Accept Stalingrad

Hailing from the German town of Solingen, Accept initially climbed to legendary status, emerging as a seminal band in the German speed and thrash metal scenes in the '80s and '90s. They first disbanded in 1997 and later briefly reunited in 2005 to play a series of incredibly successful festival shows. That brief connection lit a new creative fire in many of the original members and in 2009, Accept officially became active again, releasing their first album in 14 years, Blood of the Nations, in 2010. Like that record, follow-up Stalingrad also features founding guitarist Wolf Hoffman and bassist Peter Baltes, along with new frontman Mark Tornillo. Some fans may still experience some trepidation about any incarnation of Accept sans Udo Dirkschneider, and while Blood of the Nations did a great deal dispelling those worries, Stalingrad completely blows them out of the water. This is traditional metal, genuine and electrifying. The riff-driven, hook-laden songwriting ensures that these tracks will stay in your head for days after hearing them. Album opener "Hung Drawn and Quartered" is particularly infectious, while "Against the World" is a quintessential heavy metal community anthem (it's impossible to hear Tornillo passionately snarl, "branded and pierced, fists in the air tonight/millions of hearts brought together by common ground," without feeling a deep bond with all your metal brethren and sistren the world over). Stalingrad is pure, classic, traditional heavy metal brilliantly written and expertly performed by musicians who are wholeheartedly committed to their individual aesthetic and the metal community as a whole. What's not to love? (Nuclear Blast)