The Rise Of Chaos

Written by: AP on 08/02/2018 21:40:36

Despite releasing 15 full-length records in the span of 42 years (!) already, Accept shows no signs of slowing down on their latest blast of classic heavy metal, “The Rise of Chaos”. The German veterans’ longevity and popularity become even more remarkable when one considers just how little the band has changed over the course of its long and storied career — and this in spite of numerous line-up alterations and the three hiatuses that they have endured between 1989 and 1992, 1997 and 2005, and 2005 and ’09. Indeed, Accept is essentially the AC/DC of metal, churning out album after album of attitudinal tunes for the beer drinkers among us, and like their hard rocking Aussie equivalents, it all burns down to experience and the songwriting prowess that comes with it at this point. As such, one should expect nothing beyond what has already been tried and tested, and seen to be a success on the band’s previous 14 outings, from this newest addition to their mercurial repertoire.

As ever, the key to getting the most out of “The Rise of Chaos” is to manage your expectations; the music offers few subtler nuances than sociopolitical lyricism howled over bombastic riffs and blazing guitar solos. The songs are roughly divided into three categories: those that are so stubbornly and prototypically Mark Tornillo-era Accept-like that they are easily confused with material on the other three records that feature his vocals; those that are either so absurd, so hyperbolic or so clichéd that one is not sure whether to laugh, cry, or just raise the horns; and those that seem destined to become revered heavy metal classics. The opening track, “Die by the Sword”, belongs in the first category, offering little else to remember than its trite, albeit quite live-friendly mantra that ”If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword!”, and although the subsequent “Hole in the Head”, with its dictionarial listing of ways to say ”I don’t need you”, is amusing enough to deserve some merit, one must endure a good nine minutes before Accept provides a reminder of why they are held in such esteem by critics and disciples alike. Built on a foundation of thrashy, Kreator-esque riffage to get your head banging, a call-to-arms in the chorus to unite the masses in singsong, and ample guitar soloing by the band’s legendary founding guitarist, Wolf Hoffman, to ensure that no one is left in doubt about the technical prowess that he possesses, the title track might as well be a step-by-step guide to penning an ultra-catchy blast of heavy metal and it draws a thick line under the fact that when Accept gets it right, they soar miles above the majority of their peers.

Other epic moments arrive in the shape of “What’s Done Is Done” and “Worlds Colliding”, a pair of vivacious tracks near the end of the album that make two-pronged assaults on your memory, inspiring awe both by virtue Hoffman & his new cohort Uwe Lulis’ application of their instruments and as a result of powerful vocal performances by the 63 year-old Tornillo. Indeed, there is plenty of thunder, venom and urgency left in the man’s voice yet, and judging by the defiance with which he asserts that he is ”just old school son of a bitch in a digital world” as he riles against the innovations that have been ushered into the music industry in the standout “Analog Man”, it seems safe to dismiss any notion that Accept (or at the very least Tornillo) might be considering throwing in the towel soon. Granted, there are signs that Accept has been running in circles for some time scattered amongst the terrific material comprising “The Rise of Chaos”, manifesting as passable but ultimately quite forgettable songs like “No Regrets” and “Race to Extinction”. But even though the group’s attempt at tackling the infamous Jonestown massacre in “Koolaid” becomes unintentionally (and perhaps unfortunately, considering the subject matter) hilarious in the namesake chorus, few will be able to resist the urge to roar ”Don’t drink the Koolaid! / Don’t taste the holy water! / Don’t drink the Koolaid! / No matter what the preacher says” along with all the other excellent choruses with which the album is riddled.

So although “The Rise of Chaos” is not on par with Accept’s most glorious output — such as their definitive masterpiece, 1983’s “Balls to the Wall” — it packs more hits than misses and, at the very least, provides another excuse for the band to hit the road again. Come looking for new thinking or daring forays outside their staple late ‘70s/early ‘80s style of heavy metal and you will leave wanting. But for those about to rock, Accept salutes you!


Download: The Rise of Chaos, Analog Man, What’s Done Is Done, Worlds Colliding
For the fans of: Judas Priest, Saxon, U.D.O.
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Release date 04.08.2017
Nuclear Blast Records

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