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Heavy metal template - 86%

Felix 1666, October 2nd, 2016
Written based on this version: 1983, 12" vinyl, RCA

The prologue:
Back in 1983, the guys of Accept had already proven their great capabilities. The band had made big steps in its development. In this respect, I recommend to compare the lousy debut with "Breaker" or "Restless and Wild". Furthermore, the Germans had managed to write extremely heavy songs like "China Lady" or "Princess of the Dawn" as well as very rapid rockets such as "Starlight" or, of course this track must be mentioned here, "Fast as a Shark". In a nutshell, it was time to create the masterpiece.

The album:
"Balls to the Wall" - what can I say? It was my first album of Accept and it is still the one that I like most. The first riff of the opener / title track / larger than life monument / prototypical heavy metal song is so f**king metal that everybody was completely flabbergasted back in the early eighties. Honestly speaking, I still do not understand how the band was able to hammer out such a merciless neckbreaker. Not only the opening riff had the power to crack one's spine. The dangerous bridge with the interplay between Udo Dirkschneider and the background choir increased the dynamic significantly and the chorus appeared as a metallic ejaculation. (Guess I'm writing nonsense, nevertheless, this is nothing but the truth.) The whirlwind-like solo rounded the picture off, not to mention the furious end. A real giant, to say the least.

It is easy to praise this song, but one swallow does not make a summer. The musicians, who did not intend to surprise the world with complex song structures, were long enough in the business to be aware of this. Consequently, the following pieces provided evidence that the band had no problem to fill the longplayer with robust, vigorous and sometimes mean material. A good example for the partially malignant songs was constituted by the brutal riff of "Turn Me On". The verses offered a dark flair, while the chorus appeared once more as a moment of sexual salvation. However, the stoic bass guitar of Peter Baltes played its part successfully during the verses and the dominating mid-tempo did not result in a fairly lame piece. Don't get me wrong, it goes without saying that the band did not have a fixation about mid-paced tracks. "Losers and Winners" shifted up a gear and held also good riffs. The fact that its lyrics did not belong to the most intelligent metal poetry was of less relevance. The heavy and ageless production did not direct the listener's sight on the lyrics. It was much more fun to dedicate the full attention to the music. This applied in particular for the pretty mystic, straight and passionate "Guardian of the Night", the last outstanding song of an album without any fillers.

I may not forget to mention that the full-length did not suffer from non-metallic elements. The pretty kitschy solo of the title track "Metal Heart", the successor of "Balls to the Wall", for example, would have been a foreign body on "Balls to the Wall". Wolf Hoffmann had better things to do than to express his strange fascination for classic composers. Or he just suffered from a lack of courage. Or both... However, the metal voice of Dirkschneider and the aggressive music complemented each other in a very good manner. I am not the biggest fan of Accept's original lead singer, but he gave all to deliver a convincing performance. Only the poster of the perfectly styled band was even more convincing. In view of this picture, it was no wonder that "London Leatherboys" was understood as a tribute to the homosexual milieu.

The epilogue:
How many masterpieces does a band release in a row? Slayer say three, Forbidden say two and Doro has switched on her computer in order to google the completely unknown word masterpiece. (Nevertheless, she loves us all. Oh my God, there is so much positive energy in here!) However, the bands that are able to write an outstanding album mostly fail to deliver a worthy successor. Accept marked no exception. "Metal Heart" made clear that the band was going in the ditch. The three reasons for its downfall were blatantly obvious: money, money and money. Tragically, the group never regained its old form. "Balls to the Wall" is therefore the legacy of a band that threw away the option to be loved by the entire scene. Hoffmann and his team buried our hopes in a negligent and avaricious manner. Fortunately, this development was not predictable in 1983.