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.
The year was 2009, when I woke up early in the morning, and the first thing that flashed in front of my eyes was news of Accept’s reunion. That’s right;“Let’s make the ‘Metal Heart’ beat again” were the words that made me realize that these guys are on fire even after so many decades, and I was definitely expecting chaos. Under new label management (Nuclear Blast), Accept exploded onto their new journey with all guns blazing. Armed to the teeth with new vocalist Mark Tornillo, a heavier musical tone, and a return to their older, darker themes, Acceptunleashed upon the unready mortal masses their twelfth studio album: Blood Of The Nations. It was one of the best heavy metal albums of the past decade, simply put.
After releasing their critically acclaimed follow-up album Stanlingrad, and after a highly successful world tour, they are back in action with a new album Blind Rage; the third with Tornillo behind the mic. Do they ever stop? Hell No!Blind Rage is yet another notch in these Germans’ bullet-belts, pulverizing to dust any lingering doubts that the loss of Udo Dirkschneider would doom the band. Surfacing after a great effort in Stalingrad, the pressure was on for Wolf Hoffman and team to deliver the goods, and they deliver it flawlessly. The true gem here is without a doubt the first track “Stampede”. It starts with a patented Accept riff, and then advances at an efficient speed until the chorus, which detonates in an anthemic fashion as Tornillo and gang memorably roar “Stampede! Trampled to the ground. Stampede! Flattened by the sound…” (more…)
ACCEPT shows once again on “Blind Rage” they’re masters of their trade, no matter who holds the mike.
If there’s any old-school metal band worthier of resurrection than ACCEPT, let them make their stand now. ACCEPT 2.0 with Mark Tornillo fronting them has been exemplary proof there’s life after death and that you can buck the naysayers by believing in what you’re doing and going full force regardless of who follows or not. Now laying down their third album within the five years since their re-launch, ACCEPT shows once again on “Blind Rage” they’re masters of their trade, no matter who holds the mike.
Working for the third consecutive time with producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, TESTAMENT and EXODUS) since their 2009 revival, the vow by Wolf Hoffmann to “never change a winning team” may sound trite to Udo Dirkschneider holdouts, but the intent is well-meant and well-kept. Sneap knows the ACCEPT sound so intricately, it’s no wonder he’s backing them once again. He’s a considerable factor to why they still sound so loud and powerful after all these years. His understanding goes straight down to fusing the masculine whoa-oh chants and baritone gang backers on the choruses for “Dying Breed”, “Wanna Be Free” and “Fall of the Empire” to complete the illusion this as much an ACCEPT album as any that’s come before it. (more…)
This fantastic day began with the Meets and Greets with the band in lobby bar of the Kiev hotel. Those fantastic moments are difficult to express by words. Peter and Wolf were so kind to sign all CDs and to take a lot of photos. Then i came to the venue, Stereo plaza club, there was a lot people singing songs, speaking to each other. Audience was pretty mixed, from 10-years old children to solid men over 50 with their wifes. Some hours waiting and i entered a hall, Wolf was just finishing soundcheck. Sound was great. I decided to stand in first row near barriers. After a short break, the lights dimmed, intro and taped part Hung, Drawn and Quartered played. A great intro for the band during Stalingrad tour. Then, cutting over the top was that familiar snapping snare from Stefan. The lights came up revealing Wolf, Peter and Herman bent over their guitars then Mark Tornillo walked on stage completeing the band, and the audience clapped and cheered, welcoming Accept in their very first show in Ukraine. The band ploughed through the first three numbers before taking a breath. Setlist was standart and pretty good. 4 songs from Stalingrad album, 4 songs from Blood of the Nations, other – only good old stuff from classic albums of 80’s. While playing Stalingrad Mark came out with Ukrainian flag and then Herman broke string. What a powerful show! For me the highlights were Hung Drawn and Quartered, Stalingrad, Teutonic Terror, Monsterman, Princess of the Dawn. These 5 songs were worth the price of admission alone. Their speed and virtuosity simply blew me away. Wolf’s guitar solo including Hall of the Mountain King was tremendous. During the bass solo in Princess, even barriers didn’t stand for crowd’s pressure and were totally broken. Peter saw this moment and asked people to move back and with smiling face continued to play for the extraordinary joy of crowd. Encores with Metal Heart, Teutonic Terror and Balls to the Wall were accompinied with five thousand voices singing and total madness. Wolf’s guitar solo including Hall of the Mountain King was tremendous. By the way, it was total sold out and this fact added more pride for Kiev show. Everybody after the show was smiling and had a straining voice due to musical excitement. I liked new songs live, Mark is pretty good singer and frontman, Stefan, Herman, Peter, Wolf were fantastic. To sum it up, it was the best show i’ ve ever seen and i thank Accept for it. Using the mobile application Accept by Mobile backstage i learned that guys also liked Kiev show and “definitely want to come back”. That’s fantastic and we are looking forward for a new show.