Sunday, September 16, 2012

Teutonic Terrorism Part Zwei

Accept – Stalingrad

Nuclear Blast Records – 2012

Bangers, we all know that there are some bands whose consecutive albums that remembered together rather than individually. This linking can be because they are released in quick succession, or the production on them is similar, or even that the flow of the albums is the same.  Some examples would be Judas Priest’s  Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith, Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, Mercyful Fate’s Melissa and Don’t Break The Oath, and Ozzy’s Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. All of these are classics of the genre and represent a creative peak for each of the respective bands.  The same will probably be said of Accept’s Blood of the Nations and their latest masterpiece, Stalingrad. It continues right were Blood left off and sounds like it came from the same sessions.

Accept is firing on all cylinders right now and Stalingrad has 11 cuts of pure Solingen steel. The speedy, ripping song “Hung Drawn and Quartered” kicks off the festivities and is yet another Accept anthem.  The band follows that up with the epic and sprawling title track.  It’s a multi-layered affair that tells the tale of the titanic World War II battle, and even includes a bit of the Russian national anthem.  Thematically it’s a bit odd to hear a German band with an American singer telling the tale of a battle won by the U.S.S.R.  All that aside, the song kicks ass and slots in perfectly with other Accept classics.   Check out the track below:

The album is littered with other primo fast burners like “Hellfire,” “Flash To Bang Time,” “Revolution,” and “The Quick and the Dead.”  There are a couple of moodier, mid-paced tracks such as “The Shadow Soldiers,” “Never Forget,” and the excellent “Twist of Fate.”  Finally, the album closes with the absolutely phenomenal “The Galley” which tells the story of galley slaves chained to their benches.  It’s  goose bump city come the solo as the band chants, “Row, row, row” and the minds-eye conjures up the image of the poor bastards straining at the oars.  Now that’s Metal!!

However, there are two things about Stalingrad that separate it from Blood of the Nations - one bad and one good. The good is that the album is a couple of songs shorter, and as a result it is more focused than its predecessor. The bad is that the sequencing of this album is all wrong because the catchiest material is in the last half. For instance, the epic title cut is the second track, which is harder to get into due to its length.  I'd prefer to see it as the final track on side one of the vinyl. This is probably why many people are saying this album is inferior to Blood.  It’s either that or the critics are fucking morons.  You decide. 

The Bottom Line:  This is another Accept classic and is loaded with the highest quality German steel.  It’s the equal of its predecessor and a further triumph for the Mark Tornillo era of the band.  Get it!

As always, MAKE MINE METAL! 

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