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Some clones are worthy. - 86%

hells_unicorn, November 23rd, 2012

The old cliché goes that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but often it will come with a loss of credibility in the eyes of those already familiar with the original. I stress the word "often" as there are some noteworthy exceptions to this rule, particularly when it is a matter of family. The long overshadowed brother of Udo Dirkschneider, carrying the less overtly Germanic name of Peter, may as well be Udo's identical twin in the vocal department, sporting a similar mixture of sleaze and high-pitched witchery, though perhaps a bit more exaggerated and spending a bit more time in the stratosphere of the male voice range like a ready imitator of Brian Johnson circa "Back In Black" as well as his own brother. However, the comparison doesn't really end with Peter's similarly stereotypical 80s bluster, put encompasses every aspect of Danton's rather short career, manifest in a singular album dubbed "Way Of Destiny".

In most respects, this can be seen as the follow up to "Russian Roulette" that didn't happen because of Udo's exodus from Accept, and has far more in common with said band's 80s sound than what became "Eat The Heat". The songs are possessed of a similar sense of arena-oriented majesty, playing up the simplicity factor and really accenting the memorability of the chorus. Sometimes things play upon a solid crunchy groove after the character of earlier work out of this band's obvious inspiration on "Balls To The Wall", particularly in the case of "Knock Knock", which has a particularly rocking feel that almost crosses over into Quiet Riot territory, and somewhat more metallic pounders like "Straight In Your Heart" and "Don't Forget Me". There's a fair amount of fancy lead guitar interchanges here and there, but these songs basically live off the same sort of solid, meaty sense of rhythm that typified the 80s sing-along anthem, though lacking those signature low-toned war chants and gang shouts heard out of Accept.

Perhaps most surprising about this album is that Peter and company seemed to be a bit less shy about playing up the speed metal side of the coin, launching a handful of certifiable celebrations of fast-paced, Judas Priest oriented glory right out of the same play book that brought forth "Ram It Down". Both the high octane opener "Sandy" and the supercharged climax of the album carrying its title "Way Of Destiny" exude a similar level of energy and fury to the sudden return to aggression that was Priest's 1988 LP, but avoids dragging things out for quite as long. The guitar solo sections come and go rather quickly, but leave a similarly intense feeling of euphoria as the epic shred festivals that Glenn and K.K. pumped out at around this time. These two songs alone are sufficient fodder for any classic 80s heavy metal maniac looking for a fix with something a little bit more obscure, but still easy to digest.

The only real glaring flaw in this otherwise impressive feat of metallic prowess is that they close things off with a ballad, albeit not a terrible one in comparison to some of the truly sappy Top 40 flubs that brought hair rock into the mainstream during this time period. It has a good driving melody and a reasonable amount of development, but exposes Peter's voice a bit too much and comes off as a little too much given that the only trick he really seems to know his high pitched grit, lacking any kind of a sense of transition from clean to dirty that Udo was quite capable of during Accept's many ballads during the latter days of their 80s stint. It's a small chink in the armor, and does little to rob this album of its rightful demand for a larger audience. Any self-respecting fan of U.D.O. and Accept should check this album out, and not simply for the blood relation that the projects share.