German/American heavy metal legends ACCEPT will release a live set, "Symphonic Terror - Live At Wacken 2017", on November 23 via Nuclear Blast. Fans can expect a unique ACCEPT show, shot on August 3, 2017 at the legendary Wacken Open Air festival, where the band played the biggest and most extraordinary show of its career in front of 80,000, on top of thousands more fans watching via a live stream.
The two-hour concert was divided into three parts, showing the full creative power of ACCEPT: The first part featured the premiere of new tracks "Die By The Sword" and "Koolaid", as well as some of the band's most popular songs, such as "Restless And Wild" and "Pandemic". The middle part featured guitarist Wolf Hoffmann accompanied by a symphony orchestra, presenting the best tracks from his recent solo album, "Headbangers Symphony", which includes metal versions of some of the world's biggest classical compositions (e.g. from Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi). And in the last but not least part, fans were able to bang their heads to ACCEPT anthems (also accompanied by the orchestra), such as "Princess Of The Dawn", "Breaker", "Fast As A Shark" and "Metal Heart", as well as to newer songs like "Stalingrad", "Shadow Soldiers" and "Teutonic Terror". The finale was an eight-minute version of ACCEPT's classic song "Balls To The Walls".
"This was a mash-up of intensity and precision," Wolf Hoffmann says about the fusion of heavy metal and classical music. "The fans are extremely open-minded, but I was nervous 'till the last minute before the show anyway. After all, it's still a metal festival! But I think that, after many years of ACCEPT combining both worlds, fans have started to really accept this concept."
After the Wacken performance, Hoffmann told TotalRock's Whitney Alyson Ribbins: "It was phenomenal. We didn't really know what to expect. We did some rehearsals and stuff, but that was the first time we were ever on stage with an orchestra. It was totally different to what we normally do, but it sounded fantastic and it felt great. Everybody was smiling, the orchestra people had a lot of fun, the conductor was in a great mood and everybody was, like, 'This is fun.' It all went really, really smooth and it couldn't have gone better."
He continued: "A lot of preparation went into it — months of talking about it and organizing everything and writing the scores and writing all the sheet music for everybody, because playing with an orchestra, you can't just jam."
Asked whether this was something he would like to do again, Wolf responded: "Yeah, I'd love to. For me, classical music... the sound of an orchestra is something that has always fascinated me. My whole life I have wanted to combine the two elements together. I've done it by using classical bits and pieces in my solos over the years, then I made a solo record, then I made a solo record with an orchestra and now finally live on stage with an orchestra like that, fifty people, it was a dream come true."
What started as a world premiere at Wacken will be continued in early 2019. ACCEPT is planning to tour with an orchestra across Europe in the spring of next year. "I really hope we will be able to fulfill our dream — we are working hard on it!" Hoffmann says. "What I can already say now is that there will be lots of optical and musical surprises that fans of ACCEPT have never experienced before. We want to multiply what we have achieved in Wacken and are happy about every bit of support we get. One thing is for sure: 2019 will be exciting!"