Twenty-two years later and I still haven’t gotten that "You’ll get your balls to the wall, man!", chorus completely out of my head. That song and the album Balls To The Wall were released in 1984 when Accept were at the height of their popularity, but even then, they were still really just a B-list band, when compared to other ’80s metal acts such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and their fellow German axe slingers the Scorpions. In fairness though, Accept were always more of a thrash-metal band, closer in style to Slayer and Anthrax, before they went and melodicized their sound, in an attempt to appease the American rock radio gods.
Metal Blast From The Past is one of the most content rich DVD packages I have come across in a while. Not only do you get a complete live concert performance from one of the band’s biggest world tours in 1985, but you also get three songs from a ’93 Sophia, Bulgaria concert, seven videos, behind-the-scenes footage, a discography, a biography, and nine previously unreleased audio tracks on the flip side of the DVD. Sounds like one hell of a bargain for under 20 dollars right? Well, it could have, and should have been, but the poor production quality of this material makes most of it almost unbearable to watch.
The disk menu is laid out nicely with each main category arranged in a circle below the Accept logo and around a vault dial. The response time is painfully slow for anything you select, and there were a few problems with some of the menus, such as the Video Clips menu not going to the correct song, or going back to the menu when you hit the chapter skip button. There are even more problems if you watch this thing on a computer. The DVD case also incorrectly lists one the Live Sophia ’93 songs as "Starlight" and leaves off "Bulletproof".
The Staying A Life documentary, which features a live Osaka, Japan concert filmed in 1985, is the main feature of this DVD. Although twelve songs are listed, by no means do you get twelve complete song performances. This is first and foremost a documentary. Each song gets interrupted, to an almost ridiculous degree, by the most annoying, generic, Casey Kasem-sounding person I have ever heard.
Rarely do you get through an entire song performance before this guy chimes in, or they cut to some non-concert footage. It’s a damn shame, because this was Accept in their prime, putting on what seems to be a killer show. Neither the video nor the audio appear to have been re-mastered, in the least, and everything looks and sounds terribly dull and dated.
The Live Sophia ’93 footage was surprisingly worse than the ’85 stuff – like both the audio and video were recorded using a few camcorders. I’ve never heard audio quite as thin and tinny sounding as this. Again the performances kicked ass if you are an Accept fan, but it’s hard to watch. The seven videos included were all your standard faux-live, ridiculously choreographed, ’80s metal fare.
They are listed in chronological order, so you do get a nice historical prospective of the band. "I’m A Rebel" shows a long haired, pre-army fatigues-wearing, Udo Dirkschneider, who looks about 18-years old in the video. "Generation Clash" is from the one non-Dirkschneider led album, 1988’s Eat the Heat, which featured American David Reece on lead vocals, and a much more commercial metal sound. The most recent video is the title track to 1995’s Death Row, with Dirkschneider and the band sounding heavier than ever.
If you are a big fan of Accept and can manage to overlook the poor production quality of this release, then you may find this to be just the fix you were looking for. For those of us who were looking forward to some good quality concert footage, we are going to have to wait a little longer. The extraordinarily restored Led Zeppelin concert footage set the bar a few years ago, and now there are no more excuses for stuff like this.
Live in Osaka 1985
01. “Metal Heart”
03. “Screaming For A Love-Bite”
04. “Up To The Limit”
05. “Living For Tonite”
06. “Princess Of The Dawn”
07. “Restless And Wild”
08. “Son Of A Bitch”
09. “London Leatherboys”
10. “Fast As A Shark”
11. “Balls To The Wall”
12. “Outro (Bound To Fail)”
Live in Sophia 1993
01. “Slaves To Metal”
02. “Objection Overruled”