Accept in the 90’s didn’t exist for me. It wasn’t until 2008/09 that I started to re-listen to Accept and check out their 90’s output.
But the big problem with anything to do with the 90’s was confusion. The 90’s just kept striking out 80’s bands because they felt lost and didn’t know how to fit in. Gone was the label support and the people left around just didn’t know what to do.
If you don’t believe me, press play on Dio’s “Angry Machines” or Dokken’s “Shadowlife” or “Generation Swine” by Motley Crue. Confused. Yep, so was Ronnie and Don and Nikki/Tommy.
And as a fan of hard rock and heavy metal music, I was even more confused why these popular 80s bands couldn’t keep on releasing great albums in the 90’s.
On this album, Accept is mainly staying true to their roots. They have incorporated some 90’s groove and sounds and a little bit of 70’s Scorpions, however their sound is still AC/DC meets Judas Priest.
I read some of the reviews of this album recently and man, people don’t like it. I can hear why people would hate this album as there are musical elements on this album that can be classed as “what the” moments. But this album shows a band trying to survive in a hostile musical climate towards them. And it didn’t matter to me what new musical element they brought in, as it still sounds like Accept and it still sounds like Metal.
So “Predator” is studio album 11, released in 1996. It was produced by Michael Wagener and it is their last recording with singer Udo Dirkschneider.
Joining Udo here is the great Wolf Hoffmann on guitars, Peter Baltes on bass and drums are played by Michael Cartellone, fresh from his Damn Yankees gig.
This is Accept doing AC/DC and I like it. A lot.
A head banging riff like “Balls To The Wall” underpins this song.
Baltes and Udo do lead vocals on this and the vocals of Baltes just don’t work for me here.
There is also this country like open sting lick played between the Chorus and Verse which I like.
Making Me Scream
This song has a 90’s alternative metal groove as the rhythm, however the exotic lead over it makes it classic Accept.
You could almost say it’s like the embryo of “Black Label Society”. The heaviness also reminds me of the self-titled Motley Crue album.
Diggin’ in the Dirt
Remember that song “Three Little Pigs”, well it reminds me of that. It has a similar vibe.
Lay It Down
The music on this song is excellent.
Baltes does the lead vocals here and he does a great job.
The Chorus is a rocker and anthemic.
There is no way that Zakk Wylde can say he never heard this song, because it so Black Label Society and that band was a few years away, however Zakk had created his embryonic incarnation with “Pride And Glory”.
If this song doesn’t make you bang your head, check for a pulse.
It Ain’t Over Yet
Baltes does the lead vocals again on this sleazy rocker.
I’m not a fan of this song at all.
Its speed metal, old school and I love it. Just press play to hear the wah riff between 1.08 and 1.12. It’s only four seconds but its excellent.
And the lead break is classic Hoffmann. Press play on that as well.
Take Out the Crime
The love for AC/DC is back here.
Don’t Give a Damn
And you get to hear AC/DC again. And I like it.
Run Through the Night
The intro riff reminds me of “Aint Talking Bout Love” from Van Halen. Press play to hear how a derivative riff is created.
The drums sound like they belong on a Gloria Estefan or Janet Jackson album. The song “Black Cat” comes to mind. Baltes does the lead vocals here, but the song is a skip for me. A terrible way to end the album.
“Predator” was the last Accept album for 14-years. Udo would never return.
But I feel they are bigger now than they’ve ever been. “Blood Of The Nations” came first in 2010 and each release afterwards has built on their return.
Mark Tornillo on vocals is excellent and a perfect song writing partner for Wolf Hoffmann. That’s not to say that others didn’t contribute. Bassist Peter Baltes was also a song writing partner while he was in the band and new bassist Martin Motnik contributes along with long time lyricist Deaffy, otherwise known as Gaby Hoffmann.
While hated, do yourself a favour and check out songs like “Hard Attack”, “Crossroads”, “Lay it Down” and “Crucified”. From there you can make up your own mind.