Accept - Balls To The Wall [HNE Recordings/Cherry Red - 2013]This two disc reissue brings together two albums from Accept- the German heavy metal band, who are often quoted as influence on devolvement of speed/trash metal.On offer here we have the bands most commercial successful album 1983’s Balls To The Wall, and 1990’s Staying A Life(which features a live Japanese recording from 1985).
So first up on disc one Balls To The Wall album, and it’s best describe the sound here as like a more chugging, meaty, and European take on AC/DC, with often cheesy & homoerotic lyrics. The ten tracks here are mainly built around a mixture of fairly meaty sounding 1980’s metal riff craft, singer Udo Dirkschneider more sleazed & shirked Bon Scott like voice, anthemic 1980’s choruses, and the odd hint of speeding & fairly virtuoso solo guitar work. The thing that made this album become more known & notorious then many other mid 80’s metal albums was the sleazy & homoerotic lyrics & song-titles, like the title track, and the likes of "London Leatherboys"& “Turn Me On”. On the whole the albums an acceptable enough slice of mid 1980’s metal, but really there’s not enough distinctive or original elements at play here to bring this anyway near albums put out at the same time by the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, or AC/DC. Also on the whole the albums tracks have a fairly similar pace/feel through-out
Onto disc two, and we have the live album Staying A Life. This offers up 15 tracks that were recorded live in Osaka Japan- and for me this is the most enjoyable & re-playable of the two albums here. You see firstly this is a very well reordered & clear sounding live album, and secondly it feels like the band are really, really going for it- with vocalist Udo Dirkschneider in fine ‘n’ powerful form, while the rest of the band pound out a tight set with some great showy guitar breakdowns showing up here & there. The pace is a bit more mixed & varied too moving from the more speedy metal craft from the three albums. Before we get great versions of Balls To The Wall album tracks- like great fist punching version of the albums title track & "London Leatherboys". Onto even more anthemic 1980’s metal sounding tracks like "Screaming for a Love-Bite" from the bands 1985 album Metal Heart.
The reissue comes with a 16 page colour booklet that takes in two interesting write-ups about the band & the around the release of Balls To The Wall. Plus press clippings, metal mag reviews, and band photos & live shots.
This reissue is very much focused more around the Balls To The Wall album, with Staying A Life meant to be seen as a bonus- but from my stand point Staying A Life is the more wholly satisfying, varied, pumped-up & head bang-ble of the two releases here. This certainly worth a look if you dig more anthemic yet powerful sounding 1980’s heavy metal. Roger Batty