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on June 6, 2004
Balls To The Wall(1983). Accept's fifth studio album.
The NWOBHM scene was a great time in heavy metal's history, as many bands were able to bring forth many influences which would later inspire future metal scenes like thrash and death. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are the popular British bands that most people think of, but Germany also played a seminal role in shaping heavy metal's history. The two most noteworthy bands to come out of Germany at the time were the Scorpions, and Accept. Composed of Udo Dirkschnieder (vocals), Wolf Hoffman and Hermann Frank (lead guitars), Peter Baltes (bass), and Stefan Kaufmann (drums), Accept has actually been around since 1976. Though their third album Breaker(1981) gained them some international exposure, it wasn't until the fourth album Restless & Wild(1982) that Accept established themselves as a real heavy metal force to be reckoned with.
I had always heard of Accept over the years, though I didn't actually listen to their music until now. And after finally hearing this album, I kicked myself for not getting into them sooner! Accept rocks just as much as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden do, two of my favorite metal bands, and easily fits along side them despite their lack of popularity. They sport a sound that's a cross between Judas Priest, The Scorpions, and AC/DC. Udo's vocals are very unorthodox and aren't generally that great, but they do grow on you over time and fit well with the music. Wolf and Hermann serve up some EXCELLENT riffs on this album, and the guitar tone is damn perfect. All these elements come together to form a truly scorching metal band.
BTTW is considered Accept's masterpiece by most fans, though even it never actually propelled the band to major success. That's too bad because there are some excellent anthems on here that any real fan of heavy metal will enjoy. Thanks to the remastering treatment, you can now enjoy this classic album in full, crisp sound, along with the inclusion of a few bonus tracks. Onto the tracks:
The title track starts the album off with a BANG, kind of reminding me of the Scorpions' 'Rock You Like A Hurricane' in style. Very excellent start. Next comes the pounding rocker 'London Leatherboys' which brings to mind Priest's 'Killing Machine'. 'Fight It Back' picks the pace up a bit, serving as a blueprint for influencing thrash bands of the late 80s. 'Head Over Heels' is a slow heavy anthem with a killer baseline in the intro. My favorite track on the album is 'Losing More Than You've Ever Had', which combines a driving heavy style with a very melodic songstructure, and it works out very well. 'Love Child' is another great mid-paced rocker, though from here the album drops slightly in quality from the first half. The last 5 songs are still excellent, though not up to par with the first 6 tracks. 'Losers And Winners' is fastpaced and contains superb verses, subchoruses, and a great solo, but the actual chorus leaves much to be desired. 'Guardian Of The Night' is the opposite, being that now the chorus is the song's high point, but the verses seem like filler. The original album ends on a lighter note with the very melodic 'Winterdreams'. It's not a ballad per se, but rather an accoustic rocker. A very memorable song and one of the album highlights. Then you've got two bonus live tracks of 'Head Over Heels' and 'Love Child'. While both are good and show that Accept can play live, they aren't quite up to their studio counterparts.
Overall, BTTW is a fine heavy metal album and stands alongside the heralded classics of the genre. The only flaws with it are that the album slows down later on, and that the album cover is well... bad. But other than that, there's no reason for heavy metal enthusiasts not to own this high-quality masterpiece. It gets 4.5 stars easy. The next two albums Metal Heart(1985) and Russian Roulette(1986) took the band into a more melodic direction, but they were still just as good as the previous two. In fact, R&W, BTTW, MH, and RR are the four essential Accept albums, and fans can't go wrong with any of them. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Other similar albums by different bands:
-'Love At First Sting' by the Scorpions
-'British Steel' by Judas Priest
-'Killing Machine' by Judas Priest
-'Back In Black' by AC/DC
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on November 27, 2002
I can listen to any Accept CD and enjoy it. However, this album is heads above the rest of their work. "Balls To the Wall" gives it all to you; ripping-fast motivational rants like "Winners and Losers," melancholy "Cold Winter Nights," and Udo growling the song "London Leatherboys;" nobody can turn a raspy gutteral voice into great music the way Udo Dirkschneider can! And not a lot of mid 80s metal bands had the guts to pen a song like "Lovechild," about a guy coming to terms with his gay lifestyle.
