Accept

Russian Roulette

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

By the time they reconvened to record 1986's Russian Roulette, creative differences were beginning to tear German metal stars Accept apart at the seams. While guitarist Wolf Hoffman wanted to continue pursuing the commercial metal formula first explored with the previous year's Metal Heart, vocalist Udo Dirkschneider defended a return to the harder-edged approach that had characterized the band's uncompromising breakout releases Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall. Their fourth album in as many years, Russian Roulette also found the once-unstoppable quintet physically exhausted and creatively tapped out, and the inevitable result was a disappointing and unfocused album. Its first few songs (including the all-out thrash of "T.V. War" and the chugging riff and gang choruses of "Monster Man") are promising enough, but the more melodic experiments that follow ("It's Hard to Find a Way," the God-awful "Man Enough to Cry") sound terribly forced and contrived. At over seven minutes, the incredibly grim anti-religion diatribe "Heaven Is Hell" might have been an epic in the classic Accept tradition were it not such a shameless remake of their 1984 smash "Balls to the Wall." In fact, any tricks they forgot to repeat here are used instead in the similarly derivative title track -- simply mind-boggling. The pounding intensity of "Aiming High" and the familiarly chugging riffery of "Another Second to Be" offer the disc's last real bright spots, and with unsatisfying filler like "Walking in the Shadow" and "Stand Tight" rounding out the set, Accept failed to win any new fans here, or retain many old ones either.

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