Released: 1996, RCA Records
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of MASTER OF PUPPETS, POWERSLAVE or SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
By the time 1996’s PREDATOR was done, it was clear that Accept was directionless. The ratcheted-up heaviness of DEATH ROW was gone, presumably because the sales they hoped for weren’t there. Elsewhere, the mighty Udo gets put in the backseat for two songs as bassist Peter Baltes takes the mic, and for a third song, they duet. Looking back with hindsight, it was obvious that things were not functioning smoothly in the Accept camp, and it’s no surprise that PREDATOR was the band’s last studio effort for 14 years.
As for the music itself, as I said, with this album Accept moved away from the hard & heavy sound of their previous two comeback albums and went for a more AC/DC-inspired hard rock sound. They make that point clear right away with “Hard Attack” which would fit comfortably on any of the Australians’ records. It’s a good song, and a fun style, but it’s not what I, and I would guess many fans, want from Accept. A song like “Bad Habits Die Hard” was a fun bit of filler amongst the heavy tracks on DEATH ROW, but this album is basically that style for its entirety. Worse, the songs just aren’t that memorable. “Crossroads” is an interesting hard rocker, the title track is OK, the rest is mostly forgettable, but not outright bad.
On the plus side, Udo sounds as great as ever, Wolf Hoffman’s guitar solos continue to be strong, and Baltes’ vocal contributions show that he could easily have fronted a hard rock band if he chose that path.
This album is just not that good, and certainly not what fans want out of Accept. If nothing else, PREDATOR is proof that Udo made the right decision by returning to his namesake band and cranking more of his Teutonic heavy metal.
Fortunately this album was not the last one we got from the band, as the two reunion albums so far have been exceptional returns to the sound that made the band famous and we can all leave PREDATOR in the past.