Released: 2002, Nuclear Blast
Man, did I struggle with this review! Let’s start by making one thing clear. Tribute albums are NOT common. Despite what most people think, if you actually look at the facts there are maybe 200 Tribute CD’s total. In the 30+ year history of metal covering over 40,000 CD’s being released since say 1970, tributes are a mere anomaly. Most of the have surfaced in the last 5 years that’s why people think there are so many!
I’m so torn on this issue! Most tributes are poorly done, where unknown bands actually pay to get on the CD. A very small percentage of them are very well done. It really comes down to your personal preference for the bands songs being covered and the bands doing the covering. This one falls in between, not great but not bad.
Tribute to Accept Vol II is the next in what seems to be a series of Tribute CD’s released by Nuclear Blast (Accept, Scorpions, Abba, Maiden) all with similar packaging and many of the same artists, giving them a real, “theme” or “serial” feel. On one hand, the critic and cynic in me thinks, “Well, they are just churning out these cash grabs, many of them have little new or unreleased material”. On the other hand, I love Accept. I worship the ground they bang their heads on. I love all the bands on the Accept Tribute too! So I decided to give it an analytical review.
Let’s get the bad points out of the way. First it has a lame cover. Either it was a small budget or poor planning, but it is pretty dull. Next, there is a shortage of unreleased or exclusive material. Collectors will have a lot of these tracks already. However, in defense of NB (and being an optimist) the songs mostly come from Japanese bonus tracks, EP’s and so on, so there are pretty rare in many cases. Next flaw, four songs that appear on Vol I are covered here again! Song crossover on your own Tribute series just shows lack of attention to detail in producing this tribute. The band has over 100 songs to choose from, pick a different tune to include, instead of one that was already done!
Now the good stuff! It has a great song selection. As expected, and somewhat predictably, most of the tracks are from the early to mid-80’s. That’s acceptable (pun fully intended), because that was the height of their influence and popularity. The bands in Vol I grabbed a lot of the classic tunes, so Volume II has some nice representation and gets deeper into Accept’s catalogue. The songs cover 10 of the 11 Accept studio CD’s with only DEATHROW lacking any song representation. Another good point is that Vol II has virtually no crossover in bands doing the songs. Only Therion appears on both volumes. It is a good value with 16 tunes being covered!
Overall the songs are great, some gguitarists nail those classic solos note for note! Most bands stays generally faithful to the original renditions and don’t mess with the songs too much. There are two schools of thought on cover tunes. One says, “Don’t mess with a classic” and the other says, ”Do something original”. I prefer the latter and in that respect there are three major highlights in my mind.
U.D.O. (the band) covers “XTC” ! Of course that tune was original sung by David Reese on Eat The Heat, who many consider to be the weakest Accept CD, partly due to the absence of Udo (the man). Like the Generation clash re-make on DEATHROW it is very cool to hear UDO sing a Reese tune. They slow it down and grind it up.
Next cool track is Vanize doing Predator! Vanize is lead by Udo’s younger brother, who sounds a lot like him. This cover is a nice twist on the underrated title track from the last Accept CD that went virtually unnoticed and Vanize crank it up a notch.
Rough Silk do a magnificent version of “Screaming for A Love-Bite”. I was expecting a standard speedy, euro-metal adaptation was very pleasantly surprised to see they slowed the whole thing way down added piano and keyboards and added a lot of gut-wrenching feel to an already great song. It is innovative, well executed and probably my favorite song on the CD.
Overall this CD is an excellent choice for collectors, die-hards and big-time Accept fans. Volumes I and II make a really good package. I consider myself a fan so I will grab this one, one of the few Tributes that make my collection. The Metal-Rules definition of a 3 out of 5 fits this CD perfectly, “Not overly amazing, but recommended for serious fans”. Here’s the track-list.