Stalingrad is the thirteenth full-length studio album by the German Metal band Accept, and their second since reuniting and working with new frontman Mark Tornillo (of T.T. Quick fame) following up on the critically acclaimed comeback album Blood Of Nations from 2010.
The quality of the songwriting is excellent and the band make a superb job of mixing ballsy up-tempo tracks of purely driving classic Heavy Metal and longer dynamic tracks that shift tempos and explore clean and acoustic territory as well. There is enough variety so it isn’t all just the same, but enough consistency that you’re getting a pure and succinct experience.
Like Blood Of Nations before it, Stalingrad takes the classic Accept sound and modernizes it slightly. Don’t misunderstand, it isn’t overly contrived to be youthful, but it is energetic and vital with any cheesiness removed. The record touches on a few metal styles, with hints of Thrash, Speed and Power Metal all creeping in in small doses alongside the classic Teutonic Metal style off the early Accept albums.
Basically; imagine all the best elements of bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Megadeth, Overkill, and others condensed down into one album of tasteful guitar melodies and soaring leads, gang-backing-vocals and hard crunchy riffs. Mark’s gravely low voice and occasional high notes come across as a brilliant mid-way point between Lemmy influenced singers and Halford influenced singers and suit the music remarkably well.
The production, from Andy Sneap is also utterly perfect for the album and makes the music sound both powerful and clear, with crunchy feeling on the palm muted riffs and a clean sound on the leads. It isn’t as dynamic as a 70s or 80s production job but it is a fantastic example of what a modern job can sound like when done right.
Overall, if you like Accept and especially their new line-up then this is a must-have record; if you like traditional heavy metal then this is really worth exploring and finally if you like any other metal in general then you should consider giving this record a chance. Its solid, its meaty, it’s the perfect mixture of very Hard Rock and straight-up Metal and I highly recommend it.