• Accept - Stalingrad (2012)

     

    After so many positive comments and favorable reviews about the last two Accept records in the entire metal scene I decided to try out the two new albums starting with their newest one which is Stalingrad. After several tries, I realize that the metal scene worships the save value of nostalgia instead of fresh innovation. Accept try to sound the way they have always sounded. Even though the record is very strong from a purely technical point of view, is very well produced as well and offers anything an Accept fan should expect, I can't feel anything more profound. The vocals are strong but are nothing more than a quite solid copy of the original vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and lack of an own identity. The guitar solos are great but sound predictable while the riffs sound quite old school and used. The song structures offer nothing new and even the lyrics are about topics that have already been touched by the metal scene far too often. This album has no metal heart and doesn't even come close to band classics such as "Balls To The Wall" or "Russian Roulette".

    Only three tracks stand out of exchangeable riffs, one dimensional mid and up tempo hymns and the usual topics. The title track "Stalingrad" is a truly epic track with multiple changes that features a sequence of the Soviet's Union national anthem in the middle of the track. Even though this idea is nothing new as we all remember the portions of Tchaikovsky's "Slavonic March" and Beethoven's "Für Elise" in a track like the legendary anthem "Metal Heart", the title track works very well and puts you into a majestic atmosphere that fits the lyrical topic. The track offers nothing new but is done with a lot of emotion. The half ballad "Twist Of Fade" proves that this band has much more to offer than closed minded traditional heavy metal and that they can write truly touching songs with profound emotions and some technical surprises. The closing epic "The Galley" is another classic metal track but contains a couple of surprises and is a perfect way to finish the record.

    But the rest of the songs are quite all the same. Accept fans will surely buy and like this. Many of the tracks will probably work better on stage than in the studio. But in the end, let's be honest and realize that none of the eleven songs has the quality of the band's classics. This release is in fact neither a step back to the glorious past nor a step forward to new shores of the heavy metal sound universe. Accept are stuck in their past reputation and desperately try to deliver what everyone expects them to do. This would have been a tolerable step for the comeback record “Blood Of The Nations” but I really expected something more from “Stalingrad”. On the other side, the well received critics show that a very big part of the metal scene accepts this worship of the past and doesn't want to enjoy anything that might still be memorable in a couple of years. Don't get me wrong, you can listen to this record and have a lot of fun with it. You surely don't always need innovation in the metal genre. But Accept have clearly done better in the past. The three outstanding songs show me that they are still able to get further than the save lane they're driving here. They should get the foot off the brake and accelerate to new shores on the next record and gather all their resources to step forward and create something truly impressive.

     

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