Monday, July 23, 2012

"Metal Heart" by Accept (1985)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl.

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately: Recommended Listening (3/4 stars)

"Metal Heart" was made in 1985 and it couldn't be more apparent.  That's not automatically a bad thing.  Most discussions of music from that era are built around either cheese or nostalgia.  However, there was also something magical happening during that time with the mainstreamization of hard rock and the reimagination of heavy metal.  Those significant events tend to get overlooked because of all the smash-and-grab groups that piled on and broke the axles of the hair metal bandwagon.  But for serious artists who were in it for the long haul, the landscape was changing in amazing ways and more and more doors were opening and the fans reaped the benefits.  After Judas Priest, Accept is one of the best examples of just that.

To try and demonstrate this, I'm gonna talk about each of my favorite tracks individually.

The Title Track's intro is uber-Wagnerian.  The song proper is ultra-Maidenesque.  The solo is incredible and straight-up Eddie Van Halen.  The whole track is informed by sounds that drove the golden age of heavy metal.  Try to imagine combining all those elements and you'll know without actually hearing the song whether or not you like it.  And that will also be your answer for the LP (and Accept in general).  I happen to really dig it.

Screaming for a Love-Bite is the best song ever about hickies.  It was pitch perfect for its time and still swings a huge set; it should have made Accept a huge pop crossover band.  Basically, it has all the bombast and catchiness of Accept's previous hit, Balls to the Wall, only Screaming for a Love-Bite is about foolin' around instead of social injustice.  Like I said, pitch perfect.

Dogs on Leads on the other hand, has the same topical content of Balls to the Wall, but it forgoes any glossiness or radio appeal in lieu of the anger and spit of true metal.  It's the point where the band unleashes (pun intended) and just gets as down and dirty as they can.  Dogs on Leads wallows in a great way.  It may be the best moment on "Metal Heart."  Okay, it's probably the second best.

Because Bound to Fail soars from the anthemic opening riff and then just seems to get more epic with its manly chorus of "yeah"s and blistering power chords.  "We've just been losing a part to be in another winning team."  But damn, that riff and those Benedictine voices chanting along with it just make you smile.  Bound to Fail pretty much sums up "Metal Heart."  Which leads us to...

So, is it an album?  No.  "Metal Heart" can realy take the strain of all the changes happening around it, but it's still an awful lot of fun.

Up next, the unfortunately appropriately named "It's Hard" by The Who.  Because it's hard.  To listen to.

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