When I were a lad, Accept were a force to be reckoned with. Denim jackets were adorned with Accept back patches, they topped the album charts with releases such as “Metal Heart” and “Russian Roulette” and they filled the biggest venues. After Udo’s initial departure however, it all started to fizzle out. Not even the reunion could reverse the downward slide. Udo, as we all know, managed to get quite a healthy solo career going. The others mostly disappeared from the public eye. Until 2010 that is. With a rock solid line-up, formed around the song writing nucleus of Hoffmann/Baltes and featuring ex-TT Quick singer Mark Tornillo, Accept have released this new album. And what an album it is.
Opening track “Beat The Bastards” is the aural equivalent of a smack upside the head. A fast paced metal song with lots of guitar solos. Showcase track “Teutonic Terror” (don’t tell me you didn’t catch the video on youtube) does much the same, only at a slower pace. We get our first sniff of teutonic backing vocals on this one. “The Abyss” continues much in the same vein. The title track is classic Accept fare, only with a better singer. Sorry Udo… “Shades Of Death” has some very cool rhythm playing. This one wouldn’t have been out of place on “Metal Heart” for instance. The heat is turned on once again for “Locked And Loaded” an up tempo track so scorching it peels paint! Bonus track “Time Machine” is another slab of vintage Accept. “Kill The Pain” is a ballad the guys just wouldn’t have been able to pull off with Udo still in the ranks. Tornillo really shines here. So does Hoffmann for that matter. “Rolling Thunder” and “Pandemic” pick up the pace again, doing what it says on the tin. “New World Coming” is groovy and melodic. “No Shelter” is another fast track that has those trademark clean rhythm guitars that let the music breathe a bit. A nice extended solo section is the icing on the cake. Album closer “Bucket Full Of Hate” completes the circle. It’s another killer metal song much like the first three tracks. A shame the album ends on a fade out rather than a bang though.
Overall the performances are kick ass. Hoffmann plays like a man possessed, there is some nifty guitar work on this platter. Mark Tornillo is actually a huge improvement over Udo. He can do the sneer but he can also sing, which helps the band in the more melodic moments. Accept sound very much like a current band, without losing their identity, which is at least partially due to Andy Sneap’s excellent production.
So is there nothing bad to say about this album? Well, at 72 minutes it’s too long. Unlike many other bands though, it’s not just a case of cutting some filler tracks. All the songs are good in their own right. There’s just a couple too many of them.
If you call yourself a metal fan, you owe it to yourself to get this album.
Hot Spots : Beat The Bastards, Teutonic Terror, Kill The Pain.
Rating : 90% (review by Belgian Leatherboy Sancho)