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Nuclear Blast (2012)
Rating: 9/10

In 2010, German metal gods Accept made a huge comeback after a 14 year recording hiatus with one their best hard rock releases ever. Fortunately for metal fans we did not have to wait another 14 years for this follow-up album entitled Stalingrad.

It would seem that 13 is Wolf Hoffman and company’s lucky number, as this is their 13th full-length studio album and is destined to top its predecessor, Blood Of The Nations. If anything, Stalingrad should (and hopefully will) put the nail in the coffin as to whether the band can continue without former frontman Udo Dirkschneider at the helm. Vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT Quick) has done a fantastic job filling some big shoes, and in this reviewer’s opinion is sounding better than Udo by a long shot.

Stalingrad is a metal masterpiece from start to finish. From the opening track ‘Hung Drawn And Quartered’ (which is just as aggressive as the title) to the closing ‘The Galley’, Accept take no prisoners for just over 50 minutes of metal onslaught. Over the years Accept has perfected the art of composing metal songs that grab you by the balls and tearing them to shreds, and this is evident here in songs like ‘Revolution’, ‘Flash To Bang Time’ and ‘The Quick And The Dead’. Of course, those songs are just a few of the highlights that make Stalingrad a classic metal album to the core. The only downfall in my opinion is power ballad ‘Twist Of Fate’, which seems to be more polished and doesn’t necessarily fit the “pull your brains out through your ear” metal that is present on the rest of the recording. It’s not a bad song, it just seems misplaced.

Overall, Stalingrad is solid metal through and through, and whether you are a hardcore Accept fan or this is your first introduction to the band, I think you’ll agree that this is one heavy album from beginning to end. Stalingrad is bound to receive many accolades as it picks up right where Blood Of The Nations left off, and I for one believe if Accept keep up what they have been doing with these past two albums then we are going to see many more great releases in the years to come.

Jeff Holton

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