ACCEPT – Russian Roulette [Cherry Red remastered & expanded]
Cherry Red / Hear No Evil Records have been doing a terrific job lately remastering classic albums with the same quality standards of colleagues like Rock Candy or YesterRock. Among the revisited bands they reissued, there is ACCEPT‘s truly classic ’80s albums with expanded artwork and bonus material (two of them featured here on the blog).
Now we are presenting “Russian Roulette” remastered & expanded, an album that proved once more that if fiery melodic Teutonic metallic hard rock was what you hankered for, then nobody did it better than Accept.
With a history that could be traced back to, believe it or not, 1976, this German five-piece had made their presence known between 1979 and ’81 with three confident, if not quite fully formed albums (Accept ’79, I’m A Rebel ’80 and Breaker ’81), before Restless And Wild exploded a harsher, more individual sound on the world in ’82, and Balls To The Wall confirmed their class a year later.
It was with Metal Heart in 1985 however that this outfit really hit paydirt, a new strident mix of Metal, Melody and Classical motifs suddenly announcing that Accept had arrived.
Which brings us to 1986’s “Russian Roulette” and this excellent Cherry Red reissue which finds the original ten RR tracks joined by a further three live efforts which can originally be found on the 1990 live album, Staying A Life.
By this stage the Accept sound was virtually set in stone, strafing riffs, tight beats and barking vocals strutting and posturing with a real sense of intent. There’s little doubt that without this band, the German Power Metal scene would look very, very different these days.
“T.V. War” roars from the start taking no prisoners, while the catchy yet melodic follower “MonsterMan” it’s a classic hymn with equally effective end results, before the atmospheric title track “Russian Roulette” showcases the mighty martial backing vocals this band did so well.
“It’s Hard To Find A Way” is a KILLER (with capitals) mid-tempo melodic hard rocker with a pulsating rhythm, and next the massive “Aiming High” raises the bar even more, if that’s possible.
If you need more quality hard rock, check the fantastic “Another Second To Be” and its massive pre-chorus/chorus. Or the superb vibe of “Walking In The Shadows”.
Honoured by the time of its release by legendary Kerrang! Magazine with four and a half ‘K stars’, “Russian Roulette” is pure gold.
This excellent reissue from Cherry Red / HNE provides a full punchy sound that Accept music always needed with mastering courtesy of Andy Pearce, while adding excellent liner notes by Malcolm Dome which feature contributions from Kaufmann and Hoffmann, as well as vintage pictures and Tour booklet photos.
The three live tracks also add value, even if with them being not quite from the time of this album (they were recorded the year before “Russian Roulette” was released).
“Russian Roulette” never quite hit the commercial success that Metal Heart had for Accept, but as this reissue proves, it was every bit as powerful, memorable and hard hitting. It remains a must hear for Euro-Metal heads everywhere.
As final statement, I must say that I love Accept’s break-through album Balls To The Wall considered by most people as their best, but this “Russian Roulette” is their finest moment in my opinion.
This album combines like-no-other metallic edge with super slick melodies, catchy choruses and a clean, bright 1986 trademark production (the classic team Michael Wagener engineering & Bob Ludwig mastering) .
So if your ears are more Melodic Rock oriented and Accept are not part of your musical diet, please believe me and listen this album immediately. Remember; 1986 major production, and then tell me.
In this genre, a Masterpiece.
01 – T.V. War
02 – Monsterman
03 – Russian Roulette
04 – It’s Hard To Find A Way
05 – Aiming High
06 – Heaven Is Hell
07 – Another Second To Be
08 – Walking In The Shadow
09 – Man Enough To Cry
10 – Stand Tight
11 – Neon Nights [Live]
12 – Burning [Live]
13 – Head Over Heels [Live]
Udo Dirkschneider – vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – guitars
Jörg Fischer – guitars
Peter Baltes – bass guitar
Stefan Kaufmann – drums
BUY IT !