Released: 2012, Nuclear Blast
If Accept had called it quits after BLOOD OF THE NATIONS I would have been happy. They would have gone out on a high note and all would be well. The band held their cards close to their chest stating that they would see how the reception of the ‘comeback’ album was (and how Tornillo worked out) before making any big long-term plans. Back in 2009 my #5 prediction for 2010 was “Accept reunion takes the world by storm followed by world tour.” Well, I pretty much nailed it. (Notice the modesty) That’s exactly what happened. Metal-Rules staff voted BLOOD OF THE NATIONS the #1 album of 2010 and pretty much everyone across the board loved that album. So naturally the band with relentless momentum decided to keep the Accept juggernaut rolling. No line-up changes. Same label. Same producer. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
STALINGRAD (subtitled ‘Brothers In Death) is the bands 13th album and really nothing has changed and that is a good thing. It’s significantly shorter than the previous at 52 minutes, although many territories have different bonus tracks. The cover art was upgraded after a bit of outcry about the plain cover that was initially proposed by the band. Sneap does another immaculate production job.
Lyrically the band stays on course with tried and true topics of death and war although there are a few variations on the theme. One cut that caught my ear, in terms of lyrics was the final song, ‘The Galley’ which is roughly based on a Rudyard Kipling piece and details the life of slave condemned to row in the galley of a ship. It’s nice to see the band stretch out a bit in terms of lyrical imagery. Speaking of lyrics, on BLOOD OF THE NATIONS, Accept (unintentionally) borrowed lyrics from Lizzy Borden with the song, ‘Teutonic Terror’ with it’s chorus of ‘Give ‘Em The Axe’, the name of a Lizzy Borden song. Well, it happened again on STALINGRAD! Accept wrote a song called ‘Against The World’ which of course is very close to the Lizzy Borden song on VISUAL LIES, called Me Against The World’ and both are excellent anthems of rebellion.
Musically STALINGRAD delivers everything an Accept could want. Huge guitars, lots of solos, the gruff and battle-tested vocals of Tornillo, thunderous rhythms, crunchy riffs all wrapped up in that timeless tradition of Accepts’ anthemic Metal. If I had one criticism it might be that maybe, just maybe some of the fire that was heard on BLOOD OF THE NATIONS, is not quite as pronounced. Perhaps that is natural. That previous album was make or break, do or die and they poured a lot of blood sweat and tears into that monster. Did they repeat? STALINGRAD is pretty damn close even if they didn’t go for the jugular on every song, like they did prior. It’s getting pretty hard to choose a favourite Accept album with the consistency and quality of this band. Sure, maybe EAT THE HEAT (’89) and PREDATOR (’96) didn’t quite meet expectations but that leaves at least 10 Accept albums all competing for top billing.
In a sense my review of this album is a non-review. It’s Accept. It’s fantastic. I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said about this legendary Metal band that is among the best of the best and once again they prove it with STALINGRAD-Brothers Of Death.