Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Teutonic metal pioneers Accept are enjoying their most fertile creative period since their late ‘80s heyday with original vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, and they’re reaping the rewards with corresponding popularity amongst the heavy rock and metal community.
Much of this is down to the shot in the arm relatively new vocalist Mark Tornillo has given the band – as he howls and yelps like the bastard son of Bon Scott and a pack of wild dogs, the rest of the band sound rejuvenated, excited to be having another shot at the prize with him centre stage.
As well they should do – tales of a second chance are few and far between, and usually trade heavily on past glories, whereas Accept have now released three new original albums since 2009, all of which are the equal of almost any in their history.
Blind Rage melds Wolf Hoffman’s classical-influenced lead guitar playing with the band’s highly influential heavy metal approach, not fixing anything that’s not broken, and consequently it’s a balltearer from start to finish.
Opener Stampede shows why they were considered one of the integral bands to influence the development of speed and thrash metal, while never letting go of the key melodic structures that keep them so popular. Fall Of The Empire is an icy tale of war that recalls their Russian Roulette period, 200 Years is a foreboding tale of apocalyptic doom and From The Ashes We Rise is a slower, almost bluesey number that starts with a definite AC/DC bent before becoming another archetypal Accept chantathon.
Accept no doubt realise their good fortunes, for without good fortunes I doubt they’d be having such a creative time now, heading towards the 40th anniversary of the band. Blind Rage closes with perhaps the most old school Accept number on show: Final Journey. Close your eyes tightly and you can almost hear echoes of Dirkschneider in Tornillo’s delivery, but even the most die hard fan of the former singer’s tenure in the band must realise that Tornillo is the best man for the job nowadays. Let’s hope this rude form continues – Accept are far too vital again to be on anything near their own Final Journey.