November 19, 2018 Accept – Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 (Live Album Review)
Hard to believe it has been 15 years since German Heavy Metal legends Accept last stepped on stage with vintage Frontman Udo DirkSchneider on August 27, 2005 in Kavarna, Bulgaria. In 2009, rumors surfaced about another Accept reunion, however, DirkSchneider would announce he had parted ways with Accept, on good terms, and would not be part of the reunion. As for Accept, original members Wolf Hoffmann (guitar) and Peter Baltes (bass) would go on to hire former T.T. Quick Vocalist Mark Tornillo to carry the torch as the voice of Accept. In August 2010, Accept released Blood of the Nations, the band’s first with Tornillo on vocals. Almost immediately, Blood of the Nations found chart-topping success and raving reviews from the Metal community for its power-packed Heavy Metal velocity.
Over the last 8 years, Accept 2.0 have consistently shredded stages worldwide and released three more striking Metal albums – 2012’s Stalingrad, 2014’s Blind Rage, and 2014’s The Rise of Chaos. Since 2015, Accept now features Hoffmann and Baltes alongside Guitarist Uwe Lulis and Drummer Christopher Williams to round-out Accept’s current lineup. Breaking new ground, Accept stepped into uncharted waters at the 2017 Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany. For the first time in the band’s history, Accept performed on stage with a full orchestra. To commemorate this performance, Accept has announced the release of their new live album, Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017, slated to arrive on November 23, 2018 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Since the dawn of the new millennium, a number of top acts including Metallica and KISS have tested their strength to conceive new renditions of old favorites in symphonic form. When asked to comment on Accept’s synthesis of Classical music and Heavy Metal, and what it might sound like, Hoffmann commented: “This is a mash-up of intensity and precision.” That said, Accept were surely primed and ready to fork over one of their most mesmerizing performances to date in front of 80,000 Metal maniacs. Recorded on August 3, 2018, Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 sees Accept climb this mountain while sharing the stage with a litany of legendary acts from Megadeth to Alice Cooper, Europe, and Marilyn Mansion at arguably the biggest Metal festival on the planet.
A thunderous two hour performance, Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 sees Accept perform not a straight-forward set-list, but a three part series. This includes classic cuts, new cuts, and cuts from Wolf Hoffmann’s 2017 solo album, Headbangers Symphony. To start off, you can practically picture the scene, a roar of cheers welcome Accept to the stage. The first few tracks do not feature the orchestra but burn like fire all the same. Kicking the show into full throttle, a frightening intro to “Die By The Sword” lays the path to an aggressive and all out Metal assault which continues into the classic “Restless and Wild.”
Another stand out, “Pandemic” spreads the Heavy Metal illness to bring the show’s first series closer to a head. Moving along, part two sees the orchestra join Accept on stage for a stunning Classical music showcase of Hoffman’s solo instrumentals. Epic, “Night on Bald Mountain” begins with a thrilling, movie-like intro. As the track takes off, the roar of the crowd says it all. Next, the classically illuminating “Scherzo” makes way for the Metal orchestral roller-coaster “Pathetique.” Channeling Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Mozart, Hoffmann gifts two stellar tributes to the masters via “Double Cello Concerto in G Minor” and “Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.”
Finally, Tornillo returns for the first ever Accept songs to be performed alongside an orchestra,”Princess of the Dawn” and “Stalingrad.” For these tracks, the orchestra really places Metal on another level. Diving into classic Accept, “Fast As A Shark” opens with Tornillo’s searing screams while the violins play as quick and graceful as the most feared underwater beast. On “Metal Heart,” the addition of an orchestra transforms the model 1980’s tune into a suspenseful, you could say, cinematic piece. Nearly seven-minutes long, the time arrived for Accept’s definitive “Balls To The Wall.” Closing out the performance, the orchestra really enhances the track, especially the guitar solo and chanting portion.
An electrifying take on twenty-one overall tracks, Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 finds Accept sounding flawless with Heavy Metal speed. Vocally, Tornillo’s pipes are fierce and on point. At the end of “Balls To The Wall,” Tornillo expresses the band can now cross this one off their bucket list. A worthwhile risk, Accept’s attempt at performing with an orchestra proves to be a success. Even better, this was not a one time deal, as Accept plan to tour Europe with an orchestra in spring of 2019. An essential addition to any Accept fan’s collection, Cryptic Rock gives Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 5 out of 5 stars.