face. The world’s best riff-smithy is put into perfect contradistinction to the classically influenced solos penned by Wolf. Apart from the mighty chorals and the incomparable guitar ballet, this consonance of antagonisms embodies the most important “patent of heavy metal“ ACCEPT can claim for themselves. With “Stalingrad“, it’s not only the future that belongs to one of the world’s most important classical heavy metal bands, but also the stages of each and every big festival! ACCEPT that!