Metal Heart: Aiming High with Accept (Book Review)
Released: 2016, PowerChord Press
It is hard to believe that no one has written a book about Accept yet and I’m not at all surprised that it was Martin Popoff to be the first. He has written many books on the second-tier bands (but first tier bands in the minds of true Metal fans) bands such as Riot, Whitesnake and Ted Nugent. Now we can add Accept to that list.
Maybe it was the German-ity of it all but information about Accept was hard to find, especially in North America. With very sporadic but welcome interviews appearing in Hit Parader and Circus magazines, the band remained a largely European phenomena, twinned in my mind with Loudness for some reason perhaps only for a similar career trajectory. Maybe it was the language barrier, maybe it was the on-again, off-again nature of the bands intriguing catalogue history, but Accept were never media darlings. Accordingly this book is long overdue!
PowerChord Press does the usual fine job and presentation with tons of photos and memorabilia, a discography and a segment that he is increasingly using in his books, a fan-commentary section. This is where Popoff invites comments from fans about the band that is loaded with oral history and fun anecdotes from true fans. The 260 page soft-cover is a fun and easy read anchored with a dozen first person interviews with members of the band that Popoff has conducted over the decades.
Martin has done his research and more than some of his other books and much to my delight I found myself learning fact after fact after fact about the band that I never knew. Apparently the band has no original members left! I found the extended commentary about the quirky album covers to be very interesting with several albums having both alternate European and North American album covers. The whole Dirkschneider and Accept scenario is detailed thoroughly and despite myself I couldn’t help find myself siding with Udo, who now has been a solo artist longer than he was in Accept AND has five more studio albums then his time with Accept. He has recorded ten albums with Accept (a nice round number) and 15 and counting) as a solo artist. The people who still call for a reunion may be living in the past. But back to Accept, the Reece era gets tons of cool coverage as does the short-lived and ill-fated return of Udo from 1993-1996. I love the fact that the new ‘Tornillo-era’ gets full and enthusiastic coverage from Popoff. He is very insightful with his observations about how STALINGRAD suffered from a bit of a ‘comeback-sophomore’ slump before the band came raging back with BLIND RAGE. You could put this bands catalogue on a chart with five distinct era’s, all of them very cool in their own way…although most might disagree about the Reece era being cool. Actually, I might be one of the few fans who truly loves the EAT THE HEAT album, I still listen to it regularly to this day! However, as much as it pains me to admit, I ‘academically’ realize that for Accept, it was a horrible album and failed experiment. These are the kinds of great observations and discussions that Popoff’s books spawn.
I spoke to Martin personally and he felt that the book could have used a bit more detail based on the band reluctance to talk over the years, but I disagree. I think most fans will find a massive amount of cool, new interesting information about the Teutonic terrors. If the band quit today they would walk away on a high note with heads held high and this book would be a nice exclamation point on their career.