Accept – Blind Rage

Accept - Blind RageThank the Metal Gods that Accept decided to return in 2009 with Blood of the Nations, an album that still ranks easily amongst the best these Teutonic metallers ever released. The same could be said about the equally stunning Stalingrad. In 2014, Accept returns again with their third post-reunion album, and it might just be the best yet.

It’s utterly mystifying how these guys were able to conjure up a quality album like Blood of the Nations in the first place, after such a long break. Accept, after all, did die a slow death after a decidedly less than stellar three-album run when they first reunited with long-time vocalist Udo Dirkschneider back in the nineties. To again reach the quality of Restless and Wild or Balls to the Wall, when the band was at its peak both creatively and commercially, seemed impossible, but primary songwriters Hoffmann and Baltes managed it either way. What’s more: new frontman (and ex-TT Quick singer) Mark Tornillo blew friend and foe away, both on the new material and the classic songs, all of which sound positively invigorated again live on stage.

On Blind Rage, Accept finally succeeds in building the bridge between their eighties’ heyday and their current resurgence. There is a more classic sound to this album, and really harks back to their older material. First and foremost, of course, you have Wolf Hoffmann and Peter Frank leading the twin-guitar onslaught, delivering a collection of riffs and licks that would not have been out of place on some of the band’s first few albums. Then you have Baltes and Schwarzmann, who once again provide an extremely tight backbone to these guys’ traditional metal. Finally, there’s Tornillo ripping away at the forefront, manoeuvring somewhere between Udo’s screech and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson’s gravelly rasp. The man can also carry a tune, however, and it’s in range and diversity that he distances himself in a positive way.

The material on Blind Rage is nothing less than great, and with perhaps Bloodbath Mastermind being the only slightly lesser song on it, there is absolutely nothing to complain about here. You have your typical fist in the air metal on Stampede, Dark Side of my Heart, 200 Years and Final Journey, there’s your fast as a shark breakneck speeder with Trail of Tears (which includes some great guitar work) and a couple of mid-tempo bangers sprinkled across Blind Rage to even things out a little. The album is full of larger-than-life riffs, the vocal work is metal as hell, and there are great solos all over the place (listen to Hoffmann diving head-first into Edvard Grieg’s Morning Mood on Final Journey; goose bumps guaranteed).

It has been a long time since I have had nothing remotely bad to say about a new metal album coming out, but Blind Rage just kicks major arse from front to back. I’m sure you’ll not be converted if Blood of the Nations or Stalingrad were not your cup of tea (or if you’re a die-hard Udo adept), but this is just about as metal as they come. And if that didn’t convince you, perhaps I’d better let the video for Stampede speak for itself. Thank the Metal Gods indeed.

Release date: out now
Label: Nuclear Blast

Track listing:

  1. “Stampede (5:14)
  2. Dying Breed (5:21)
  3. Dark Side of My Heart (4:37)
  4. Fall of the Empire (5:45)
  5. Trail of Tears (4:08)
  6. Wanna Be Free (5:37)
  7. 200 Years (4:30)
  8. Bloodbath Mastermind (5:59)
  9. From the Ashes We Rise (5:43)
  10. The Curse (6:28)
  11. Final Journey (5:02)

Line-up:

  • Mark Tornillo – vocals
  • Wolf Hoffmann – guitar
  • Herman Frank – guitar
  • Peter Baltes – bass
  • Stefan Schwarzmann – drums

Further surfing:

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