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Metal Editorial - The Scorpions vs. Accept
In the 1980s, two bands that would become household names for heavy metal fans made their mark from a seemingly (at the time) unlikely place. Germany put forth two of the greatest bands to have rocked the metal stage, Accept, and the Scorpions. When watching an episode of "That Metal Show" one day, they had a discussion on which of these two bands were the better band. Honestly, upon initial speculation I really didn't see how one could even compare the two bands, but the more I've thought about, the more I've thought they do have a lot in common. So, I've decided to take a look at both of them with a series of criteria, to see which one is truly the better band.
I will be using five criteria to judge these two bands.
Number 1: Chart success.
It isn't everything in the end but it does speak to how a lot of people perceive a band, so which one was more successful chart wise and when it came to album sales?
Number 2: Which one was a better Metal Band?
Both bands are incredibly well known and respected in the heavy metal community, but which one truly rocked harder and was the better heavy metal band?
Number 3: Vocals and lyrics
Both bands are known for having incredibly talented, strong, and instantly recognizable vocalists. Which one had more versatile ability with their voices, which one could put the punch into the songs and pull it back when need be? Which one just sold their songs more? And which band over all had the more memorable and better lyrics?
Number 4: Musicality
Both bands were very guitar centric so the main focus will be on the ability of the guitarists in both bands. Which one had better solos and more memorable riffs? The strength of the rhythm section will also be looked at.
Number 5: Overall staying power
In the end, which one is better known?
This one is unfortunately a very easy one to judge. Accept have had their fair share of chart success with nine albums reaching the top 100 in their home country, six in the US. But in terms of album sales, only one album has reached Gold status, and it's the one we all know them for ("Balls to the Wall"). The scorpions have achieved much more success on the charts with eleven albums reaching the top 100 in the US, fourteen in Germany, and significantly more album sales with ten studio albums reaching Gold status or better. In terms of financial and popular success, the Scorpions are unquestionably on top
Which Was The Better Metal Band?
Simply, which one was heavier? This is a metal review after all. The Scorpions certainly were a much more diverse band, and while that diversity is certainly something to celebrate and has certainly played a large part in was has made them such a universally respected band, their willingness and ability to experiment has meant that they are not always as heavy as they could be. Accept has always been a band that could be relied on to deliver one thing: blistering high octane metal, and that is exactly what we love them for. In this respect, while the Scorpions have lots of very heavy stuff to proud of, the point, for sheer consistency, goes to Accept.
Vocals and Lyrics
Both bands have had some incredible voices in their rosters. The Scorpions have the incredibly versatile and powerful Klaus Meine, Accept most famously had the leather laced vocals of Udo Dirkschneider, and most recently the equally as vicious sounding Mark Tornillo. For straight forward metal, as previously mentioned, Udo is the obvious pick. But Klaus has so much soul and strength beyond just a loud scream that I really have to give it to him. As for lyrics, while there is nothing wrong with Accept's lyrics, rarely are they anything truly special. The Scorpions have some great lyrics to their legacy as well as one of the greatest concept albums I've ever heard.
This one was the hardest. Both bands have had some absolutely incredible musicians go through their rosters, especially in the guitar department. Although Accept have had a revolving list of rhythm guitarists, lead guitarist and founding member Wolf Hoffmann has made sure that there are always plenty of searing riffs and awesome solos to keep every headbanger happy, with an equally shifting list of top notch bass players and drummers. The Scorpions likewise, through an early career revolving list of lead guitarists, have maintained the solid rhythm guitar and master riff writing of Rudolf Schenker, and equally proficient drummers and bass players on every album. But there is one name that pushes the Scorpions just over the edge: Uli Jon Roth. Michael Schenker is an incredible guitarist, but only appeared on two Scorpions albums and personally, I feel his best work had yet to be revealed. Uli Jon Roth was a shredder before there was shredding, an infinitely talented guitarist and song writer with a speed and skill that are still difficult to match. His time with the band may not have been the most successful, but it is still my favorite.
It may be superfluous to detail it now that the winner is clear, but Accept has been seeing a resurgence lately. "Blood of the Nations", the first album with Mark Tornillo has received rave reviews ever since it's release and has already been declared a metal classic by many, and rightly so, and it is very good to see them regaining some of the respect they deserve. But I think I don't need to say that the vast majority, if not all of the people reading this list are much more familiar with the Scorpions. Accept had a flash of success, a drop and are now starting to see it coming back. The Scorpions hit it big and have maintained their status as masters of rock and universally respected musicians ever since.
I tried not to let any personal get in the way of my analysis, even though in the end I am a die hard Scorpions fan, and for the most part I think these are valid points. I honestly thought comparing these two bands was bit of an unfair comparison when they did it on "That Metal Show", but they are both great bands that everyone should check out.
If you have a review or topic you would like me to write about, please feel free to leave it in the comments.