With its brutal, simple riffs and aggressive, fast tempos, ACCEPT was one of the top heavy-metal bands of the early Eighties, and a major influence on the development of thrash. Led by the unique vocal stylings of screeching banshee Udo DIRKSCHNEIDER, the band forged an instantly recognizable sound and was notorious as one of the decade's fiercest live acts. Despite recording two of the best heavy metal albums of the decade in "Restless And Wild" (1983) and "Balls To The Wall" (1984), ACCEPT remained too heavy and extreme for American audiences to embrace. Even when it tried to tone down its act with more melodic songs. The vocalist formed ACCEPT in his hometown of Solingen (Germany) in the early Seventies, but it wasn't until quite a few years later that the band settled on a somewhat stable line-up, including guitarists Wolf HOFFMANN & Gerhard WAHL, bassist Peter BALTES and drummer Frank FRIEDRICH. A well-received performance at the Rock Amrhein Festival in 1976 brought national attention to the musicians, and they finally obtained a recording contract after replacing Gerhard WAHL with guitarist Jörg FISHER two years later. Issued in 1979, the eponymous debut was badly produced, featured mostly subpar songwriting, and did absolutely nothing for the group. But with the arrival of new drummer Stefan KAUFMANN prior to the much-improved "I'm A Rebel" (1980), the band had the final ingredient they were looking for, and their popularity began growing by leaps and bounds. Leaving to form U.D.O. in 1987, Udo DIRKSCHNEIDER left space fort American singer David REECE. Five years later, and to everyone's surprise, the original line-up reunited, until the disbanding occured in 1997.