AFM Records has just released updated, remastered versions of German metal legends ACCEPT early albums (including bonus tracks) in a series titled 'Platinum Edition'.
For many, "Restless And Wild" is the best album from their career, and for sure the one which put Accept on the map world-wide.
This particular album marked a major turning point in Accept's career. They had released 3 albums up to this point, but this one, "Restless And Wild" was the first to receive global distribution that included North America.
While the previous records had a strong Scorpions sound & style influences (Breaker showed a slightly different and more harder edge), with "Restless And Wild" Accept found their very own sound.
On "Restless And Wild" Accept chose to move in an even heavier direction, using a more Judas Priest style with a sharp double guitar attack and created a little masterpiece full of classic metal anthems.
Indeed, the band takes the classic '80s metal music into new depths of speed and insanity, while its songs display an astonishing balance between aggression and melody. And said balance made this album one of the most referred influences for many sub-genres to come in the second half of the decade and even the '90s.
The opening of this album is, quite simply, one of the best intro to any metal album ever. It begins with an old scratchy 78 rpm record of a German folk tune complete with the obligatory accordion. After about 10 seconds, you hear the sound of someone ripping the needle off of the record followed by a blood-curdling scream by Udo Dirkschneider. The guitars come crashing in and when the drums join the fray, you're listening to one of the fastest, meanest Heavy Metal tunes I'd ever heard in my life up to that point.
Titled 'Fast As A Shark', this is one of the most revered, classic Accept tunes of all time and has been covered by numerous bands.
While you're catching your breath, the fast gallop of the title track 'Restless And Wild' kicks in. Udo once again delivers a vocal performance that sounds like he swallowed broken glass. This track uses the classic "gang style vocals" that this band soon became known for and once again, delivers another metal masterpiece.
The first time I heard these 2 songs, with the combination of a guitar sound that was pure classic metal (Gibson Flying V guitars through stacks of Marshall amps that sound like they're ready to explode) and Udo's voice, I knew I was listening to some of the heaviest rock I had ever heard.
The rest of the album continues in the same primo classic melodic metal quality.
'Ahead Of The Pack' has a very chunky heavy and driving tempo, however starts in a stunning mid-pace vein - Accept's trademark - that became widely used during the '80s at both sides of the ocean.
'Shake Your Heads' is an anthem very much like United or Take On The World by Judas Priest. There's a pounding double bass drum riff to propel the song and features a killer riffing by Wolf Hoffmann (guitarist Herman Frank is credited, but didn't actually perform on the recording). You can just picture the crowd headbanging in unison to this song in concert.
'Neon Nights' is about as close to a power ballad as you get on this album. It starts with a nasty guitar passage by Wolf in which he uses a phaser and octave divider. It plows into the main riff and the chorus features some more melodic (?) vocals by Udo. This band, despite it's muscular sound, really did pay attention to song arrangements and melodies, not just the smashing riffs.
'Get Ready' is a more fun, rollicking, bluesy hard rock type number and lightens things up a bit. The next track, 'Demon's Night', is another classic and starts with a slow bouncy heavy feel with thick guitar riffs which then speeds up for the chorus.
Then 'Flash Rockin' Man' is a kick-ass metal tune that maintains a fast driving tempo and the way that it flows into the great crunchy heavy interlude after the second chorus is nothing short of heavy metal genius.
The album closer, 'Princess Of The Dawn' is another Accept classic that was always a concert favorite. It's not a particularly heavy tune, whith that typical Accept slower hypnotic pace, orchestration and awesome vocal delivery by Udo, creating a mood that's felt throughout the entire song. The ending of this track is truly amazing. Wolf Hoffmann plays a flurry of leads which take on more of a classical music tone to them with the style and use of minor keys, something that the band became known for.
Indeed, throughout "Restless And Wild", Wolf Hoffmann defined the Euro melodic metal lead guitar sound of the first half of the '80s: crafty, melodic and heroic. This is a very effective way to draw more attention to the leads and also to break up the songs a little bit for more balance and effectiveness.
Udo is at the top of his game (for many his greatest recording ever), and the rhythm section is a blast, clear and powerful.
The bottom line here is that this, like its successor Balls To The Wall, is an essential classic metal album, and any fan worth his salt should own them both.
A cult classic
01 - Fast as a Shark
02 - Restless and Wild
03 - Ahead of the Pack
04 - Shake Your Heads
05 - Neon Nights
06 - Get Ready
07 - Demon's Night
08 - Flash Rockin' Man
09 - Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away
10 - Princess of the Dawn
11 - Flash Rockin' Man (Live) [CD only]
12 - Neon Nights (Live) [CD only]
Udo Dirkschneider – vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – guitars
Herman Frank – guitars
Peter Baltes – bass
Stefan Kaufmann – drums
BUY IT !