Accept: Breaker (Platinum Edition)
It may not often be seen as one of their classic albums but the third offering from German metal masters Accept may actually be the most important in their catalogue. Having delivered a lacklustre debut, before righting its wrongs with the much more promising I'm A Rebel, Breaker was the album that left no doubt that Accept were the real deal. Suddenly singer Udo Dirkschneider found a confidence and authority he'd only hinted at before, while finding themselves (for the time being at least) slimmed down to a one guitar outfit somehow made the riffs mightier, meatier and more memorable. Wolf Hoffmann not only furiously firing out the basis for some of the best metal Germany had produced, but embellishing it all with a collection of solos that were searingly individual. He along with bassist Peter Baltes may be the band's only two ever presents, but alongside drummer Stefan Kauffman, Baltes made up half of the best rhythm section this type of music has ever seen.
All that was needed now was a collection of songs that lived up to the talents of those producing them and this time Accept had them in abundance. Every song on Breaker is worthy of attention, but there's little doubt that the likes of "Starlight" where Udo not only barks and bites, but also finds a range and control that previously would have been unthinkable, is a stunning start to the album. With the title track just as vital and hard hitting, unlike I'm A Rebel before it, Breaker doesn't become a roller coaster of highs and lows. Instead through the cascading riff of "Run If You Can" and slower "Can't Stand The Night" - notable for being the first 'ballad' the band had recorded where Udo didn't step back from the mic and let Baltes take over - the standard remains remarkably high.
Accept hadn't gone soft though, "Son Of A Bitch" and "Midnight Highway" stunning combinations of tight aggressive attacks and melodic majesty, while "Feelings" is the sort of stomp-along the band would go on to rule the roost with in years to come. Add in the frantic pulse of "Burning", the cinematic "Breaking Up Again", where Baltes does help out on vocals, and all that was needed was for "Down And Out" to close the album out with a power-packed metal punch, which is exactly what it does as Hoffmann peels off one of many genre defining solos.
This stunning reissue, rather oddly, adds live versions of "Breaker" and "Midnight Highway" performed by Dirkschneider on their recent tour. It may not be seen as an out and out Accept classic, but Breaker is still, all these years later, a stunning album and it's ever so slightly lower status is only deserved due to just how exhilarating this band went on to become. Metal doesn't get (much) better than this.
These "Platinum Edition" reissues will only be available in North and South America, Asia, Russia, Turkey and the Baltic Countries.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
3. Run If You Can
4. Can't Stand The Night
5. Son Of A Bitch
8. Midnight Highway
9. Breaking Up Again
10. Down And Out
11. Breaker (Live)
12. Midnight Highway (Live)
Added: April 15th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Breaker at AFM Records
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