Accept: Restless And Wild (Platinum Edition)
With their third album Breaker, Germany's Accept announced themselves on the metal stage proper. With a stuttering debut and good, if uneven follow up already in the bag, the album was really the first effort from the band to suggest they may end up as something special. We didn't have to wait long, a year later 1982's Restless And Wild arrived as a genuine metal masterpiece that many feel Accept have never quite bettered.
It was a vintage year, Iron Maiden dialling up The Number Of The Beast, Judas Priest unashamedly Screaming For Vengeance while the likes of Scorpions (Blackout) and KISS (Creatures Of The Night) released some of their best work; all those albums rightly lauded ever since. Somehow the majesty and power of Accept seems to have got lost in the midst of time, yet I've no reservations in stating that Restless And Wild is every bit the equal of those other albums. Still operating as a four piece of ever presents, Wolf Hoffmann (guitar) and Peter Baltes (bass), alongside drummer Stefan Kauffman and vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, the album came too soon for new second guitarist Herman Frank to feature. He is credited as playing on R&W, but actually joined after its completion.
In a masterstroke, both intended and not, the album begins with a short crackly snippet of music from 1830 called "Ein Heller Und Ein Batzen" (A Farthing And A Penny), before the needle appears to be ripped off the record and the mighty "Fast As A Shark" begins. Unbeknownst to the band this traditional piece of German folk music had been a popular marching song during the Nazi era, and its use on this album brought no end of controversy in their homeland. It may have caused a minor uproar, but it proved a memorable and humorous opening to the album and the intro is still sung to this day by the crowd prior to "Fast As A Shark" being performed live, so it more than achieved its goal. All this of course would have stood for nothing had the song itself not been a stone cold classic and with hindsight could also be seen, unwittingly, as the first piece of thrash metal thrust upon the world. Kauffman is in stunning form behind the kit, pummelling out a frantic beat peppered with breaks and fills, while Hoffmann and Baltes lay down some serious riff-thunder. With Udo somehow managing to add a hugely memorable chorus to the juggernaut, it's no wonder this song is still a staple in the band's set, but then "Restless And Wild", "Ahead Of The Pack" and the slower if no less potent "Neon Nights" are all its equal. And not content with that, the atmospheric punch and power of album closer "Princess Of The Dawn" may just top the lot.
As if laying the path for thrash to follow wasn't enough, Restless And Wild is also notable for Wolf Hoffmann beginning to add small elements of classical music into his guitar solos as the band pound and pummel behind him. He may not have been the first guitarist to use this style as a clear inspiration, but to do so over such heavy music wasn't something often heard before. With it being an aspect he'd highlight further on albums such as Metal Heart, you could argue Accept also set the ball rolling for symphonic metal as well.
As with the other albums in this Platinum Edition series, bonus selections are added, this time in the shape of lesser album track but no less impressive "Flash Rockin' Man" and "Neon Nights", rather oddly, performed on stage by Dirkschneider on their recent tour.
It's no exaggeration to highlight Restless And Wild as an album that changed the face of European – and wider – metal for many years to come. It might not be as celebrated as some of the other ground breaking releases hitting the shelves around the same time but it may actually have aged better than most.
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!
1. Fast As A Shark
2. Restless And Wild
3. Ahead Of The Pack
4. Shake Your Heads
5. Neon Nights
6. Get Ready
7. Demon's Night
8. Flash Rockin' Man
9. Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away
10. Princess Of The Dawn
11. Flash Rockin' Man (Live)
12. Neon Nights (Live)
Added: April 15th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Restless And Wild at AFM Records
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