“Accept” The Rise of Chaos by Adam McCann
Nuclear Blast Records 2017
Analog Men Ruling a Digital World
Accept are arguably much more integral to the development of German heavy metal than Scorpions and with the arrival of ‘Breaker’, ‘Restless and Wild’ and ‘Balls to the Wall’, Accept had truly found their stride developing their style of heavy metal which was unique and instantly identifiable. Led by the omnipresent technical wizardry of Wolf Hoffmann, alongside the shrill vocals of Udo Dirkschneider, Accept would become hugely influential. After a long hiatus, Accept would tear heavy metal asunder in 2010 with the release of the ‘Blood of the Nations’ and although Dirkschneider had long since departed – a solo artist in his own right, he was replaced by former T.T Quick frontman, Mark Tornillo. For the past 7 years, Tornillo has been as much part of the Accept furniture as Dirkschneider ever was and with Tornillo as the mouthpiece, Accept have released a steady stream of successful albums, the latest of which ‘The Rise of Chaos’ being released through Nuclear Blast Records on the 4th August.
As a band, Accept have managed to use their unique sound to stay ahead of the pack, trailblazing their heavy metal sound and here in 2017, Accept’s sound is like a well-worn sweater, it is comfy and familiar and ‘The Rise of Chaos’ draws into action with ‘Die By the Sword’. ‘Die By the Sword’ may have a warm, familiar riff similar to that of ‘Stampede’ from their ‘Blind Rage’ album, but who cares? ‘Die By the Sword’ has everything that you would expect to hear from an Accept song, it has a killer riff, coupled with a simple yet effective chorus all delivered with the barking backing vocal that has become synonymous with Accept over the years, all the while being delivered through Tornillo’s fantastic piercing rasp.
If the previous Accept album ‘Blind Rage’ started well and petered out midway through, ‘The Rise of Chaos’ has taken the time to rectify this and injected a huge amount of nitro into the Accept engine. The title track is one of the best Tornillo era songs as he screeches his way through a classic in the making and from the start of the album with ‘Die By the Sword’, to the closing ‘Race to Extinction’, ‘The Rise of Chaos’ does not let up or run out of steam once.
Following the pounding assault of the title track, Accept unleash a beast and debatably the best song on the album with ‘Koolaid’. ‘Koolaid’ shows that once more, Accept are capable of dealing with rather bleak subject matter justice. The song itself tells the story of the Rev. Jim Jones massacre in Guyana 1978 and comes complete with one of the best choruses that you will hear this year. However, as much as ‘Koolaid’ wanders 39 years in the past, Accept show that they are also up with current affairs; ‘Die By the Sword’ condemns the cowardice of the recent terror attacks whilst ‘Carry the Weight’ deals with the tremendous burdens of the day, global warming, natural disasters, charity vultures, inflation and even goes as far as to mention Brexit, a feat that may be unique to Accept in heavy metal.
Although, when listening to ‘The Rise of Chaos’, you realise that not all of the subject matter Accept cover is so serious. ‘Analog Man’ is a brilliantly written song, it is fully tongue in cheek about how Accept are growing older and how much the world has changed around them. ‘Analog Man’ makes allusions to how Accept were ‘born in a cave’ and that their ‘cell phone is smarter than me’, as well as referencing their earlier work from ‘Breaker’ by referring to themselves ‘old school son of a bitch’. ‘Analog Man’ coupled with ‘Hole in the Head’ makes for some rather amusing moments, showing that after 45 years, Accept still have a sense of humour by being able to poke fun at themselves as well as the world around them.
One thing prevails out of ‘The Rise of Chaos’ above all else and that is the fantastic musicianship, Wolf Hoffmann conducts his band like a deranged conductor and it is his guitar playing which makes the album come alive. The introduction to ‘Koolaid’ is air-guitaringly good whilst ‘What’s Done is Done’ contains a beautiful soaring guitar solo which builds up and up to a crescendo, all courtesy of Hoffmann. However, the accolade for the best piece of musicianship on ‘The Rise of Chaos’ is the guitar solo during ‘World’s Colliding’, a fantastic slow burning solo of Randy Rhoads standards with a huge Hoffmann twist. This solo in particular reminds us that Wolf Hoffmann is one of heavy metal’s most underrated guitar players.
Once more, Accept have pulled one out of the hat, ‘The Rise of Chaos’ is another great offering of heavy metal and if Accept truly believe that they are analog men trapped in a digital world, they Accept do a fantastic job at ruling the digital heavy metal world. Accept had their golden age in the early to mid-1980’s, but golden ages come and go, but in 2010 another golden age dawned, it gave Accept a second wind and with ‘The Rise of Chaos’, the golden age is well and truly set to continue. (84/100)
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine