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Here’s where European metal gets a serious kick in it’s boogie-obsessed, old fashioned, and overly Sabbath dependent ass. To this point in time (meaning since their ’79 debut album) Germany’s Accept had been following the same dull path by as so many on their continent. But along with Mercyful Fate, they soon helped re-align European metal brains towards music altogether more forward thinking. In Fate’s case it was all about darkness, iconography and complexity. For Accept it was about speed, power and purposeful virtuosity. The band always had an aggressive factor in the nasal grunt of singer Udo Dirkschneider (closest cousin: AC/DC’s Bon Scott), easily one of the most distinctive singers in metal history. But the band’s two guitar membership (highlighted by lead player Wolf Hoffman, an always economical and tasteful solo author) is equally important, pushing the envelope away from the syrupy riffing of the seventies and towards music far more urgent.
The title cut itself is a classic among classics managing, amongst it’s hard, heads down pace, to include some remarkable writing, sharp riffing and a previously unheard level of aggression from Udo. Similarly snarling is “Son Of A Bitch,” which uses a churning, slightly ominous riff to great advantage, Udo really sounding unhinged as he belts out the profane chorus. Another important ingredient in the future of this band can be heard on “Midnight Highway,” which blends energetic playing with irresistible melodic riffs. And while the band do revert to boogie format on the long and fast “Burner,” it’s energy is still damn impressive.
This is one of the indispensable records of it’s day, a sign to the metal faithful that ever more diabolical sounds were right around the corner, from all corners of the globe. By all means don’t stop here, jump to ‘82’s Restless And Wild to dig how much further Accept would take this theory.