By Mark Gromen Wow! Why can’t all reformations/injections of new singers be so fruitful? The third album since Mark Tornillo joined Accept sees the band uncork the strongest collection of songs since Blood Of The Nations. That second-coming “debut” was bolstered by a “No They Couldn’t” pleasant surprise surrounding Tornillo’s successful replacement of mainstay Udo Dirkscheider. Here, Mark showcases more singing, not just screaming. Two records on, people know he can do the job, so there’s an even more focused examination on the music, not ancillary waves of nostalgia. The eleven songs, while definitive Accept, are not a carbon copies: no throw-away, “I know what those old guys sound like” album. Increased attention will be directed towards the lyrics (and rightly so), offering a glimpse through seasoned eyes. This is not the myopic “Rock until you drop” vision of Twenty-somethings, shining a light on the dark underbelly with a socially conscious lyrical bent, be it historical (“Trail Of Tears”) or science fiction “200 Years”, relating two centuries after mankind’s downfall/eradication from Earth. There’s talk of human trafficking, drug addiction and at least a pair of references to nuclear destruction, to say nothing of “Bloodbath Mastermind”. The charging, snorting beast depicted on the cover is a fitting metaphor! What follows is not intended as a complete review, but rather the random thoughts generated from a single playback. The material warrants further investigation (can’t wait to hear it again and repeatedly thereafter). Rest assured, Accept deliver. No bull!
Accept continue to rage on. Since his debut with the band, it’s as clear as can be that vocalist Mark Tornillo has completely revitalized this band. His first two discs with the band, BLOOD OF THE NATIONS and STALINGRAD, were both masterpieces that sit near the top of the Accept catalog…regardless of who the singer is. This is not to say that Tornillo is better than Udo Dirkschneider or David Reece or anything like that. Instead, it’s just a testament to how one guy can completely change the energy for a band in a positive way. Back again quickly for a third time, Accept continue their trend of greatness for a third straight release. While this release is not quite as good as the past two, there’s no denying the real, powerful energy that Accept continues to create once again.
BLIND RAGE has all the pieces that Accept has established in their rebirth. The songs are big, anthemic and metal to the core. The playing is flawless. The production is masterful. Really, the only criticism I have for the entire disc is that Tornillo sounds a bit more worn as a vocalist. That’s not to say he’s 2014 Brian Johnson, but that there’s just a touch of road wear on his voice right now. It doesn’t stop the band from doing what they’ve always done best. Listening to songs like “Dark Side Of My Heart”, I defy any Accept fan to not headbang while thinking of the worlds to the band’s classic “Up To The Limit” from decades ago. Guitarists Wolf Hoffman and Herman Frank are blistering throughout the disc. “Stampede” is literally a clinic of what fast, powerful German metal is supposed to sound like. Songs like “Fall Of The Empire” and “The Curse” have that slow, marching anthem pacing which will get fists pumping in an audience with everyone chanting “hey, hey hey” to the beat of it. Credit to drummer Stefan Schwarzmann and bassist Peter Baltes for creating such an addictive backdrop for the guitarists and Tornillo to rage from throughout. These songs are apparitions though, with speedy power like “Trail Of Tears” roaring behind them to bring the pace back up. If nothing else, the tracking of BLIND RAGE is about as perfect as it can be. The album flows so perfectly together that you literally are forced to listen to the entire thing instead of a song here and there.
PITRIFF RATING – 91/100 – BLIND RAGE is very strong. It’s not the masterpiece that either of the two previous releases were, but that’s primarily because it’s almost impossible to write a third collection of songs as good as those in such a short time. Still, it’s pretty much an impossibility that any fan of Accept, european metal or musical power will find any reason at all to avoid this disc. It rocks hard, just as you would expect Accept to do. A worthy metal listen.
Issue #187 of ROADIE CREW Magazine is a special ACCEPT issue.
The August issue of the magazine Roadie Crew (# 187) features an interview with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann, who talks about the new album by Accept , “Blind Rage”. In his over thirty year career dedicated to Heavy Metal group experienced ups and downs, gone through periods inactive but now Mark Tornillo (vocals), Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank (guitar), Peter Baltes (bass), Stefan Schwarzmann (drums ) celebrate the good phase with the third album released after resuming activities. “I do not want to live what has been achieved and make half disks mouth, try to do better every record,” he says.
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ACCEPT will be part of the live web stream from the Woodstock Festival in Poland Today. Click the link below to watch!
If you missed the live web stream of ACCEPT at Wacken don’t worry, you can watch it now! Sorry, but there are some country restrictions.