Accept quite frankly has been on a roll. This, their third album since their comeback may exhibit itself as their strongest offering yet, blending an old-school feeling with a touch of current genius. A fantastic display of pacing, songwriting and overall finesse.
Accept really don’t need an introduction with a career spanning 40 years now. It is great to see that they are still going full steam ahead. They now present their new album “Bilnd Rage”, the third longplayer since their re-union in 2009. The team behind the production has been the same as on the two previous releases “Blood Of The Nation” and “Stalingrad”. Mark Tornillo is again on vocals and hopefully the talk about “the new one” is going to vanish finally. His voice fits perfectly to the trademark Accept sound and his stage performances have been outstanding during the last two sold-out world tours. The band worked again together with Andy Sneap as producer continuing the successful work of the two previous albums.
Accept start the record with the up-tempo track “Stampede” that had been released as a video a few weeks earlier. The song is classic Accept material and a perfect opener for a metal album. The song should work very well live and will fit in with the highlights of the early Accept-days. From here on the band just unleashes a firework of outstanding classic metal tracks. Accept play with different stylistic elements without repeating themselves. This, in combination with the modern and powerful production, keeps the album fresh.
“Dark Side Of My Heart” comes with a “Balls To The Wall”-feeling. “Fall Of The Empire” is a slower but very groovy song that includes thoughtful and critical lyrics. Overall the lyrical concept on “Blind Rage” is much darker and critical than on the two predecessors. “The feeling that the world is in a constant riot was crucial. No matter, where you look, it is blind rage that let people decide to do the most absurd things,” comments the band in an official statement. Tracks like “Wanna Be Free” with its acoustic intro and “200 Years”, a classic Accept-song that should work very well live, fit that description as well.
There are no failures on “Blind Rage”. All songs deliver and feature different elements. Accept pump out one classic after another from the typical Accept-rockers “Dying Breed” and “Bloodbath Mastermind” to the slower, melodic “From The Ashes” and “The Curse”, which almost counts as a ballad and has a very catchy refrain. The only big question is why the band finishes the album with “Final Journey”, the heaviest song on “Blind Rage”. We can only hope that the title is not an indication of a career that comes to an end.
The masters of metal from Germany have done it again. Accept unleash a modern classic metal album of the highest quality. It has a myriad of great riffs, outstanding guitar solos (Wolf Hoffmann is one of the most underrated guitar players in the genre), choir-like backing vocal (without them it wouldn’t be an Accept album, right?) and songs that are just written very, very well. You combine that with a state-of-the-art production, critical lyrics and great cover artwork and you have one mighty fine album.
5 years ago, we heard Accept were reuniting with a new singer. Many of us, thought it was some kind of a joke. Others said that whatever they released, would not be good. Yeah, right! Accept not only released the amazing “Blood Of The Nations”, but they managed to create a new trademark sound for the band, with Mark Tornillo’s voice being recognizable from miles away.
They took advantage of the momentum from “Blood Of The Nations”, to create the equally good “Stalingrad” and with that same momentum, constantly refuelled by their live shows, they bring us “Blind Rage”, a record which is whatever anyone should expect from Accept in 2014. Pressing the play and the first riffs come out.
“Stampede”, the first track that was released as a single, with an epic intro and a catchy riff and chorus that stick to you on the first listen. A real stampede. Next in line, is“Dying Breed”, a hymn to the real metallers and the heroes of our music, who are indeed becoming a dying breed. “They’re the last of a dying breed, and we salute you”. That’s a 2/2 epic songs so far.
And the spree goes on with “Dark Side Of My Heart”. Here, Mark Tornillo lowers his voice (no worries, he raises them again) and gives an amazing performance. There is a great solo, courtesy of Wolf Hoffman, while later on, comes “Fall Of The Empire” and the speed drops. Treading in more melodic paths, it ranks itself in the very strong moments of the band in their Tornillo era and in their shows is probably going to be a dynamite.
Throttle’s going up again with “Trail Of Tears”. Epic solo, and a classic Tornillo performance. Social message aboyt freedom put in an amazing song = “Wanna Be Free” Lyrics that come out from the reality that many of us fail to see. What if we could change the world as Tornillo describes it? In any way, it’s a really beautiful song, that sticks to you and you start singing along on the first listen.
