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Essential Accept - 93%

Obelisk, November 18th, 2003

As far as I know, Udo was somewhat disappointed with this release, but that's his decision and assessment. In my opinion, however, this is the most consistent album Accept have ever put out.

First of all, they fixed their chronic problem in the previous releases; there are no fillers or cheesy ballads. 'Hard To Find A Way' is probably the only song that classifies as a real ballad on here, but no way is it as cheesy as "No Time To Lose" or "Can't Stand The Night" in its entirety. Gone are the cliched sentimentality and raw "Fast As A Shark" type of obnoxiousness (apparently, can't have one without the other), substituted for rather maturer songwriting and a more laid-back attitude. Even the faster-paced songs on here (Aiming High, TV War, Monsterman) don't have that early-Accept attitude that so many of their fans really value, so this could be a reason for Udo's disenchantment...

However, a fan of traditional heavy metal should definitely like this, in the end. The songs are extremely well-crafted, even if they're somewhat unhurried, with plenty of catchy riffs and melodies. Udo is at his best here, and some of the multiple-voiced choruses are very well done. Hoffman also impresses here, proving that he's one of the most underrated guitar players in heavy metal. Just really good musicianship, all in all.

I'd definitely recommend it, since it was the first album (on a cassette) that I have ever purchased myself, but I'd leave the judgement to you. My bias is infinite towards this band, even though I'm trying to be fair.