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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Accept - Stalingrad review

Year : 2012
Genre : Cryptocommunist Heavy Metal
Label : Nuclear Blast Records
Origin : Germany
Rating : 7.0 / 10

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Accept's Stalingrad weighs in as yet another auto-motor sport and pinball machine metal contribution, with an immense fixation on family friendly radio metal and gangshouts, exhibited in the chorus context of this full length. The disc is servile enough - and, as I will attempt to justify, even uninspired in traces, secretly (but not silently) - that mentioning the premiere aspirations it seeks to sound like is Accept - oops - able.

Take Iron Maiden, subtract "The Animal" from it, apply an Aerosmith ballad-salad to support the central ingredients, and don't hold back on the zoo metal part and road-motor sport rhetorics, either. But, most importantly : substitute the terrible lack of an Iron Maiden Animal with some "theme-antics"-, a "Concept", so to say you think your release has potential to sell good with. This time, Accept chose to coat their recent full length into a communist propaganda vibe. Communism, as an ideology, indeed seems to be fixated on "monumentalism" : Stalin is sooooo monumental that the vastness of the sight of that ideology-pattern necessarily summons the communist marching song vibe in you. If it does NOT, you are a sick man and you WILL be reeducated.

If you are a regular here at Noise Shaft, then you know that I already had my fair share of rants about the communist marching song vibe - the link is the same now - that primarily permeates power metal and seeks to convey ACME-epicness, but this traditional heavy metal album baths in it, too. Lionel, look! Now that there is no (apparent) danger of Stalin emerging to unleash an elite assassin chick on us, why not market our comic book fears and make believe paranoia - that's an instant classic I just created - as entertainment? Indeed, why not. Read more to find out how it went for the German veterans.

This is a well constructed-, relatively unsurprising traditional heavy metal record with a tamer - if ANY - vileness factor than the genre is able to tolerate with a poker face, but there are some - and only some - peak moments that I find on it pretty rewarding to hear. I will address those and my favorite part lata'.

The album reminds me of American Overkill, - no (p)(f)un intended - but with a more pronounced leaning notable towards power metalish/Iron Maidenish musical shapes. The first track on the album IS an Iron Maiden song from top to bottom, and that is the only reason that it is a more Accept - oops, I did it again - able offering. The frankly-, highly tedious and musically rudimentary Iron Maiden method of supporting the melody with 3-note in-your-retarded-face power chords is similarly rampant, evident throughout the song. Through the record, I mean.

The next, titular track, called "Stalingrad", is a Megadeth song, I swear to you. Even the "vocillist" seeks to sound like Dave Mustaine. Metallica, show balls and human evolution, get Mustaine back to the ranks and make a release with the guy! Back to the Accept song, "Stalingrad." Unfortunately, a decent Megadeth cartoon thrash metal verse is haunted by a nonsensical communist chorus, worsened by a pretty mediocre metal rendition of the Russian anthem, not to mention that they leave the most interesting part of the composition out - you know, when the Russian anthem becomes sooooo ethereal and epic that it transcends Earth and goes Interplanetary. I'm not Russian by the way, but I'm a fangirl of Fedor Emelianenko.

The song called "The Quick And The Dead" - notice the Freudian nod to the Iron Maiden song "Be Quick Or Be Dead" - features a stellar instrumental section starting from 1:55, and this segment reveals pretty much everything the album is about, even does it superbly : amazing, voluptuous solos trading lines, super-competent and playful bass administration, and finely structured harmonic modulations. Easily the best 90 seconds of the entire disc. If the disc would be of this caliber throughout, I'd be happy and obliged to rate it well above 9. Not that it is important : remember, art reigns superior to the miserable critic. Compare this superb section with the solo-, and harmonic structure of the very next song, "Never Forget" : much less adventurous in my opinion, - kind of an Eye of the Tiger ethos - despite its title that seeks to employ neuro linguistic programming on the listener. Other than that, this one similarly is a decent song with a keen sense on variation, and it summons the Karake Kid vibe pretty efficiently.

The track called "Shadow Soldiers" uses Iron Maiden's galloping testosterone metal rhetorics as a verse structure, "spiced up" by z-grade power chord ornamentics and a chorus that comes to you from an Aerosmith ballad. It is a beneficial point that the album's title is Stalingrad, which gives it a stable ground of alibi to deliver along the communist marching song vibe that which is a frequent atmospheric addition to surround the actual musical ideas with.

The next track, "Join the Revolution", once again shows and gives you all you did not want to know about communist heavy metal and could not care less to ask it, either : pinball machine heavy metal, consorted with one of the persistent-, lack-of-content cover story gangshout-choruses the album is packed abundantly with.

"Join the Revolution!" - no Sir, I AM the revolution.

Rating : 7.0 / 10

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