Accept - Metal Heart
On March 4, 1985, "Accept" released one of the great Heavy Metal albums of the 80's and probably also the best of it's career "Metal Heart".
After their breakthrough album "Restless and Wild" from 1982 and the best-selling album to date, "Balls to the Wall", which finally established them as one of the great and influential metal bands of the 1980s, expectations from the German metal giant were very high. The band decided to play it safe and try to deepen their grip on the American market, with an album that on the one hand will preserve its DNA and on the other hand will include more melodic and catchy songs.
The combination of honed metal anthems, catchy choruses, and melodic neo-classical solos, did it. "Metal Heart" has become the band's best-known album and one of the greatest in its glorious repertoire.
The band arrives on this album with two significant reinforcement players. The first, guitarist Jörg Fischer, who returned to the band after an absence of two years. The second, legendary producer Dieter Dierks who will be in charge of the album's "inviting" and accessible sound. The band remembers that Dieter was a very demanding producer. He forced them to go back and play certain tracks dozens of times in an attempt to capture the right sound he had in mind. In almost every song the band tried different combinations of guitars, microphones and even different strings to achieve the result that Dieter wanted to achieve. It was also the band's first digitally recorded album.
The album opens up with the theme song "Metal Heart". Guitarist and band leader Wolf Hoffmann said the idea for the song and album, was born after reading an article about an attempt to create an artificial heart and the thought that one day everyone would have an "engineered" heart. The song became a classic heavy metal anthem. An amazing epic song, which includes "quotes" from two classic works. Tchaikovsky's first "Slavonic March" in the song's intro and Beethoven's second "Für Elise" on the lead riff and during the solo. Interestingly, the band uses other instruments here, such as Wolf Hoffmann who plays sitar and bassist Peter Baltes who plays on 8-string bass and Moog Taurus.
Immediately after comes "Midnight Mover", which talks about a drug dealer. It is one of the more commercial songs on the album, with catchy riff and powerful singing by Udo Dirkschneider during the verses. It was the first single released from the album and was designed to appeal to the American market, with a timeless and memorable video clip.
We continue with the accessible and commercial line with "Up to the Limit". A sweeping and bouncy song, with an airy and simple riff and with steady and strong bass work by Peter Baltes, that holds the song all together, especially during the verses.
"Wrong Is Right" takes us back in time to the old and familiar "Accept", with the fast and powerful double bass drum of Stefan Kaufmann. The guitar collboration between Jörg Fischer and Wolf Hoffmann is simply amazing and the melodic guitar solo is completely influenced by Ritchie Blackmore, especially in his days of "Rainbow".
The song that seals the first side of the album "Screaming for a Love-Bite", presents the more mainstream side of "Accept". It's probably the most accessible song on the entire album, consisting of simple and catchy riffs. The song was released as the second single from the album.
The title of song "Too High to Get It Right", that opens the other side of the vinyl, simply revelas its content. It documents one of "high pitched" Udo Dirkschneider's vocal moments, and we're talking about him touching particularly high notes. The vocal harmonies and "chorus singing" of all the band members in this song, are noteworthy and it's already become its hallmark.
The album continues with high-level honed songs such as the dynamic "Dogs on Leads" with quiet verses and a bursting chorus and the anthem "Living for Tonite", which is a representative sample of the album's common denominator. Captivating, accessible and overwhelming!
The only exception on the album is "Teach Us to Survive". Without a doubt one of the strangest in the repertoire of "Accept", which was even crowned as a "jazz metal" track. Indeed, the band is having fun here with jazz based on the amazing bass work by Peter Baltes and a high level of playing by all the band members.
The ending track "Bound To Fail" also opens up with a classic intro, much like the opening track of the album, thus giving this album a sense of one perfect piece with a beginning and end, that correspond with each other.
Despite the more commercially accessible sound and even though we think it's one of the band's better albums, this album sold less well than its predecessor "Balls to the Wall", in America. Udo Dirkschneider remembers the time of creating the album as one in which the band was at its peak and its members got along really well together. This idyll will turn out to be fragile, as the first cracks in the band's solidarity will soon appear.