DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG– “Arising”
By Colonel Angus
I have been an ACCEPT fan since first hearing “Fast As a Shark” and have kept up with the band ever since (David Reece era included). The same could not be said about U.D.O. as I did try to keep up but “Faceless World” was the last once I purchased. I don’t have a reason other than I moved onto other bands and music which left little time for the ex-singer of ACCEPT. I was happy when he returned to ACCEPT in 1993 but that only lasted a few years.
Now we get DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG and I have to admit I was more than a little intrigued. This group has more members of the classic era of ACCEPT than the current incarnation (which I love by the way). What we get here is a three song E.P. that hits all the right spots which is a good thing because one misstep and you could have a third of the disk be a fail. The first track “Face of a Stranger” starts off a little mellow but quickly morphs into a chugging rocker. Udo shares vocals with Peter Baltes and Manuella Bibert and while I generally don’t like vocal hand-off, it does work on this tune. “Every Heart Is Burning” has a faster tempo along with some haunting vocals from Bibert. All three vocalists are featured in this track as well. The last tune “Where the Angels Fly” starts off like we are getting a ballad, but as with the first song, it quickly becomes a mini-epic of sorts with an almost theatrical feel to it. One thing that all the tracks have in common is a great catchy and melodic chorus which reminds me of those classic ACCEPT records. That’s not to say that they are plagiarizing their old sound; they are just using it as a template and updating it for 2020. Although Dirkschneider’s vocals get a front and center treatment, the others have plenty of room to shine as well. Reviewing an E.P. can be difficult as it is a small body of work that leaves no room for error. Fortunately, DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG have crafted three tunes that are so catchy that you will be humming them for days and you will keep replaying these tracks over and over. My hope is that we get a full record sooner than later.