Accept Blind Rage BEST ALBUM 2014 on The Metal Voice –Top 10 albums of 2014
Famous, genius writer MALCOLM DOME, who has followed ACCEPT for 30 years was at ACCEPT’s LONDON SHOW!
Despite the fact, that the band had the most SOLD OUT SHOWS in their touring history with the BLIND RAGE 2014 World Tour, they just missed the SOLD OUT mark at the beautiful FORUM!!! Wolf Hoffmann states: The audience has been fantastic and PETER & I said after a few minutes into is HOLY SHIT .. we better come back to the UK!
As the veteran Germans play The Forum, the band’s Wolf Hoffmann talks to Classic Rock
Accept are not content to be a nostalgia band. In fact, current album Blind Rage did something they’ve never experienced before.
“For the first time ever we had a number one album in Germany. It took us by surprise. We didn’t know this would be a successful period. Three albums and five years with Mark Tornillo (vocals) and we are strong.”
So, it’s no surprise that the band’s contemporary vigour is reflected in their live setlist. Unlike many of their peers they feel confident enough to pepper their performance with material from Blind Rage, and it’s immediate predecessors Blood Of The Nations (2010) and Stalingrad (2012).
“There are very few bands who are trying really hard to make relevant new albums”, says guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. “A lot of our friends take the attitude that nobody wants anything new from them, so they go out and play old stuff. We don’t want to suck up to our past and rest on our laurels. We are opening a new chapter.”
In London, the band get pumping with no less than four modern tracks, slicing through Stampede, Stalingrad, Hellfire and 200 Years. And the audience enthusiasm is at such a high level you’d never have know these don’t come from their glory days in the 80s.
“It’s tricky putting together a setlist, but it’s a good problem to have. Now half of the set is new stuff and half of it is old. People really seem to like the fact that we are playing a shit load from Blind Rage. It’s remarkable to see the brand new songs going down as well as the songs which have been around for 30 years.”
It’s only with the double pack of Losers and Winners and London Leather Boys that the band ease their way back 30 years. Tornillo’s vocals actually have a lot more in common with Brian Johnson than with Udo Dirkschneider. In fact, his whole stage persona brings to mind the AC/DC master, and not just because he wears a hat. He has a stage bonhomie and grinning residue that lends a certain relaxed edge to everything.
“Maybe it was because we were away for so long [effectively a decade from 1997], and feel we still have something to prove. It’s a new era, and we wanted Blind Rageto leave a permanent mark. This is a new time, and we have to prove ourselves all over again.”
“Do we get enough acknowledgement from people for our influence in metal? We’re quite happy with the respect we get from the music industry. Yes, we were the first metal band out of Germany. At the start, we were kids who dreamt of touring the world. And you had to go outside of Germany to be a professional musician. We weren’t really accepted in Germany until we came back from the States in 1984. But it’s always said that a lot of German metal bands were formed after Accept made our mark. Indirectly we did help to create the German metal scene. But that was never what we set out to do. So, it’s hard for me to take credit.”
The encore again mixes old and new, with the mid-paced madness of Teutonic Terror linking the flamboyant Metal Heart and the always welcome finale, Balls To The Wall. It’s a crisp, plunging way to finish off the night.
“I was into The Beatles and Jethro Tull early on. I listened to the latter’s Stand Up all day long. My sister had it, and I’d play it all the time.”
The one disappointment about the gig is the modest turn out. Accept should be capable of packing places like this. Yet while it’s ultimately too big for their present stature, the performance is of arena headlining stature, which is where Accept belong.
“We wanted to move forward, and present ourselves in a nice environment, which is why we did The Forum this time. We haven’t given up on the UK. Metal is enjoying a resurgence there, so we want to play more shows in the future.”
The smiles on everyone’s face at the end, band and fans alike, says it all. Accept have the sort of commitment and charismatic determination that this writer first witnessed in 1980, when the youthful band headlined the Markthalle in Hamburg. Living in the past? No, using it as a springboard into a bright future. Turning Wildness into Rage.
ACCEPT’s 2014 BLIND RAGE world tour arrives in Tampere, Finland on September 27th and the show only is SOLD OUT. You don’t want to miss this show as ACCEPT is racking up SOLD OUT shows around the world… New York City, Melbourne Australia, Copenhagen Denmark and Linkoping Sweden.
Göteborg-Posten (Sweden’s second biggest morning newspaper), “It’s a tight and happy Accept who has got the courage to play four new songs before the first classic song, Losers And Winners, is played. The set list’s even share between new and old songs is a good sign that Accept refuses to be a nostalgia act.”
Gaffa (Danish music magazine), “I have been witnessing this year’s best concert experience. Accept has become a highly addictive drug that you just want more and more of. And not just the obvious classics as Restless And Wild, Fast As A Shark and of course Balls To The Wall . The new material is exceptional and opening number Stampede is just as good.”
Tour dates and ticket links are available at http://www.acceptworldwide.com/tour/
ACCEPT – SLAVES TO METAL, LIVING FOR TONIGHT, UNDER BIG APPLE’S NEON NIGHTS
By Mark Gromen
Blind Rage? No, more like precision, pinpoint aggression. Just what you’d expect from German engineering! Returning to the Gramercy Theater, where on May 8, 2010 this incarnation of Accept shocked the world (“What, no Udo?”) launching one of metal’s greatest musical reformations. There’s a reason this jaded journo, attending concerts for more than three decades, has seen these guys a dozen times since that NYC kick-off. Dying Breed, indeed!
