Judas Priest and Beyond: Rock You Like a Hurricane

Accept

It was not just in Britain that the metal revolution was taking place.

Accept

Accept came out of Germany in the late 1970’s but it took them a few releases before they got their big break.  Accept begun to develop their power and speed metal style for which they became better known.  Diminutive front-man, Udo Dirkschneider, was also a vocal point for the band with his stature and high-pitched vocals.  The band’s major breakthrough came through with the release of Restless and Wild and then Balls to the Wall, which was predominately written by their then female manager.  Their metallic anthems about slavery and non-conformity, became firm favourites with audiences across Europe.  Udo left to pursue a solo career under the U.D.O name.  A brief re-union happened but problems due to band members suffering injuries resulted in the band ceasing activities again.  They decided to reconvene with replacement singer, Mark Tornillo, in 2009.  Andy Sneap assisted them in two highly received albums in the past couple of years.  Recommendations:

I’m a Rebel, Winter Dreams, Balls to the Wall, Losers and Winners, Restless and Wild, Shake Your Heads, Metal Heart, Bound to Fall

Scorpions

The scorpions

And back again to Germany to a band that even pre-dated Judas Priest.  Starting back in the mid-sixties, it took the loss of influential guitarists Micheal Schenker and Uli Roth, before the band got their major breakthrough.  It was through a series of albums that featured some highly unfortunate and suspect artwork.  Check out Virgin Killer for evidence.  Or rather don’t.

Steadily, they started to get greater attention in America and worldwide.  Especially through albums such as Lovedrive, Blackout and Love at first sting.  The latter was a massive seller prompted by MTV playing of Rock Me Like a Hurricane.  They also became only the second band from the west to play in the Soviet Union.  Later in the decade, they became known for the awful/brilliant whistling hit “Winds of Change”, their tribute to the immanent re-unionification of their homeland.  They also played on the massive wall concert in Berlin in 1990.  The 90’s was a generally confused decade for the band with varied albums of acoustic covers, a choir, an electronic influenced one and more besides.  This did not help with gaining fans and indeed lost most of their main audience.

This went on for a few years until a massive show at Wacken featuring all or most of their former members.  They also re-connected with their metal and hard rock roots and the past few albums have proven that.  Despite an expected farewell world tour a year or so ago, the band are still a going concern.  Recommendations:

Catch Your Train, Virgin Killer, Always Somewhere, Coast to Coast, The Zoo, Blackout, Dynamite, Rock You Like a Hurricane

Mercyful Fate

mercyful-fate_photo03

The band, coming out of Denmark in the early 80’s, took the inspiration from many of the darker bands from Britain, and the growing European metal movement.  They along with the likes of Vemon, Bathory and Hellhammer, were among the first bands of the movement that became known as Black Metal.  Both their satanic imagery and the use of face paint by front-man, King Diamond, contributed towards this.

Aligned to his high-pitched and dramatic vocals.  All of this would be for nothing if they did not have the chops and music to back it up.  The band most certainly had this.  Stunning albums like debut Melissa and follow-up, Don’t Break the Oath, proved this.  Diamond, got frustrated by an attempt to make the band more commercial, and quit to form his own band under his own ideals.  A brief re-union took place in the 90’s, prompted by the urgings of fellow Dane, Lars Ulrich, and a few more albums were released.

However, the band has been on hold for at least a decade due to Diamond’s solo work and his successful battle against cancer.  With the King back touring, and performing classic fate material, anything is possible though.  Recommendations:

Evil, Into the Coven, Melissa, Black Funeral, The Oath, Come to the Sabbath, Welcome Princess of Hell

 

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