Accept

Breaker

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In retrospect, Accept's combination of taught, crunching guitar riffs and the uniquely screeching vocals of singer Udo Dirkschneider has become one of the most instantly recognizable sonic identities in all of hard rock and metal. And after finding the sound they'd been searching for with the title track of their previous album I'm a Rebel, the German quintet made sure to quickly patent it as their own on 1982's Breaker. Though it remains a must-have for die-hard fans only, this was where the band truly hit their stride, not to mention launched their career. After crashing into action with the high-energy bursts of "Starlight" and the title track, the band segues into the more controlled and refined "Run if You Can." Though its main riff quotes Judas Priest rather blatantly (one of Accept's few bad habits in their early years), the song would serve as a blueprint for future triumphs by taming their fierce aggression with a little more melody and a great chorus. Also on hand is the irrepressible classic "Son of a Bitch" (partly sung in German), a competent ballad in "Can't Stand the Night," and a couple of career oddities in the shape of "Midnight Highway" (featuring chorused vocals and Boston-esque harmony guitars) and the totally uncharacteristic "Breaking Up Again," an acoustic ballad sung by bassist Peter Baltes.

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