Watch the new Blind Rage World Tour Trailer 2014! See all the tour dates and get your tickets on the TOUR page.
Come out and enjoy the new tracks from “Blind Rage” and win some merchandise. Here is a list of parties in Germany.
- 15.08.2014 Berlin, Halford
- 15.08.2014 Bremen, Aladin-Music-Hall
- 15.08.2014 Erfurt, Club From Hell
- 15.08.2014 Ludwigsburg, RoFa
- 15.08.2014 Neunkirchen, Club Caesar
- 15.08.2014 Nürnberg, RoFa
- 16.08.2014 Coburg, Rockbar 36
- 16.08.2014 Essen, Turock
- 16.08.2014 Frankfurt am Main, Speak Easy
- 16.08.2014 Göttingen, Exil
- 16.08.2014 Hannover, Rockhouse
- 16.08.2014 Kiel, Die Pumpe
- 16.08.2014 Köln, Asgard
- 16.08.2014 Nersingen, Rocks
- 19.08.2014 Osnabrück, Bastard Club
- 21.08.2014 Hamburg, Night Light
- 22.08.2014 Braunschweig, Meier Music Hall
- 22.08.2014 Darmstadt, Lobrow
- 22.08.2014 Oberhausen, Helvete
- 23.08.2014 Esslingen, Der Eisbär
- 23.08.2014 Fürstenfeldbruck, Luftraum
- 23.08.2014 Ochsenfurt, Postkeller
- 23.08.2014 Weiden, Nitezone
- 29.08.2014 München, Backstage
- 07.09.2014 Vohenstrauss, Glasfabrik
Although most of us are familiar with the Teutonic thrash metal term describing the particularity of the German thrash metal scene, its counterpart related to heavy metal genre should be in equal use. There is, and always was, something distinctively different about the German metal bands – namely, the aspects of heaviness, majesty and pace of their sound. As for Accept, they’re perhaps the most genuine representatives to the scene, a literal “metal heart” of the German heavy metal – although also this legendary band had their ups and downs. Yet, all this being in the past, now Accept returns stronger than ever with what is their fourteenth studio album, the third one recorded with their current singer Mark Tornillo. Blind Rage is the title of the release, out in August via Nuclear Blast.
The scarlet-colored album cover reveals a picture of an enraged bull ready to attack – and, it turns out, it perfectly completes the furious metal assault of the first track “Stampede” with its muscular riffs and Tornillo’s gruff vocals. Perhaps the highlight of the track is the guitar solo crafted in the best Accept tradition, with distant echoes of neoclassic arrangements which everyone who ever headbanged to “Metal Heart” should be more than familiar with. “Dying Breed” continues in the same feisty manner, Tornillo doing his best Udo-esque impression against the background of a pounding rhythm section and mad guitar duels between Hoffmann and Frank.
Slightly more melodic “Dark Side Of My Heart” opens with a raw riff somewhat devoid of the Teutonic metal majesty and one that may remind you of the typical NWOBHM sound. In its entirety, the song – as many other on this album – bears some resemblance to the classic Accept albums. “Fall Of The Empire” is a shift from the ‘80s influences metal the group has previously embarked on and towards modern-day sound; a majestic, lumbering piece with atmospheric chanted background vocals against Mark Tornillo’s raspy voice taking the lead.
Next is the explosive, fast-paced riff of “Trail Of Tears” that doesn’t let one forget it was Wolf Hoffmann who pioneered such furious licks years before Helloween and Gamma Ray sound helped to coin the term “Power Metal.” And certainly, many young representatives of the current metal scene can only wish and hope they’ll ever sound as powerful as this.
Even the most powerful incarnation of heavy metal was, however, not always about pace and fury – and its pioneers know it well, it seems, delivering a melodic mid-tempo “Wanna Be Free” preceded with a charming, mellow acoustic intro. The track’s relatively subtle melody is in a vivid, yet interesting, contrast with the massive background chants that fill the chorus – and a proof that even more benign face of Accept is still as convincing as their fueled-by-fury trademark sound.
Its follow-up is “200 Years” – as rough and gritty as metal can only get, laden with some heavy, but tasteful guitar licks. “Bloodbath Mastermind” is no slowdown to its predecessor, despite mellow and perhaps misleading intro. And if up to this point – even after the two previous Accept albums – you were not entirely sure about Tornillo’s ability to rip his throat off, the track conclusively proves he’s a sterling screamer.
“From The Ashes We Rise” starts in a somewhat bluesy manner and the echoes of blues are to be heard further in this lumbering, ballad-esque piece. Next is the majestic, guitar-laden epic “The Curse” and fast-paced gallop of “Final Journey” enriched again with a neoclassical-infused solo; undoubtedly, both of the closing tracks finish Blind Rage on a very high note.
Although even a mediocre album from the German giants Accept wouldn’t have shattered their iconic status, Blind Rage is one of these records the only downside of is that they end at some point. Surely, one can discuss the band resorting to the best of their tricks – all staples and trademarks, all things considered classic Accept – but isn’t that the whole point of being a legend in the metal scene that doesn’t have to prove much and can only confirm their status? With their new album, the Germans give their fans exactly what they want to get, a muscular, meaty metal deliciousness spiced up with modern production, but rooted deeply in the sound of Balls To The Wall andMetal Heart. It’s heavy metal at its purest and very best – you can’t help but keep on headbanging. Highly recommended.
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.
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!