|Posted on September 7, 2014 at 10:55 PM|
Accept - Blind Rage
Written by Antony Scholefield
Over 45 years, German stalwarts Accept have sold 17 million records with their endurable and highly enjoyable speed metal. This August they released Blind Rage, an album fronted by a picture of a raging bull, and they're still committed to the heavy metal style popularised at the tail-end of the 1980s. In fact, their commitment remains bullish. Yes, that was absolutely intended.
The album's best tracks are lined up at the top. 'Stampede' is a suitably manic opener that demonstrates Accept's need for speed. Maybe it's too obscure to be a good comparison, but to me it sounds like a darker cousin of AC/DC's 1983 track 'Landslide'.
Next up is the rollicking 'Dying Breed'. It's just as heavy but there's a catchy, hip-swinging jive behind it. 'Dark Side Of My Heart' brings a touch of glam-rock to the speed-metal formula, and it caps off a helluva hat-trick of songs.
Maybe my AC/DC reference isn't too out-there because Accept did open for them a few years ago, and singer Mark Tornillo does sound a lot like 1990s-era Brian Johnson. Unlike AC/DC's Young brothers, however, Accept guitarists Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank aren't scene-stealing soloists. It's all about the rhythm, backed up by Stefan Schwarzmann's frenzied drum-lines.
Criticism where it's due, Blind Rage isn't perfect. 'Trail Of Tears' follows the usual modus operandi - it's one of the heaviest numbers - but just doesn't hit the spot, for reasons I can't explain. 'Wanna Be Free' is another wobble, trying too hard to recapture the politically-charged fury of the band's 1983 album Balls to the Wall.
Fortunately, the record picks up the pieces for a strong finish. 'Final Journey' is perhaps the cheaper brother of 'Stampede', but it's still an entertaining finale. On the way along, there are plenty of reasons to get excited.
'Fall Of The Empire' is a slow, grinding number that keeps things interesting. 'Bloodbath Mastermind' gives the guitarists their chance to break out some blistering solos, and it's another of the album's best tracks. '200 Years' is a post-apocalyptic rocker flavoured with a post-punk twang.
Overall, there's nothing outlandish or revolutionary in Blind Rage. Accept know what they want to do, and they do it without selling out. There are no tricks here. If you need an unfussy fix of speed metal, this album will keep you happy. No bull.
Categories: Album Reviews