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Live Reviews : Accept & Damnations Day @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 17/09/2017

By on September 18, 2017


Images: Sebastian Marino
Words: Anwar Rizk

Last night German heavy metal pioneers, Accept performed an exclusive show at 170 Russell in Melbourne. You’d think having a show on a Sunday night would put a slight damper on the attendance. Definitely not! The band performed to a monstrous nearly sold-out crowd, but I’ll get to that later.

The first and only support for the evening was Melbourne melodic metal quartet, Damnations Day. Having released their second full-length album ‘A World Awakens’ earlier this year. The band definitely had something to be excited about. Performing new material in front of potential new fans, and the obvious, supporting Accept. I’ve seen Damnations Day many times before. Both at a local capacity and supporting some big international acts, and every time I see them they never disappoint. It’s pretty hard not to when you have a band that just gels extremely well together as a sole unit. The band’s musicianship is unmatched by their dynamic on stage presence. Sonically, the band sounded tight and on point throughout the entire set. Whoever did their mixing deserves a big bag of cash as it was flawless from start to finish.


The band’s setlist consisted of their debut album ‘Invisible, The Dead’ and the aforementioned new album ‘A World Awakens’. I could definitely see the band’s supportive and passionate fans at the front singing with full force. Through the set, I definitely saw a lot of new ears pick up and take heed. I know a lot of people would argue the fact that Damnations Day is not the best fit to support Accept. But it’s always great to see something new and refreshing. Especially at gigs like this. Damnations Day is one of the hardest working metal bands in Australia who definitely deserve to support the big names in metal.

After the usual slight change over and anticipation, we were given Accept. A band who have paved the way for numerous metal bands across several decades. We all know the stories, most notably the departure of longtime vocalist, Udo Dirkschneider. But there is no need to kick a dead horse.

Since the inclusion of American born, Mark Tornillo, (joining them in 2009) Accept have gone through a notable renaissance. The band’s previous four albums Blood of the Nations, Stalingrad, Blind Rage and The Rise of Chaos are absolute powerhouses. Literally the epitome of heavy metal. With the release of The Rise of Chaos only being a couple of weeks ago, I was unsure how well the new songs would be received. ‘Die By The Sword’, ‘Analog Man’, ‘The Rise of Chaos’ and ‘Koolaid’ were generally well received and sound great live. You could tell the new material had not quite settled in due to its recent release, but like everything else, just give it time.

Musically, the band sounded absolutely flawless. I seriously could not point out a single fault with the band’s performance. Well, there were times when Tornillo’s microphone dropped in and out throughout the beginning of the set, but no one seemed to phased by it and was quickly forgotten. Being the showman that he is, Tornillo took it in his stride and made a passing comment about the slight technical issue. But again, no one really seemed to care. The band as a whole were in top form. Wolf Hoffmann shredded away with a look of sheer contentment that would put a Buddist monk to shame. He, along with longtime bassist Peter Baltes revved the crowd with their dual wielding attack.


The band’s other new addition, Uwe Lulis (formally of Grave Digger) on guitars is the perfect match. Being the massive Grave Digger fan that I am, I was pretty happy to see one icon of the German metal scene join forces with another. Finally, drummer Christopher Williams keeps the well-oiled Accept machine together with his ultra-tight playing which borders on the insane. Hard and fast was pretty much the motto for the entire night. The entire mix for Accept was absolutely flawless. I, unfortunately, didn’t bring my earplugs, but fortunately didn’t need them in the end and my ears thank the band’s amazing sound engineer.

Accept played a rather eclectic setlist reaching as far back as Restless and Wild (82), Metal Heart (83) and Balls to the Wall (85). We were even treated to ‘Objection Overruled’, taken from the 93′ release of the same name. There were sadly no songs from Breaker (81),  I’m a Rebel (80) or Accept (79). I guess those albums are more hard rock and wouldn’t necessarily fit the aesthetics of the show or perhaps some may not be too familiar with those albums. Either way, it would have been great to hear some of that material with the inclusion of Tornillo, but you cannot have everything I guess. Fan favorites ‘Metal Heart, ‘Princess of the Dawn’, ‘Balls to the Wall’, ‘Fast as a Shark’, ‘London Leatherboys’ were all there, including ‘Neon Nights’ which sounded absolutely amazing. Sadly no ‘Head Over Heels’, ‘Losing More Than You Ever Had’ or ‘Losers and Winners’, but like I said before, you cannot have everything. In the end this was a solid night of heavy metal and easily worth the price of admission.

I have seen Accept many times in the past. Granted on a bigger stage at Wacken Open Air, but this was one of the highlights for me. This show was probably the best I’ve seen the band perform live and could easily be the contender for gig of the year.


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook