Portrait Records, 1986


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Back in 1985, it seemed like the right thing to do. German metallers Accept were riding the tallest wave of their popularity thanks to albums like Balls To The Wall and Metal Heart, so why not capitalize on that popularity by releasing a live EP?

Why, indeed. Kaizoku-Ban, the first live effort from Udo Dirkschneider and company (and their seventh release overall) does seem like the logical place for a group to put out a live disc. But the EP concept turns out to be the downfall for Accept, as it captures very little of the intensity of the music and cuts out a good portion of the catalog. In effect, Accept shoots themselves in the foot.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Granted, this was Accept's first time in Japan, as Dirkschneider points out on stage. (Would it be safe to guess, then, that Accept was probably opening for someone else at the time? I can't find anything on the Web which backs this up.) But despite their dedication of this album to "the wildest fans in the world," often it doesn't sound like the Japanese crowd quite knows what they should be doing in terns of cheers. Part of this is most likely due to the language barrier - exacerbated by Dirkschneider's heavy Teutonic accent.

Musically, Kaizoku-Ban has a few strong moments, but in the end disappoints the listener. Knowing they had a nice sized catalog to draw songs from, one has to wonder why only these six songs were selected. Sure, it starts out strong with "Metal Heart" and "Screaming For A Love Bite," but that represents the best material on this one. "Up To The Limit" and "Living For Tonite" just fall flat, not really carrying much energy or passion with them, while "Love Child" fails to live up to hit-single expectations. (For that matter, "Love Child" hasn't really aged that well, while other songs still sound fresh.) Don't even get me started on the one-note bass solo which kicks off "Head Over Heels".

So, one has to wonder, what could have made Kaizoku-Ban better? Let's make the assumption that this doesn't represent their complete set that night. Why not substitute "Balls To The Wall" for "Up To The Limit"? "Fast As A Shark" for "Love Child"? "Midnight Mover" for "Living For Tonite"? Better yet, why not include all of these songs and turn this into a full album?

Kaizoku-Ban is short on time, but unfortunately for Accept, it's also short on passion, and remains one that's strictly for the fans.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Portrait Records, and is used for informational purposes only.