There is a two CD set out there that includes this album along with "Restless and Wild." "Restless and Wild" is a really good album, and if you want a basic "best of" Accept collection, it's a good buy. If you are starting to get quite an ear for Accept and plan to get a thorough collection of their music, the extra concert tracks on this particular album are quality enough to shell out the extra dollars for this CD separate from "Restless & Wild."
If you haven't listened to this band before, this CD is the perfect introduction!
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on October 10, 2001
As a remastered version of a legendary metal album,this is complete success,bringing back to the attention of contemporary audiences a great band.Accept have always had a powerful sound,mixing AC/DC grooves with a fast and precise guitar attack and an amazing rhytm section;with their charismatic lead singer,they conquered entire arenas throughout the eighties and the nineties."Balls to the Wall" is a worthy testimony to their great talent.
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on June 22, 2004
After the majestic RESTLESS AND WILD, theoretically Accept had only one way to go: down.
But, surprise! They managed to record another masterpiece metal album, BALLS TO THE WALL. The ballad WInterdreams is hypnotizing, mesmerizing. "Love Child" is highly energetic and with an amazing pace. The title track is a good epic. Once again, the ten songs are from good to absolutely great, no filler. It's clear that Udo's voice was always a important factor to the band popularity: some people simply hate his voice, some people love it, and others hate it but consider it to fit the band's sound. I particularly believe, even enjoying Accept in any way, that the band would have benfited more if they had a less "screaming" singer...
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on December 29, 2003
I got this album in 84 after hearing Balls To The Wall on the radio show Metal Shop (anyone remember that show?). I own over 900 cds and this is still in my top 10! Udo's vocals are rough and may not be for everybody but I will take real emotion and good vocal melodies over some pretty boy singer anyday. Wolf's guitar work is biting and superb. His solos bring tears to my eyes, especially HEAD OVER HEELS. Stefan and Peter help give this album it's BALLS. The only song I don't really care for is Losers and Winners, but even that song is not bad. I guess we are all heavily influenced by the first album we hear from a band (i.e. sentimentality), but this album IS their BEST! Followed closely by Restless and Metal Heart, GOD BLESS YA!
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on March 19, 2003
A small little German guy in a camouflage outfit with such a growling voice it would scare to [stuff] out of Mariah Carey, backed up by a furious guitar driven gang doesn't sound like something attractive. But it is! Accept (a rough, raw and unpolished version of Scorpions) made some great heavy metal albums, and this is perhaps their finest. "Balls to wall" is a very good album featuring traditional heavy metal, and although Udo Dirkschneider is no David Coverdale it works just fine. Guitar player Wolf Hoffmann is capable to combine the hard and fast with the heavy and melodic, and in my opinion he's far more interesting than many of the so called guitar heroes usually praised (John Sykes for example). Crank it up and enjoy!
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on August 29, 2001
This was one of the great metal albums of the 80s & now it sounds better than ever. What a great idea to remaster this! It sounds killer & the packaging is nice too. The two bonus tracks are from the live EP Kaizoiku Ban (?; pardon my spelling) & shows just how great a live band they were as well. Pity I never got to see them. Let's hope they do justice to Restless & Wild & Metal Heart as well with an updated remaster.
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on December 12, 2003
Along with the Scorpions, Accept made German heavy metal cool. They sang about politics and other taboos like it was nobody's business, and along with Nazareth's Dan McCafferty, lead singer Udo made Bon Scott of AC/DC, and Scott's replacement, Brian Johnson, sound like lounge crooners. Any serious metal fan should own BALLS TO THE WALL.
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on August 5, 2003
This album has a true hard rock sound and interesting lyrics. Well I don't like vocalist's voice but there's a very good message. "London Leatherboys" and the title track are my favourites. If there was more riffs, this would be a good album.
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on May 8, 2015
This is the height of their popularity and creativity. This helped them break out of Europe and into the mainstream of North America. Great tunes, clear production and a singer with no equal.
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