Album Review – Accept / The Rise of Chaos (2017)

Let total chaos and destruction rise to the sound of the brand new album by the unstoppable Teutonic masters of Heavy Metal.

I guess I might have already said that with different words in my review for the excellent Blind Rage, from 2014, but I can guarantee you that you can buy any album by German Heavy Metal institution Accept from the Mark Tornillo-era without even listening to a single second of it, and you won’t regret your decision at all. Quite the contrary, you’ll always be treated to the cream of Teutonic metal music, just like what happens with pretty much every new release by traditional German acts such as Rage, Grave Digger, Kreator, Primal Fear and Helloween, and that trend goes on in 2017 with another sensational release by Wolf Hoffmann, Mark Tornillo & Co., titled The Rise of Chaos, the fifteenth studio album in their unparalleled career.

The Rise of Chaos, which by the way was released just one day after their memorable performance at Wacken Open Air this year, is their first album with guitarist Uwe Lulis (Grave Digger, Giftdwarf) and drummer Christopher Williams (War Within, Blackfoot), replacing Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann, respectively. The album is also the first of their career to feature the amazing art by Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák, from Hjules Illustration and Design (who has already worked through the years with iconic bands like Grave Digger, Destruction and Annihilator), perfectly representing the chaotic and desperate situation our society has been through lately, as well as all the power and electricity flowing from the top-tier Heavy Metal played by Accept.

The initial guitars by the flammable duo Wolf and Uwe already send a clear message of the old school feast that’s about to start in Die by the Sword, showcasing classic kick-ass Accept with a modern twist to avoid sounding outdated. It’s simply impossible not to raise your fists and sing its blackened, catchy lyrics together with the band (“We’re sinking deeper in a world of darkness / It’s kill or be killed from the day we are born / We’re an evil seed from the soul of a serpent / An evil breed in a valley of thorns”), I should say. In Hole in the Head the whole band keeps blasting sheer awesomeness in the form of our good old Heavy Metal, with Christopher being precise and groovy on drums while Mark sounds, as usual, fantastic with his raspy, melodic vocals in this mid-tempo dark tune. And the title-track The Rise of Chaos, an apocalyptic hymn poised to become a classic, could be considered the epitome of the new Accept that was reborn with the superb Blood of the Nations, from 2010, bringing fast and thrilling riffs, spot-on bass and drums, and a classy performance by Mark on vocals.

Inspired by the November 1978 Jonestown deaths, in which over 900 members of the Peoples Temple, who were followers of Jim Jones, died, many of whom committed suicide by drinking a mixture of a powdered soft-drink flavoring agent laced with cyanide and prescription drugs Valium, Phenergan, and chloral hydrate, while the rest of the members, including 89 infants and elderly, were killed by forced ingestion of the poison, the rockin’ tune Koolaid is a beyond fun composition by Wolf and his crew, perfect for their live performances or to sing by yourself while driving on the highway (“Running through the jungle / Way back in ’78 / Here’s the story of the people’s temple / And my great escape / Communing with a madman / The promise of utopia / White nights, suicide drills / Shades of things to come”). Perhaps the most important message in the end should be: don’t drink the Koolaid, no matter what the preacher says! Anyway, back to the album we have No Regrets, one of the heaviest songs of all where Christopher speeds up the pace while bassist Peter Baltes keeps his bass rumbling in the background. This is traditional and straightforward German metal the way we like it, with highlights to the excellent guitar solo face-off between Wolf and Uwe; followed by Analog Man, a song that’s not only an ode to the 80’s, but it definitely feels it was actually written in the 80’s. What a fun metal hymn to sing along with those “old school sons of bitches trapped in this digital hell”, with Mark’s amazing vocals being effectively supported by the song’s traditional backing vocals. There’s no way not to get addicted to its cheesy lyrics (“I was born in a cave, when stereo was all the rage / Gatefold vinyl and eight tracks ruled the world / Now there’s flat screens in 3D / My cell phone’s smarter than me / I can’t keep up, my brains are beginning to burn”), and what to say about the dial-up internet sound at the end?

And Wolf, Mark and the rest of the guys are absolutely on fire, delivering another powerful tune full of electrified riffs, potent drums and a true headbanging rhythm, titled What’s Done Is Done, which can be described in short as four minutes of top-notch Accept for our avid ears, whereas the trademark guitar lines by Wolf ignite one more blast of awesome Heavy Metal named Worlds Colliding, with Mark putting his heart and soul into delivering the message from the song’s lyrics in the most beautiful way possible. Moreover, the guitar solos provided by Wolf and Uwe throughout the song are just superb, adding a lot of electricity to this already kick-ass composition. But if you’re a fan of their faster creations, then Carry the Weight is tailored for you, with Christopher keeping the energy level really high while Wolf and Uwe continue their slashing attack, resulting in a more-than-recommended alternative to cheer you up when facing tough times and situations (as Mark says during the song, don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders). And closing another flawless album by this iconic German institution we have more old school Heavy Metal in the form of the solid tune Race to Extinction, where an imposing intro turns into a dark and harmonious display of classic metal sounds led by Mark’s vigorous voice and the sharp riffs by Wolf and Uwe.