Under the watchful eyes of the snorting/charging beast that adorns the Blind Rage artwork, an orange backdrop spanned the stage. This was my first opportunity to hear seven inclusions from the new disc, opening, as they did at Wacken, with the hard hitting first single, “Stampede”. While no one was trampled, the sold out crowd (assembled from across the Eastern seaboard, this being the lone area show, as opposed to the trio in California and Vegas) was almost uncomfortably packed, shoulder-to-shoulder (balls to the wall?). Talk about the proverbial bull in a china shop…there’d be some collateral damage, no doubt.
“Stalingrad”, just one of the three aired from the album of the same name, the second since Jersey’s own Mark Tornillo joined the German contingent, saw enthusiastic drummer Stefan Schwarzmann playing from a standing position, come the titular chorus. Make no mistake, the stars of he show remain Peter Baltes, the bassist with boundless energy, and guitarist/keeper of the Accept legacy, Wolf Hoffmann. Tonight’s set was sort of packaged with a heavy dose of material from the trio of Tornillo era up early and classics appearing late, stylistically, you’d be hard pressed to notice any difference though. The band looked and sounded great, several friends commenting on the tone and clarity of Hoffmann’s guitar.
“Losers & Winners” lets Herman Frank strut his stuff, taking a rare move to center stage and demonstrating some overhand technique. Wolf acted as cheerleader, getting a clap-along going to start “London Leatherboys”. He and Baltes lock into the patented swaying stage movements. Nice to hear “Starlight”, but since this is a warm-up for Europe, not sure it and the the rarely heard “Ahead Of The Pack” will survive until next Spring’s North American tour, as both were re-learned for the Wacken set. Here’s hoping they make a return engagement. “Dying Breed” and “Final Journey” fly by. The mid-tempo “Shadow Soldiers” appears to be a Tornillo staple, before “From Ashes We Rise” ends the predominately new-song portion of the evening.
“Restless & Wild” might describe Baltes’ onstage demeanor. An hour into the set, he’s still headbanging madly, as Tornillo is atop the drum riser, back-to-the-crowd, staring right into Schwarzmann’s face. The aforementioned “Ahead Of The Pack” sees the two guitarists together, for the first time. A powerful orange beacon drowns the stage for the cannonading drums of “No Shelter”, multiple white lights pulsating down on the crowd. During the portion where the tempo drops, Baltes and Hoffmann are alone center stage, trading licks. An audience choir of “whoa whoa” kicks off “Princess Of The Dawn”. Wives, don’t worry, the backstage was fat, old, bald guys. As the AC/DC stomp of “Dark Side Of My Heart” pumps from the speakers, I wonder which pounds louder/heavier: Accept, or the older crowd’s headache/hangover, the next morning.
Speaking of punishment, what about “Pandemic”? Wow! Mark and Wolf toy with each other. As the stage goes black, a familiar Tyrolean melody fills the sweaty hall, the vinyl ultimately scratched beyond repair, punctuated by a maniacal scream. It’s the classic intro to “Fast As A Shark”, which closes the proper set.
For an encore, the now shirtless Tornillo led the boys back onstage, under purple lights, for the title track, the only option off Metal Heart, a favorite album in America, but then again, this was an overseas exercise. With legs splayed wide, Hoffmann alternated side-to-side, silently directing the still boisterous throng in another (albeit longer in duration) “whoa whoa” sing-along. “Teutonic Terror” followed and “Balls To The Wall” capped the evening. Great set, great band. Can’t wait for next Spring and a full scale domestic tour!
There is always a sense of excitement for yours truly when a new Accept record is imminent. Having been a fan since my pre-teen years, well over thirty years ago, the German quintet have and always will, hold a special place in my metal heart, so, as you can imagine, the arrival of “Blind Rage” has got this heart beating as fast as a shark… sorry I couldn’t resist!
Fans of the band will know what to expect from “Blind Rage” but for those of you who are still unfamiliar, I need only say two words “HEAVY METAL”!
This Accept’s 14th studio album and the third (in five years) to feature the excellent current line-up of Wolf Hoffmann, Peter Baltes, Herman Frank, Steffan Schwarzmann and Mark Tornillo. Out of the three Tornillo fronted albums, “Blind Rage” brings back that classic Accept sound of old more than any but with a naturally 21st century feel.
Opening track, “Stampede” is exactly that. A charging sonic attack of big riffs, big vocals and those classical flavoured Wolf Hoffman solos, an obvious future show starter…one hopes? “Dying Breed”is next up and pays homage in its lyrics to both influences and counterparts of days gone by. Listen to the lyrics and see how many references you can spot? “Dark Side Of My Heart” harks back to the“Metal Heart” era with its “Up To The Limit” similarities.
“Fall Of The Empire” slows it down a tad all brooding chugging riffs and the oh so familiar chanted background vocals. “Trail Of Tears” ups the tempo again with a riff that cements the theory that Accept were indeed one major influence on the whole speed/thrash genre. “Wanna Be Free” is the band looking at the state of affairs in the world whereas “200 Years” highlights what will inevitably happen if we don’t take note? Both tracks naturally delivered in crunching metal fashion.
“Bloodbath Mastermind” will have you flooring the pedal in your car and banging your heads ‘til your necks are breaking whilst you do so. “The Curse” will take you back to their “Russian Roulette” era which I personally hear referenced a lot on “Blind Rage”, which is no bad thing as I have a fondness for that album, it was back in ’86 on that tour that I first got my live Acceptexperience. Closing track “Final Journey” is another fast-paced delight which literally had me jumping for joy as Wolf Hoffmann has once again incorporate a fabulous piece of classical music into his solo. This time around it’s Grieg’s “Morning Mood”…a welcome return Herr Hoffmann.
“Blind Rage” is Accept doing what Accept do best, powerhouse riff-laden melodic heavy metal. If it ain’t broken…don’t fix it. Easily a contender for album of the year.