What oddly begins with traditional German folk music, soon takes off into roaring heavy metal heights with “Fast As A Shark” which you might even remember Devin Townsend covering a while back. Without a doubt, this is a fantastic way to open an album and was no doubt a major hit for the band. No doubt about it, this is heavy metal royalty. This is also the album where “Neon Nights”, “Flash Rockin’ Man” and the gradiose closer “Princess Of The Dawn” also take center stage, no doubt becoming a top-seller for the band and real step in the right direction after an already potent third-opus.
The title cut itself was pretty solid, especially with a chorus that could be loudly shouted and no doubt was during live shows. Interestingly enough, nearly the entire album was written by Wolf Hoffman as Jörg Fischer jumped the ship. It’s unfortunate, but surely not a loss for these guys. Apparently, “Princess Of The Dawn” was almost an afterthought and the band weren’t even going to put it on the disc. Could you imagine what the world would have been like if “Princess” merely sat on the cutting room floor? The band also had another guitarist in mind to replace Fischer, but it was too late to put him in. In any case, they still walked out with a formidable heavy metal effort. Anthems like “Ahead Of The Pack” and “Shake Your Heads” are still being utilized by acts like Hammerfall, Bloodbound, Iron Savior and dozens more in the scene, because they just simply work. Heavy metal is all about mighty anthems and built Manowar‘s success, there is no doubt.
Getting past some of the rowdier material, we have the more romantic “Neon Nights” which almost feels like a jazzy ballad. There’s a definite thump on the bass, but Udo was going for a more subtle approach here which is quite radio friendly, but still in good taste. “Don’t Go Stealing My Soul Away” was much in the same radio vibe, but maybe had a little bit of Van Halen mid-era influence that gave it a higher tempo, but not nearly as much as “Flash Rockin’ Man” which is a speedy heavy metal anthem or “Demon’s Night” which rolls along the same territory as Priest. Then of course, we have the outlier in “Princess Of The Dawn” Which is a little over six minutes long and of course, is one of the major highlights on the album. This song really allowed Hoffman to flex his muscles as it’s extended length made for several rich guitar compositions, in addition to some interesting acoustic tinges. By all means it was certainly experimental, and moved the heavy metal formula far beyond that of the common-fare at the time. This was no doubt just another stepping stone in the band’s journey and sounds just as great today as it would have back in the early eighties.
As with Breaker, this record also keeps the instruments at a fairly mid-level, while at the same time giving Udo enough room to display his hefty falsetto notes. I feel that the mastering on these is actualy quite good and I’m able to hear every note quite clearly, which matters most to me. This can add new depth to already classic songs, which is more than a notable reason for purchase.
Unfortunately, it is here that we end the coverage of these classic Accept remasters, as the others have not yet been finished and hopefully will be available soon. I’ve had a wonderful journey here and I hope that some of you will take the time to explore these records yourself. This was definitely the golden age of heavy metal music. I think we’re probably in the aluminum age of the genre now. (That’s a joke, by the way.)
(12 Tracks, 57:00)