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Accept: Balls To The Wall/ Staying A Life

Two proto-power metal classics stand tall once more

Hugely influential upon the worlds of thrash and power metal, Accept came of age with Balls To The Wall back in 1983. The German quintet’s previous album, Reckless And Wild, was a marginally superior effort, but aligned to a major label (Epic) they emerged as a true force to be reckoned with.

Three decades later, that breakthrough is slightly surprising. The 1980s were not the most tolerant of times, but Accept seemed to have no problem in messing around with sexual stereotypes, flirting with homoerotica via their album title, its cover art and the subject matter of a tune called London Leatherboys.

The music, though, is truly glorious, full of Panzer Tank-style anthemic choruses, lava-hot guitarwork from Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank and overlain with the guttural vocals of the pugnacious Udo Dirkschneider. The combination of power, passion and the testicular capacity of an elephant propelled Accept onto MTV and into the charts. The 1985 concert set Staying A Life features many of the same songs, completing a must-own package.