The mid to late 80s were a testing time for Accept: testing in the way that driving at high speed over black ice can be. Similarly, like a Ford Mondeo going into a ditch, it was hard to see just where Accept were headed. They’d made the acclaimed Balls To The Wall, then recorded the mawkish Metal Heart, which still divides opinion among CR’s peers the way devolution divides the Scots.
More backs-to-the-wall than balls-to-the-wall.
That said, the much tougher-sounding Russian Roulette (7/10) which followed it was an altogether more cohesive Accept album. The slick Monsterman still sounds accessible and commercial in a way that most of Metal Heart was not, the undulating groove of the title track and the OTT Aiming High, which is all splayed legs and guitar solos, is the work of a band renewed. Which made vocalist Udo’s departure all the more intriguing.
Momentum was lost and it took them three years to release the follow-up with a new singer, American David Reece. Though his voice was entirely different to that of Udo, the band had written the entire album without him, which made his input almost negligible. And it shows. Everything from the cover to the title – Eat The Heat (4/10) – to the songs shows a band desperately trying to stay in step with the times.
It was the end of Accept until Udo returned in 1993, celebrated here in the double live CD, All Areas – Worldwide (6/10), showcasing a freshly shorn, more vital-sounding band, one that still, suddenly, had something left to say.