Blind Rage

Written by: EW on 13/09/2014 20:32:20

Accept’s return to action over the past few years following a long lay-off has been nothing short of a revelation, especially considering the absence from the modern day line-up of the diminutive Udo Dirkschneider. The statement of intent to continue without him has been proven apt with his replacement Mark Tornillo offering fantastic pipes in the vein of both his predecessor and AC/DC’s Brian Young but just as importantly, three albums of quality blue collar heavy metal. The band’s 80s legacy may cast an unenviable shadow but like "Blood of the Nations" and "Stalingrad" before it, "Blind Rage" is in many ways unprepossessing yet enjoyable from the first listen and an absolute justification for the band’s continued existence.

Allied to the impressive level of consistency throughout these eleven tracks and 58 minutes is that when Accept get it right it really is of such a high quality. The legendary German troupe are not set on reinventing any wheels but the likes of "200 Years" and "Dying Breed" are just two examples of remarkably catchy listens which are likely to be sure-fire hits through the simple expedience of the competent musicianship and sing-along choruses on offer. The track name refrain in the peaks of "Fall of the Empire" are even better still, being fully emphasised by it’s slower, moodier build up in contrast to the more rollicking up-tempo of the trio before it. Of those, "Dark Side of My Heart" bears a tasty resemblance to their 1984 "Love Child" in a fine demonstration of how Accept have moved onwards in the intervening 30 years yet stayed to their heart and recognisable sound, both in songsmith and production standards. That sound is far more than what the hordes of meat and potato heavy metal bands can offer in vain attempts for success, for this varies from the bluesy swagger opening "From the Ashes We Rise" to a surprising neoclassical solo in closing track "Final Journey" which delightfully brought to mind an At Vance track I reviewed a while back.

There is a noticeable split between the first and second half of the album in the way each track comes to fruition, which makes for a slight deterioration through the LP. The disappointing "Wanna Be Free" heralds a run of tracks which fail mostly to burst into life with the vivacity as "Stampede”, "Dying Breed" and their cohorts at the top of the album, but where "From the Ashes We Rise" and "The Curse" eventually come good, "The “Bloodbath Mastermind" feels a touch jaded in comparison. One of many fine solos from the auspicious pair of Wolf Hoffmann and Herman Frank leads "The Curse" which owns vocal lines not altogether dissimilar to a Dio "Holy Diver”-era cut, before closer "Final Journey" commences with great vigour and doesn’t let up for it’s five minutes, classical solo very much included. It concludes an album that begins extremely brightly and while it falls a bit in the latter half "Blind Rage" is a great exercise in classic heavy metal showing that Accept do not need to rely on their classic material to survive today.


Download: 200 Years, Dying Breed, Dark Side of My Heart
For The Fans Of: Dio, Judas Priest, UDO
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.08.2014
Nuclear Blast Records

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