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If the utterly astounding 1986 full length “Russian Roulette” were a mountain, its highest point would be the A side of this single. Many would point to “Fast As A Shark” as the monumental contribution that Accept made to speed metal, but if the trends in German power metal in the late 90s were any indication, this catchier and more melodic manifestation of their fast style was at least if not more influential. If you ever turn on an album by the likes of Primal Fear, Paragon, Iron Savior, Gamma Ray, or any of the countless other speed metal bands that came out in the explosion of the power metal genre and hear something really fast and riveting, this is where they got it from. The gang choruses have been substituted out for a much more epic sounding background vocal approach, with Udo maintaining his usual dirty style, but to a slightly less degree than usual. The lead work on here, in contrast to most of their more mid tempo material, is extremely methodical and structured, putting out a couple of sections that bear a pretty strong resemblance to those dual guitar harmony passages that Helloween are well known for.
The B side song “It’s Hard To Find A Way” covers the opposite side of the power metal spectrum and sees the band showing their sensitive side, something which is done nowadays to the subject of social outcasts or fantasy based romances/tragedies rather than the mundane power struggle in a romantic relationship depicts on here. It’s one of those classic 80s power ballads that features a poignant acoustic line, one that Def Leppard all but copied for the title track of their biggest selling album “Hysteria”, followed a triumphant yet somber chorus with a slight uptick in the pace of the song. Udo’s vocals are about as clean as they’d ever get on here, which is still pretty gravely and mean sounding compared to a lot of the choir boy vocalists that did this style of song at the turn of the millennium.
In short, these are two of the best songs that Accept has ever done, and affirm everything that was great about 80s metal. Nowadays these songs would be considered cliché considering how many times they’ve been emulated, varied slightly, or outright cloned. But for their day, these songs were a fresh and forward looking take on the genre that showcased a band that could be commercially accessible yet still play metal with balls.