Blind Rage sees Accept continuing their march toward righteous, well-earned domination of the metal world. Metal Blast

Blind Rage sees Accept continuing their march toward righteous, well-earned domination of the metal world. Metal Blast

Metal Blast

When Accept dropped the earth-shattering Blood of the Nations back in 2010, I knew that it would be hard for them to achieve the same lofty musical heights on subsequent offerings. Sure enough, 2012′s Stalingrad, while certainly a solid album with its own merits, couldn’t quite reach the bar set by its predecessor. Upon the announcement that the band was poised to release a third album with Mark Tornillo at the helm, I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t convinced it would live up to even it’s closest sibling. Thankfully, while Blind Rage still doesn’t quite equal the now classic Blood of the Nations, it is a more complex, varied, and fulfilling album than its already great predecessor.

One thing you’ll notice on first listen is how emotive and melancholic several of the new songs are. Tracks like “Wanna Be Free”and “From the Ashes We Rise” recall the most emotional moments from Balls to the Wall, which really showcases Mark‘s more melodic approach. He’s in top-form here using every part of his range and sounding, finally, completely comfortable within the band.

While those more sombre songs are great in their own right, it’s the more aggressive tracks that rule the roost. A few of these songs will, no doubt, go down as some of the all-time classic Accept songs. My personal favourite comes in the form of “Dark Side of My Heart”, which starts with a butt-shaking Russian Roulette style riff before entering in to a more subtle, sparse structure for the verse. Wolf Hoffmann‘s solo here rolls like a tank through the listener’s brain, achieving a great balance between showmanship and service to the song. Another highlight is “Bloodbath Mastermind”, a violent song with a great backing vocal that I’m sure will sound amazing being hollered from a thousand throats.

Performance-wise, Stefan Schwarzmann is all over this album, pounding on his kit like he’s trying to make the earth move. His timing is beyond reproach and his sense of rhythm seems to have shifted slightly from the last two albums, setting Blind Rage apart in a small but important way.

My only real gripe with the album is on the production end, and it’s only because they’ve chosen to work withAndy Sneap once again. Andy is a great producer who has been a big part of lots of great records from the last decade. Unfortunately, many of these albums sound eerily similar to one another. Don’t get me wrong, the mix is spotless and rich, but there’s nothing that makes it unique. Sonically, Blind Rage fills the exact same space that Stalingrad did.

Blind Rage sees Accept continuing their march toward righteous, well-earned domination of the metal world. You can tell that the boys really put their all in to this project, and it has certainly paid off. It may not be the best album that this configuration of the band has brought into the world, but it’s damn close. Blind Rage is essential listening and will certainly be on a lot of lists at the end of the year.

Thank you Metal Blast!


ACCEPT – GERMAN WACK-EN ROLL by Bravewords

ACCEPT – GERMAN WACK-EN ROLL by Bravewords

By Mark Gromen

“Ahead Of The Pack, Never Look Back,” sang Mark Tornillo on one of the tracks off Restless & Wild, which was supposed to be aired in its entirety for Wacken 2014, half those tracks having long been staples of the live show anyway. The band would have preferred to adhere to those decades’ old lyrics and stormed through material from Blind Rage, due for release a fortnight later, but apart from the hard charging opener “Stampede”, this was more about the past than the future. Odd, when a gig in front of more than 75,000 is just a warm-up. Yet, two days later, they played to 10 times that amount, at the massive Woodstock festival, in Poland.

Bounding onstage, all smiles and with a bounce in their step that shames most bands half their age, Accept launched into the live, world premiere of the aforementioned newbie “Stampede”, signalling this ain’t a nostalgic act, even if a good portion of the night’s set (by Wacken organizers’ demand) recalled yesterday. The stage mimicked a similar orange to what adorns the current artwork. Peter Baltes seems to have sipped from the mythic Fountain Of Youth, the floppy head of curls prominently on display, yet no signs of aging: neither lines on the face, nor loss of energy onstage. “Stalingrad” followed, another hymn penned since Baltes and guitarist Wolf Hoffmann (looking fit & lean, showcasing some wicked leads and throwing in some windmills, for good measure, along the way) reunited and recruited Tornillo.

