Accept – Symphonic Terror: Live At Wacken 2017

Playing to a packed out Wacken Festival, German Metal legends Accept pulled out all the stops last year by performing a two-hour long set of purest classic teutonic Metal. Split into three separate acts, the band tore through a collection of greatest hits and instrumental surprises for the gathered long-haired faithful

Captured on record, Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 (Nuclear Blast) sounds nothing short of magnificent as the band open with a selection of tracks, including ‘Die By The Sword’ and ‘Koolaid’ taken from latest album The Rise of Chaos (Nuclear Blast), ‘Pandemic’, ‘Final Journey’, and the ever present ‘Restless and Wild’.

Featuring a switcheroo with most of the band members, the second act is where things take a bit of a left turn. Backed by the Czech National Symphonic Orchestra, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann showcases his recent Headbangers Symphony (Nuclear Blast) album, casting his own unique spell over well-known classics by the likes of Modest Mussorgsky, Fryderyk Chopin, Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonio Vivaldi, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Keeping the orchestra on stage, the final part of the show is where the fun really begins. With a few newer numbers thrown in for good measure, classic after classic is thundered out with the backing of a cast of musicians already well versed in the art of Metal, having worked with Norwegian Black Metallers Dimmu Borgir in 2012. Due to Hoffman’s neoclassical leanings, songs like ‘Princess of the Dawn’ and ‘Metal Heart’ were written in that style to begin with, but here they sound absolutely incredible as the strings and woodwind sections underpin the existing melodies with a life of their own, making you wonder why this hadn’t actually been done before.

Even songs that, at first glance might not seem like they needed any extra orchestral backing, sound like different beasts entirely, the classical backing, only ever feeling a little cluttered on a handful of very brief occasions. Vocalist Mark Tornillo is on top form, while the pulsing bass of long-time member Peter Baltes, the bombastic drums of Christopher Williams and the twin guitars of Hoffmann and Uwe Lulis all work together in perfect harmony

Also available on DVD and Blu ray, the show takes on another dimension as you actually get to see what you missed (or relive what you didn’t). Whether it’s the sight of the orchestra and conductor bouncing along to the songs and grinning like idiots, or the small, fun circle pits which open up during the classical section, the visual experience is even more exhilarating.

9 / 10

GARY ALCOCK