The exclusive performance by Accept featuring hugely skilled members of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) at the Opera House in downtown Oslo last night was one for the history books. The legendary German metal heroes wrapped up the European leg of their Symphonic Terror 2019 tour in Norway’s capital city, but whereas the Orchestra of Death had accompanied the band for almost the entire run, the show in Oslo was special in that it would be the aforementioned KORK supporting them for one night only. The epic conclusion to their tour basically served as the grand official opening of the excellent Tons of Rock festival in Norway, which technically runs from Thursday until Saturday this week, but the Accept gig nevertheless marked the beginning of said festival and it was truly something out of the ordinary.
The idea of a heavy metal or hard rock outfit performing with or alongside an orchestra is neither original nor innovative as countless other acts have done something similar over the years, but Accept’s approach to the concept and their unique way of weaving classical and metal influences together to such great effect speaks volumes about their collective talent and also how timeless their tunes are. With the orchestra evoking new layers and textures within a select number of Accept’s most cherished tunes and the band itself being as sharp and disciplined as ever, it should come as no surprise that the ninety-minute set sounded absolutely massive and was incredibly tight. There were smiles all around and you could tell that both Accept and KORK were having the time of their lives on stage together.
The quality of the compositions and their effortless flow speak for themselves, but last night the talented members of KORK added a sense of grandeur and refinement to the songs that truly made them crackle with fire and energy. In many ways, it felt as if the cellos and and strings had always been there, which is testimony to just how warm and organic the entire affair was. Nothing seemed out of place, no elements came across as superfluous, and everything flowed together seamlessly. Soaring and flawless renditions of brilliant cuts such as ‘Princess of the Dawn‘, ‘Stalingrad‘, ‘Shadow Soldiers‘, and ‘Metal Heart‘ (among many others) were simply to die for, but so were the electrifying versions of Beethoven’s ‘Scherzo‘ and ‘Pathètique‘ as well as the heartfelt ‘Swan Lake‘ theme and the playful ‘Arabian Dance‘ by Tchaikovsky. For ‘Shades of Death‘, they even incorporated parts of Grieg’s immortal ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King‘. How wicked is that?! ‘Balls to the Wall‘ served as the bombastic finale and was undoubtedly one of the concert’s high points.
Last night’s memorable display of technically dazzling and utterly impressive symphonic metal music was as inspired as it was inspiring. Long live Accept!