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More consistent, but lacks the definite winners. - 83%

Nightcrawler, June 24th, 2003

Here's another solid release by Accept, one of those classic 80s Heavy Fucking Metal bands that everyone should know about. This is a somewhat more consistent album than "Metal Heart", the album that came after it but it certainly lacks the total fucking winners like "Bound to Fail" and "Wrong Is Right" from that album, or "Fast As A Shark" from the "Restless And Wild" album.
Nonetheless, we get our fair share of asskicking on here too.

The album in general is, as usual for Accept, pretty groovy and catchy, generally going on at midpaced speed. "Balls to the Wall" features raw riffs with an excellent sense of melody combined with very catchy anthemic choruses and blistering solos- Wolf Hoffman is one of the greatest guitarists ever, delivering riffs and solos varying in speed and style but never in quality. They all completely make sense, and combines devastating aggressive notes with excellent melodic ideas, and never fail to impress. And of course, we have the vicious Bon-Scott-with-his-balls-in-a-juicemaker voice of Udo Dirkschneider. His singing is as usual incredible; raw yet with that flawless sense of melody.
The songwriting isn't quite as memorable as the album released two years later, the vocals don't flow quite as nicely, and the riffs aren't quite as well-defined, but on it's own this stands very well.

I don't really agree with what some of the other writers said about a lack of variety- every song pretty much stands out in it's own way. Some examples are the title track; a midpaced banger with an anthemic chorus, the incredibly melodic and pretty emotional "Head Over Heels", the fun and fast "Losers And Winners", the melancholic "Guardian of the Night" which also features a really cool medieval-sounding intro, and the mesmerizingly beautiful ballad "Winter Dreams".
To name song highlights would be pretty hard, as it's overall a very consistent album and no songs stand out as being especially weak. But the title track, "Winter Dreams" and "Head Over Heels" are all excellent, and do somewhat stand out among the rest.
But everything from the cheesy yet incredibly groovy and catchy "Turn Me On", to the classic rocker "Love Child" to the midpaced, upbeat "London Leatherboys" is really solid. But as already stated, this has a lack of total fucking winners that lifts the album above the crowd, and that is probably the biggest flaw on the album.
Nonetheless, this is a very solid heavy metal album and definitely worth getting, although I'd recommend getting "Metal Heart" or "Restless & Wild" first.