“RESTLESS & LIVE” [2CD VERSION]
Album Review By Rick Tilley
I first got into the great Accept back in late 1982 when a friend played me the ‘Breaker ‘ & ‘Restless And Wild’ albums and the first album I bought was 1983’s ‘Balls To The Wall’, which I still have on vinyl. Since then I’ve seen them live and purchased pretty much their entire back catalogue. I’m even a fan of the 1989 album ‘Eat The Heat’ which had David Reece on vocals! After a few ups and downs along the way the band decided to get back together in 2009 but Udo Dirkschneider wanted to concentrate on his successful solo band U.D.O (who I also love) so Accept had to, yet again, try and find a vocalist who could match Udo’s unique voice. In the end they chose TT Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo and the rest, as they say, is history. Since 2010, when the band thundered back into life with the stunning ‘Blood Of The Nations’ album they have gone from strength to strength. Mark is easily the best vocalist that this band have had in their ranks and although some will never see it as Accept without Udo, that’s not how I see it. After three cracking studio albums with Mark, a live release was always going to be on the cards and Accept duly released ‘Restless And Live’ back in January. I have the 2CD version to review although you can get a DVD and Blu-Ray which also include the CD!
Whereas the DVD/Blu-Ray concentrates on Accept’s 18 track set at the 2015 Bang Your Head Festival this 2CD collection is made up of 27 (YES, TWENTY SEVEN) tracks recorded throughout their 2015 World Tour and it’s absolutely fanbloodytastic! Having never seen Mark live with Accept, but knowing what a great voice he’s got, I was really looking forward to hearing how he handled the older material! If anyone still doubts his ability then listening to this is an absolute must. Quite honestly, and as much as I love Udo’s voice, this is the best I’ve heard Accept sound whether it’s new or old material. What’s better is that the newer songs such as ‘Stampede’, ‘Teutonic Terror’, ‘Stalingrad’ and many more fit seamlessly alongside classics ‘Flash Rockin’ Man’, ’Metal Heart’, ‘Son Of A Bitch’ and ‘Balls To The Wall’ as if they were written at roughly the same time.
It’s not all about the voice though because Accept wouldn’t be Accept without the guitar of Wolf Hoffmann. How underrated is this man? I did ponder that recently when reviewing his ‘Headbangers Symphony’ solo album and couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. It’s a terrible shame because his playing, including trademark Classical breaks, plus that of new man Uwe Lulis is fantastic. It also wouldn’t really be Accept without the bass of Peter Baltes! His thumping bass lines add an extra level of heavy into the live performances. New drummer Christopher Williams must also be applauded. You really wouldn’t think there were two fairly new members up on stage! Another thing that cannot be understated is the fine production and mix from Andy Sneap. He has pretty much steered Accept since their comeback and his input is, as usual, fabulous. I can count the number of producers on one hand that add a certain gravitas to a release and Andy is one of those!
Even though Accept could regard themselves as an ‘old band’, with a more than substantial back catalogue of classics, this comeback has not been about just going out and playing what people want to hear. A lot of bands do that, and whilst it’s great to see them, deep down I’d like them to still be writing new material. Accept want to stay current and the fact they have released three studio albums since 2010, and that much of the material here is culled from those three albums is testament to that fact.
Whether you are a fan or not Accept deserve your attention and gratitude. They were one of a selection of bands that brought Classic Metal kicking and screaming into the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have influenced a huge swathe of heavier artists that, arguably, might never have existed otherwise! It’s fabulous to see them enjoying so much success in 2017 and I’m really looking forward to the next studio album because, as this package clearly shows, they are firing on all cylinders!
Living For Tonite
From The Ashes We Rise
Losers And Winners
Restless And Wild
Son Of A Bitch
Dark Side Of My Heart
Flash Rockin’ Man
Fall Of The Empire
Fast As A Shark
Balls To The Wall
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