 

 

Philosophical musical statement declared, it was the initial foray into the 80s, with a purple lit “Losers & Winner”, as ski cap wearing Herman Frank briefly took the lead. The stage was a clean, futuristic steel construction, colored lights visible from behind the slats. The wall of speakers either side of drummer Stefan Schwarzmann saw the brand name of each guitar cabinet replaced by an Accept placard, featuring crossed guitars. “Monsterman”, although they played it last tour, was still a bit of a surprise. “London Leatherboys” begins with a jump step and sway as the bassist and Hoffmann lock into synchronized stage movements, ultimately with a foot up on the monitors, shaking their heads to the music. Bathed in blue and a blitzkrieg of strobes, The clickety-clack. runaway locomotive beat of “Breaker” sees the trio of stringed musicians front and center, Flying Vs held vertically as the Bassist headbangs madly.

 

 

Under white lights, at the front of the stage, Baltes bangs out the bass line to “Shadow Soldiers”, which Tornillo dedicated to “all the troops around the world who keep us free.” Speaking of the singer, his intro to “Restless & Wild” was the most I’ve heard him speak during an Accept show, this being my tenth (lost count) since the reformation. It began a string of five successive selections from that titular disc. Been ages since I heard “Ahead Of The Pack”, one of the concessions to the Wacken bosses, the stage turning a deep crimson, before a nitro-fueled “Flash Rocking Man” showed speed knows no age limits. Wow! Baltes still jumping off the drum riser ramps, before joining the guitar tandem center stage. The addition of Tornillo briefly makes it a quartet up front.

 

 

The purple of royalty shines down on Hoffman, who kicks into the signature riff of “Princess Of The Dawn”, as Baltes plays cheerleader, getting everyone to clap along. Although approaching midnight, the throng needs no coaxing to scream the title/chorus. If you think they sang loudly for that, the a cappella Tyrolean rhythm (hi de, hi do) which begins “Fast As A Shark” is practically deafening (if that’s possible, sans instruments/amplification). Tornillo conducts the sing-song melody as if a classical maestro, before punctuating with the opening scream. Although an hour into the event, like a bobble-head figurine powered by the Energizer Bunny, Baltes is still banging his head.

 

 

Restless & Wild obligation out of the way, it’s on to the records that followed, including another pair from the Tornillo era: “Pandemic” and “Teutonic Terror” (which began with Baltes standing alone,offstage on the runner/wing of the gigantic stage). They sandwich “Metal Heart”, the colorfully lit, but lone choice from the album of the same name, which saw the crowd sing along to the guitar melody, as well as the “Whoa Whoa” passages. The same happens with “Balls To The Wall”, which sees the singer and Frank swaying in unison. The song ends with another onstage lightning storm of strobes. Has anyone left yet? Although dark, the Jumbotron visuals indicate the grounds remain packed to the gills. Most North Americans would probably be shocked by the closing “Burning” (appropriately tinted in crimson lights), but it’s a sonic fury and whiz-bang finish that keeps people talking.

90 minutes and there’s STILL so much they DIDN’T play, new and old. Hopefully the Blind Rage tour will fill in some of the missing pieces!

Thank you Bravewords!


ACCEPT – Live Video Teutonic Terror Released, Taken from the Blind Rage Bonus DVD

ACCEPT – Live Video Teutonic Terror Released, Taken from the Blind Rage Bonus DVD

Only few more days left, until the release of the forthcoming new ACCEPT album called Blind Rage, which will be out on August 15th via Nuclear Blast.

Today, ACCEPT release an official live video-clip for their hit ‘Teutonic Terror’, taken from the bonus DVD, which is part of the limited edition of Blind Rage.

The limited edition Digipak including either bonus DVD, or Blu-ray disc, features a complete ACCEPT live show, recorded in Chile 2013 during the Stalingrad tour.

Pre-order the album here.

The tracklist looks like this:

01. Intro
02. Hung, Drawn & Quartered
03. Hellfire
04. Restless & Wild
05. Losers & Winners
06. Stalingrad
07. Breaker
08. Bucket Full Of Hate
09. Monsterman
10. Shadow Soldier
11. Amamos La Vida
12. Guitar Solo Wolf
13. Neon Nights
14. Bulletproof
15. Aiming High
16. Princess Of The Dawn
17. Up To The Limit
18. No Shelter
19. Pandemic
20. Fast As A Shark
21. Metal Heart
22. Teutonic Terror
23. Balls To The Wall

The tracklist of the standard version, will be like this:

01. Stampede
02. Dying Breed
03. Dark Side Of My Heart
04. Fall Of The Empire
05. Trail Of Tears
06. Wanna Be Free
07. 200 Years
08. Bloodbath Mastermind
09. From The Ashes We Rise
10. The Curse
11. Final Journey

Blind Rage« was produced by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH). The cover artwork was done by Daniel Goldsworthy (HELL).

Check out ACCEPT live on their Blind Rage Tour 2014.