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Tries to be more mature, it seems. - 79%

Nightcrawler, June 7th, 2004

Alright, so this is by far the weakest album I've got by this band. But that does in no way mean that it's bad, only that all their other albums I've got (check my collection, you lazy bastard) are fucking excellent, badass heavy metal. This one sounds pretty similar to their last two releases, "Balls To The Wall" and "Metal Heart", but as previously stated, the vicious attitude has been sadly reduced, which makes it much less in your face and not quite as inspired as their earlier material, but there's some interesting songwriting to be found here.
Songs such as "Monsterman", "Heaven Is Hell" and "Man Enough To Cry" shows a pretty emotional side of Accept. Thing is, they already had songs showing that side ("Head Over Heels", "Winter Dreams", "Can't Stand The Night", and so on) even when their attitude was the worst, and they really did work better back then, even though these songs on their own aren't particularly bad.
That's pretty much the symptom of the whole album. Traditional 80s Accept but with less of a kick-your-ass attitude, and just generally similar to but weaker than their classic material. Classic, catchy heavy metal riffs and wailing solos played with a screeching, wild guitar tone a la "Metal Heart". The trademark sense of groove Accept always had is also very evident, especially in the moody title track. And of course, Udo Dirkschneider's shrieking, clinically insane vocal assault. He owns you - and my fucking cojones, he did own me too at Sweden Rock Festival. One of the definite highlights at the whole festival. The setlist was nearly perfect, with all Accept classics like "Burning", "Restless And Wild", "Metal Heart" and "Balls To The Wall". Although, there is one particular song from "Russian Roulette" I'd kill to see played live: AIMING HIGH! AIMING HIGH! WHAT A FIGHT TO GET IT RIGHT, FOR A MINUTE OF DELIGHT! Fuck yes, this is Accept at their very best, and heavy fucking metal the way it was meant to be, man. Intense, powerful, inspiring and anthemic, and catchy as hell. By far the best song on here.

But there's some more good stuff on here. "Another Second To Be" has some killer galloping riffs and a very good, powerful mood overall, and the chorus is absolutely amazing, despite the over-dramatic backing vocals.
Then "Russian Roulette" is equally catchy as "Aiming High", but much slower and groovier, and has this especially orgasmic bridge in the middle, which brings some great melodic stuff. More insanely groovy stuff is found in "Heaven Is Hell", which is cool as hell, and has a nice build-up kind of song structure, though it kinda gets slow after a while, and is just a little too long. Good stuff, though.

All through, the album has some really good material, and although it begins kinda faint (The first two songs, "TV War" and "Monsterman" are kinda average) it definitely catches up around the middle, and some slight weaker moments here and there in songs don't make much of a problem, and the good moments definitely make up for it. Aside from "Aiming High" and "Another Second To Be", the melodic "Man Enough To Cry" also stands out, along with the more anthemic closer "Stand Tight".
Nonetheless, the whole album has this underlying vibe hinting that they're not quite as into it as you'd hope. All in all, a really good album from these German heavy metal legends, but you'd be better off with "Restless And Wild" or "Metal Heart".