Russian Roulette

Russian Roulette

Following the polished production of Metal Heart, Accept returned to a rawer form of hard rock on 1986’s Russian Roulette, the final album to feature vocalist Udo Dirkschneider until a 1993 reunion. The band’s newfound venom is evident from the very first song: “T.V. War” is a blistering reprisal of the speed-metal sound that Accept helped create, while its portrayal of war images as TV entertainment was particularly pertinent at a time when combat was raging in Afghanistan, Iraq, and El Salvador. The anti-war theme continues through “Monsterman,” “Russian Roulette," and “Walking in the Shadow,” the last of which offers a haunting, spiteful image of the Berlin Wall. Throughout the album, the band sounds exceptionally unified. The group’s choruses are chanted in unison against the feral squeals of Dirkschneider, who proves his mettle as one of the genre’s most distinctive vocalists. Likewise, the album is a showcase for guitarist Wolf Hoffman, whose untamed guitar solos are a welcome contrast to the coldly technical virtuosity that was starting to overtake metal.

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