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  JONATHAN CHURCHILL: DEFENDING OUR ISLAND
ACCEPT, HIGHBURY GARAGE

21st March 2011

jonathan churchill



accept

It's Thursday night and German metal legends Accept are in town. I've been planning to write a column on their brilliant new album 'Blood Of The Nations' and so tonight is a chance to hear some live tracks from this metal masterpiece.

'Blood Of The Nations' was 2010's stand-out Metal album, bringing Accept back from the abyss and introducing new vocalist and former TT Quick singer, Mark Tornillo. Produced by Andy Sneap and packing a punch like a battalion of Panzers crossing Poland this album is just phenomenal.

Tonight we're squeezed into the sweaty Relentless Garage in Highbury, with support act Wolf (named after Accept's lead guitarist Wolf Hoffmann) doing a superb job of warming us up. The crowd's going nuts, shouting for Accept, chucking beer and getting ready to mosh! There are loads of Accept t-shirts on display and we're all curious to hear how they will sound without original front-man Udo Dirkschneider who no longer wishes to perform with the band.

Accept hit the tiny stage at 9.15 sharp, bassist Peter Baltes and Wolf Hoffmann taking centre stage, with second guitar, Herman Frank pushed back to the left. Drummer Stefan Schwarzmann is dead centre, astride ludicrous drum kit that has two large toms up high, either side of his head. It's a fact however that Metal drummers need lots of drums so this a cracking start.

Opening track 'Teutonic Terror' is a perfect choice. A mid-paced power metal number – imagine a pure mash-up of AC/DC, Judas Priest and Manowar – with vocals that could strip paint from the walls. And wow – this new guy can sing!

Imagine AC/DC's Brian Johnson with a gun to his head and his balls in a vice belting out the battle-cry: "So we drive through the night... with the howling wind at our back... Riding on 'Teutonic terror'... we will give 'em the axe."

The set-list is focused mainly on their early albums 'Breaker' and 'Restless and Wild', including 'Starlight', 'Breaker', 'Restless And Wild' and 'Son Of A Bitch'. 'Breaker', for me, was a total balls to the wall heavy metal drumming highlight.

accept

Mark Tornillo seems to handle UDO's vocals seamlessly and his easy stage presence fits well with a band that looks relaxed and happy on stage. Wolf Hoffmann's guitar work stands out – he is just so effortlessly talented – and further highlights include 'Princess of the Dawn', 'Neon Nights' and 'Metal Heart'. The new tracks from 'Blood of the Nations' include 'Bucketful of Hate', 'The Abyss' and 'New World Coming' and they sound fantastic – it's a shame they can't play more.

'The Abyss', one of the stand-out tracks on the new CD, powerfully evokes the current world chaos as Tornillo roars out: "Earthquakes and tsunamis signal the end of time." It's brilliant.

The short encore kicks off with crowd favourite 'Fast as a Shark'. A mad, early thrash classic. I'm not sure whether it cleverly ripped off Judas Priest... or if Priest later ripped it off for their intro to Ram it Down. Either way, it's a blast! We finish with the chugging metal of new track, 'Pandemic', and a triumphant 'Balls to the Wall'.

accept

What a great night – the re-emergence of a band who had not released a full album in fourteen years and the discovery of one of Metal's new vocal stars. This guy can roar and sing. He's the real deal.

And what of 'Blood of the Nations'? I think this is one of the best classic Metal albums since 'Painkiller'. Tracks like 'The Abyss' or 'No Shelter' – which they sadly didn't play – capture the ideal balance between power, melody and speed. The guitar and drums on the album are in perfect harmony and Mark Tornillo's emotive vocals bring a certain believable credibility to the lyrics.

The production is rich and crystal clear and each time you think the Metal cupboard must be bare, it just rips your stereo a new one with a constant barrage of outstanding tracks. It's definitely going on my list of great Metal albums – it's addictive. Just listen to the first track, 'Beat The Bastards' and you'll be hooked. It's great to see a classic band return and raise the bar.

Next time I'm continuing the German theme and I'm checking out The Scorpions... a band who have decided if they're going to retire, they may as well release the best damn album of their career! Watch this space.




WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

wacken

MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

wacken

Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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