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Accept - 'Symphonic Terror' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     May 22, 2019    
 
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Definitely a release to treasure and enjoy,

Accept have released some formidable live albums during their long history, with their last, the excellent 'Restless And Live', only having been released early last year. However, for this latest endeavour, the band have created something really quite different. 'Symphonic Terror' is a two-hour show recorded live at the Wacken festival in 2017 in front of over eighty thousand Metalheads, with the concert being divided into three distinct parts. The opening section highlights the group premiering two new songs, 'Die By The Sword' and 'Koolaid', along with many other fan favourites before taking a big risk with the middle section, where along with the Czech National Symphonic Orchestra, they play a selection of Classical tracks from guitarist Wolf Hoffman's 'Headbangers Symphony' ─ Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi at a Metal festival? Very daring! The orchestra then remains for the final section where the band rip through a number of Accept classics. So how does it all hang together?

The opening section really holds no surprises besides the premiering of the two new songs, Mark Tornillo proving yet again what a perfect replacement he is for former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider. I have been a massive Accept fan since 'Breaker' back in 1981, but although the band have found great success from their latter-day output, I must confess a preference for those releases from the eighties when their music was more varied and melodic. Their storming version of 'Restless And Wild' is the highlight for me here, before they end this section with 'Final Journey', the instrumental breakdown featuring Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' foreshadowing what is to follow.

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Now really, your enjoyment of the next six tracks will probably depend on your views on Classical music. As a solitary interlude, like Rainbow do with 'Difficult To Cure' [Beethoven's 9th], it can be an enjoyable treat but for thirty minutes it can be quite an undertaking. I'm sure it will come across much more engaging on the DVD, but it's not something I will revisit on audio only. However, if 'Double Cello Concerto In G Minor' is your thing, you will surely enjoy.

The final section is where the fun and excitement really take off. Of course, classics like 'Princess Of The Dawn' and 'Metal Heart' already had a foundation built on Hoffman's love of Classical music, but hearing Speed Metal favourites such as 'Breaker' and 'Fast As A Shark' accompanied by strings and woodwind is simply astounding, bringing wonderful nuances and intricate flavourings one could never have imagined. Even more recent epics like 'Stalingrad' have new life breathed into them. Finishing with a truly fantastic eight minute version of 'Balls To The Wall', this is Accept as you have never heard them before, and it's a delight to witness.

Definitely a release to treasure and enjoy, but one I would think needs to be watched on DVD to truly appreciate the genius of the arrangements and performances. Amazon here I come!

Bruce Mee

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