What else can be said about Accept and their unstoppable Heavy Metal killing machine that hasn’t been said yet? They have delivered to us, crazy metalheads, four first-class albums of old school metal music in a row since Mark joined the band back in 2009, and based on the amount of passion they put on creating each one of their electrifying songs it doesn’t seem that they’re planning to call it quits anytime soon. If you want to add The Rise of Chaos to your Accept collection (and you certainly should), there are several awesome options available at the Nuclear Blast webstore, all of them bringing to you the best soundtrack imaginable to watch all the chaos and destruction caused by mankind rise. And if the world as we know it is indeed coming to an end, can we ask it to “wait” until Accept release at least one more album of superior Heavy Metal like this one?

Best moments of the album: Die by the Sword, The Rise of Chaos, Koolaid, Analog Man and Worlds Colliding.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Die by the Sword 5:00
2. Hole in the Head 4:01
3. The Rise of Chaos 5:16
4. Koolaid 4:58
5. No Regrets 4:20
6. Analog Man 4:10
7. What’s Done Is Done 4:08
8. Worlds Colliding 4:28
9. Carry the Weight 4:33
10. Race to Extinction 5:24

Band members
Mark Tornillo – lead vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – guitar
Uwe Lulis – guitar
Peter Baltes – bass guitar
Christopher Williams – drums

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Album Review – Accept / Blind Rage (2014)

And we salute Accept for another wonderful metal album.

Rating3

accept-blind rageI’m pretty sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but in my opinion Teutonic Heavy Metal icons Accept sound a lot more powerful today than in their early days. Of course I enjoy their old material and acknowledge their undeniable value to the history of traditional Heavy Metal, but the music those restless warriors from Germany have been generating in the past 5 years is beyond  incredible. Who doesn’t love such metal anthems like “Teutonic Terror”, “Stalingrad” or “Kill the Pain”?

With their “six string sabers” and “breeding metal from within”, their battle for heavy music rages on with the excellent Blind Rage, the fourteenth studio album in their extensive career and an album that can also be considered the third installment in this new amazing Accept-era. Although it might not be as brilliant as the masterpiece Blood of the Nations (2010), it’s undoubtedly as great as or even better than Stalingrad (2012) and, more important than that, it keeps the band 100% alive and on fire for our purest joy.

Blind Rage kicks off with the furious Stampede, which literally means “a sudden panicked rush of a number of horses, cattle, or other animals”, and that pretty much summarizes not only this song but the whole album: it is pure traditional Heavy Metal music, full of fast and heavy riffs straight to your face. Add to that a catchy and ass-kicking chorus and an awesome performance by Mark Tornillo, and you’ll get addicted to this song without even noticing. Things get even better in Dying Breed, one of those memorable headbanging songs with great riffs and solos, absolutely perfect for enjoying with your metal friends. In regards to the lyrics, they are a beautiful ode to many Heavy Metal icons such as Judas Priest and Motörhead (“And we salute you / The last of a dying breed”), with so much feeling it’s impossible not to fall in love for this song.

acceptDark Side of My Heart, a song that emanates the same energy the band had in the 80’s, showcases another beautiful performance by Mark on vocals, reminding us one more time why he was chosen to be their new frontman, while Fall of the Empire is a much heavier tune, with melancholic lyrics and strong bass lines. The whole band sounds very cohesive and inspired in another one of the top moments of the album, the awesome Trail of Tears, a song that flirts with Power Metal and reminds me a little of “Fast as a Shark” (especially its speedy rhythm), followed by Wanna Be Free, a Heavy Metal anthem about the fight for freedom and all the horrible issues in our world. It’s almost a ballad, but with that heavy punch only Accept can provide us.

The next few tracks were also born to be classics: was the song 200 Years, with its interesting lyrics about the end of civilization, part of one of their albums from the 80’s and they just re-recorded it by any chance? What about Bloodbath Mastermind, with its 6 minutes of pure Heavy Metal? The bass lines sound awesome here, enhanced by some superb guitar solos and a high-end chorus. And we also have the semi-ballad From the Ashes We Rise, a highly recommended Hard Rock tune for hitting the road with the people you love. Finally, Accept offer us The Curse, the longest track of the album with lots of melody in the guitars and vocal lines, which kind of continues where the previous song ended but could have been a little shorter to avoid losing momentum, and Final Journey, another tune tailored for anyone who loves banging their heads, with kudos to drummer Stefan Schwarzmann for an outstanding job done in this song. In addition, the impetuous album art by Dan Goldsworthy, displaying a monstrous enraged blood red bull, ends up being the icing on the amazing cake of heavy music found in Blind Rage.

Last but not least, I honestly believe nothing Accept have done since their latest comeback would have been possible without frontman Mark Tornillo. Not only the three albums with him on vocals are 100% addictive and much better than a great part of the old material by Accept, but the “American blood” of the band proves once again he’s here to stay, with an outstanding performance during the entire album and singing even better at their live concerts as you can see HERE. With that said, let’s raise our fists and bang our heads in salutation to those Heavy Metal soldiers, certain that they will keep on rockin’ and delivering us more masterful albums like Blind Rage for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: Stampede, Dying Breed, Trail of Tears and Bloodbath Mastermind.

Worst moments of the album: Fall of the Empire and The Curse.

Released in 2014 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

Japanese Edition Bonus Track
12. Thrown to the Wolves 3:51

Band members
Mark Tornillo – lead vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – guitar
Herman Frank – guitar
Peter Baltes – bass guitar
Stefan Schwarzmann – drums