ALBUM: Metal Heart
SERIAL: RK 39974
CD REISSUE: 2002, RCA/BMG, 74321 93213 2
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Udo Dirkschneider - vocals * Wolf Hoffmann - guitars * Jorg Fischer - guitars * Peter Baltes - bass * Stefan Kaufmann - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Metal Heart * 02 Midnight Mover * 03 Up To The Limit * 04 Wrong Is Right * 05 Screaming For A Love Bite * 06 Too High To Get It Right * 07 Dogs On Leads * 08 Teach Us To Survive * 09 Living For Tonite * 10 Bound To Fail
In 1985 Accept were firmly established as one of Germany's premier metal acts, along with The Scorpions
. US success had been slight but 1984's 'Balls To The Wall' was a reasonable hit, thanks to MTV's rotation of the title cuts video. 'Balls' was a continuation of the rampaging traditional metal found on earlier classics like 1980's 'Breaker' and 1982's essential 'Restless And Wild' and after supporting Kiss
on their 'Animalize' tour, Accept were poised to break big. With 'Metal Heart' Udo voiced openly his displeasure at a more mainstream sound, less savage and more melodic. It undermined their progress, as Udo was easily Accept's most recognisable face. Scorpions
producer Dieter Dierks was at the helm to give that desired commercial edge, something The Scorps had mastered.
The title cut moves in a way similar to Survivor
's 'Eye Of The Tiger', a chugging riff moving at medium pace. The typical deep throated Teutonic harmonies are in effect and there's a feedback strewn guitar solo four minutes in. The melody which sickened Udo rears its head during 'Midnight Mover', consummate material which is commercial enough but hardly lacking in heaviness. A staunch riff dominates 'Up To The Limit' but is obliterated by the speed of 'Wrong Is Right', a vehicle of precision like metal, that somehow lacks the beef of 82's 'Fast As A Shark'. Thin production unfortunately. Udo's rage must have doubled with the AOR of 'Screaming For A Love Bite', Accept's most successful venture into said territory. The overall sound compares to Van Halen
of the period, and the hook is a heartstopper. There's a few dodgy moments, 'Dogs On Leads' and 'Teach Us To Survive' fail to thrill, the latter sounding like the boys listened to 'Hot For Teacher' for a bit too long. 'Living For Tonite' works on the basis of a crunching riff and 'Bound To Fail' is one of those triumphant 'we can win' anthems Accept were known for.
Udo's frustration was acceptable. The sound, as mentioned, was thin in places and lacking certain instances of basic aggression. It wasn't a complete loss for metal fans, just a combination of American hard rock melody and Accept's German metal backing. It was severe enough for Udo to leave after 1986's underrated 'Russian Roulette' and begin a three year wait until 1989's pointless 'Eat The Heat' with David Reece on vocals. Of course Accept would split until reforming with Udo in 1993 and splitting for good after 1996's 'Predator'. The fact remains that Udo's subsequent solo albums following Accept (up to 1990), namely 'Mean Machine' and 'Faceless World' contained several tracks lighter than 'Metal Heart'. Maybe a bit hasty in quitting? A fine album by all means, regardless.
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