Teutonic thrashers Accept found new life in 2009, reforming with New Jersey born vocalist Mark Tornillo, a man whose vocals came close enough to Udo Dirckschneider’s to make the world forget the lilliputian singer’s departure and – pun intended – accept Accept again. Two highly critically acclaimed albums followed, and here in 2014 the band has once more chosen Andy Sneap to record their latest barnstormer. Entitled Blind Rage, the new album sees the band even farther removed from any vestiges of instability that may have plagued them in years past.
At this point Accept have proven that with their music, you know what you’re going to get. Wolf Hoffman (guitar) and Peter Baltes (bass) have been writing music together since about 1976, if not further back, and in spinning Blind Rage, it is evident that they do not waste their time with fluff. Opening song ‘Stampede’ starts thing off in tight, speedy fashion, putting the foot on the gas pedal as Tornillo squalls and bellows his way through Accept’s gritty brand of street thrash. The Sneap production sheds decades off their sound while also shredding the riffs up sharp as knives. A gang-vocal chorus give-and-take with Hoffman and Tornillo lines this song up as a future live favorite. Accepthas a penchant for following up a fast-paced opener with a slower sophomore track. The new album is no exception. Lyrically a clever story of metal’s evolution expressed in classic album titles, ‘Dying Breed’ has a denim-clad attitude and comes off as a hymn to all that is good and pure about heavy metal music. Fun, rousing, and a proper ode toAccept’s fellow warriors who helped begin it all.
After so many years in the game, it is nice to see a band as venerable as Accept still make an impact. ‘Dark Side of My Heart’ has a little slice of fellow Germans Helloweento it, rife with melody and a classic-rock styled chorus. A more melodic sound encapsulates a good deal of Blind Rage, in fact, especially in ‘Trail of Tears,’ an album highlight filled with memorable breakdowns, Stefan Schwarzman’s mean double kick drums, and a once again Helloween-like chorus. Like Testament and Manowarbefore them, Accept takes a stab lyrically at one of America’s most shameful black marks on its own history. Slow burning, bar room pseudo-ballad ‘Wanna Be Free’ is sure to get emotions up, with its dreamy melodies and message of hope in a world of violence. Accept is so convincing in their delivery, it is difficult not to get invested emotionally while blasting this album.
’200 Years’ is a cosmopolitan, somewhat safe song mid-track listing; it gets swallowed up by the excellent ‘Bloodbath Mastermind.’ This one bleeds classic Accept, and will please fans old and new. ‘From the Ashes We Rise’ is another strong fist-pumper, lamenting the state of the world with classic metal hooks and a rousing singalong chorus. They avoid sounding at all depressing with their message that no matter what happens, we will get up and we will survive. Quite uplifting and well-wrought. ‘The Curse’ is a little bit of the same as far as vibe and delivery, but lacks a little bit in the effectiveness department. Closer ‘Final Journey’ ratchets up the speed and the heaviness, assuring that Blind Rage goes out on a very high note.
When bands have been in existence as long as Accept has, it becomes very easy to criticize their later efforts. Accept is not reinventing their style with Blind Rage. Instead they are going for the throat with some downright chugging, power-rich heavy metal anthems. It is their honesty and dedication to the craft which keeps them relevant. It is their awesome delivery and strong vocal attack which elevates them above any sort of dotage. Blind Rage is another strong addition to their canon, one fans of hard rock, thrash, and classic metal should be sure to check out.