Next “200 years” blasts out in the speakers. Dystopia, post-apocalypse, extinction of humanity is what this song is all about. Accept release one bomb after the other and there will be a lot of moshing if this enters their concert setlist. “Bloodbath Mastermind”has the evilest intro and later on turns into an example of pure heavy metal. Here comes “From The Ashes We Rise”, one of my favourites, with the standout point being the chorus. Melodic, beautiful and catchy. And the lyrics are a declaration of our intent for survival.
“The Curse”. A pure power-ballad that flows really beautifully with the previous track. If I said Mark was great in the previous tracks, this is where he gives his best performance. And the record closes with “Final Journey”, a classic Accept track that closes the record the way it started. Straight forward and excellently.
So, here we go. 5 years, 3 records and Mark Tornillo seems to have been integrated in the band for good and his voice has found its way around into the band’s sound. All in all, “Blind Rage” is more mature and solid than its predecessors. Easily one of the top releases of the summer and this year and definitely a record that every metal fan should have!
Few if any of my friends were more excited than me for the brand new ACCEPT album, Blind Rage, out August 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. In fact, I can think of only one (right, Patrick??). After back-to-back home runs with Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad I was very excited to see if this band could three-peat. Well guess what? Mission accomplished. This is just about everything we could ask for and expect in an ACCEPT album, with riffs and hooks that feel very much like the old days. AND Andy Sneap is back in the producer’s chair! This pleases me because I have always loved this band, but now that I’m older I find myself playing their newer records more and more, much like I’ve done with OVERKILL and KREATOR. So let’s see what’s cookin’ with Blind Rage, hey?
Opener “Stampede” picks up right where “Hung, Drawn and Quartered” and “Beat the Bastards” left off in true pulverizing fashion, laying down the sonic law, Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank serving notice to all other twin guitar bands out there that they are still very much a force to be reckoned with. Mark Tornillo’s voice is ready to cut glass, and on this album, his third, it feels like he’s been in the band 20 years. “Last of a Dying Breed” is an instant standout with its trademark heavy metal gallop that begs to be blasted over and over again, and “Dark Side of My Heart” could have easily been on the Restless and Wild record alongside “Fast As a Shark”, my all-time favorite ACCEPT number. This is another one that will have you abusing the REPEAT button as I have been. Bassist Peter Baltes and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann serve up a rhythmic cocktail that will have everyone moving; it’s impossible to resist the groove.
There is a very majestic feel to the aptly-titled “Fall of the Empire” and the deliberate potboiler tempo evokes the image of the downtrodden finally deciding they’ve had enough and those who rule them are in deep shit. And then “Trail of Tears” puts the foot on the gas and doesn’t let up for its full four minutes, bulldozing everything in its path. You can hear the older sound meshing with the new on “200 Years” which straddles both eras perfectly, and on “Bloodbath Mastermind” the band plays a bit of a trick on us before bringing down the hammer in one of the album’s most crushing songs. On the opposite end, the acoustic intro and mid-tempo of “Wanna Be Free” belie what is a very anthemic tune, despite not being as heavy as the rest. And there is a very cool nod to the Balls to the Wall era with “From the Ashes We Rise”, something I couldn’t help grinning over.
The multi-level makeup of “The Curse” once again calls to mind the Golden Years, and closer “Final Journey” swings that sledgehammer one last time to remind you that THIS IS MOTHERFUCKING ACCEPT SO YOU BETTER FUCKING GET IN LINE!!!From start to finish this is an excellent record, and with Blind Rage ACCEPT show no signs of slowing down; quite the opposite. It sure sounds like there’s a lot of blood still pumping through that Metal Heart and I can’t wait to hear this stuff live. First it was the Bulls, then the Lakers, and now ACCEPT. All of them can proudly list a three-peat on their résumés!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Last of a Dying Breed”, “Dark Side of My Heart”, “Final Journey”, “Bloodbath Mastermind”, “200 Years”, “Stampede”