By Gruesome Greg
Although I had this one on pre-order and was certainly looking forward to it, I can’t say the anticipation for Stalingrad matched that surrounding Blood of the Nations, Accept’s comeback album of a couple years back. At this point, we know they’re still a cohesive unit with Mark Tornillo on vocals, and while the idea of another new album sounds great, I didn’t know if they could recapture the magic of its predecessor… And then I pressed play.
Accept isn’t the first metal band to name a song “Hung Drawn and Quartered” (in fact, I seem to recall a ripping Raven tune with the same name), but this one starts the album off on a lively note, Tornillo shredding his vocal chords over a vintage speed metal attack. This actually reminds me a bit of some of Udo’s recent solo work, without some of that digitized crap, and blended with the best stuff offa the Russian Roulette album. This one would work well in their live set, to be sure.
The title track comes next, with chugging verses begetting a slowed-down pre-chorus that leads into another one of those classic Accept gang choruses. It even has a “Whoa-oh-oh” section built right in. Hmm, where have I heard that before? 😉
Elsewhere, it seems that the presence of the Jersey-born Tornillo hasn’t prevented such Engrish disasterpieces as “Flash to Bang Time” (to be fair, the full chorus is “Caught in the Flash to Bang Time”—not that it makes much more sense), though all is forgiven as this tune downright, erm, bangs. Likewise, I’m not quite sure what a “Shadow Soldier” is, but this tune sorta sounds like a military-themed “Head Over Heels”…
Otherwise, we’re treated to such standard metal song titles as “Revolution,” “Against the World,” “Twist of Fate” and “The Quick and the Dead,” but don’t judge a tune by its title, eh? Perhaps the unimaginative monikers indicate that Accept isn’t trying to break any new ground here. What we have on our hands is another classic 21st century record from one of my favourite 80’s metal bands, and I sure as hell ain’t complaining!
By the way, I’m not sure if he quit smoking or something, but Tornillo displays an impressive vocal range on this record, frequently hitting some high shrieks that I hadn’t heard on their last effort. Will be interested to see if he can pull it off live—I know I’ll be buying a ticket to see ‘em (at least once) again.