CD Reviews

Accept - 'Blood Of The Nations' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 19, 2010    
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By far the best thing to bear the Accept name in more than 20 years.

Thanks to pioneers like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep hard rock / heavy metal (call it what you will) had become a global phenomenon in the 70’s, and despite the best efforts of punk, the rise of the NWOBHM confirmed it wasn’t going to go away. Thing was, up until that point it was largely a British invention; a quiet, decidedly working class revolution conceived by a generation sick and tired of conforming to the straight jacketed stereotypes forced upon it by a post 60’s establishment increasingly out of touch with reality.

Sure, it wasn’t the exclusive preserve of the Brits – German act Scorpions were already beginning to make a few international waves for example – but British steel was still widely regarded as the best in the world. For me however, the balance of power really started to shift in 1982 with the arrival of the then little known Accept and their groundbreaking fourth album ‘Restless And Wild’.

Originally hailing from Solingen, the band can trace their roots all the way back to the late 60’s, although their professional career didn’t really begin until the mid 70’s. Undoubtedly prime movers in the power/speed/thrash metal revolution that swept through Europe in the 80’s, the Accept attack stood out from the crowd for a number of reasons – not least because their angst ridden twin guitar sound and guttural vocal style of diminutive demigod Udo Dirkschneider was like nothing else you’d ever heard at the time. But more than that, for all their bluster and brutality Accept new the value of incorporating strong melodies and big hooks into their sonic firestorm. That’s why albums such as ‘Balls To The Wall’, ‘Russian Roulette’ and the gobsmackingly brilliant ‘Metal Heart’ have become part of metal folklore, and why the name Accept will live forever amongst the enlightened.

The band originally called it quits at the dawn of the 90’s following the lukewarm response to new vocalist David Reece on the ‘Eat The Heat’ album (personally speaking, whilst not an Accept classic, I thought it had its moments), only to reform again a couple of years later when Udo came back. Albeit much darker, their three 90’s releases still had some merit – 96’s second swansong ‘Predator’ especially – but by then the world had moved on. Skip forward to 2010 and after what seems like forever, the name of Accept is in the news once again - only this time there’s no Udo.

Going forward without the voice most think of as ‘the very definition of Accept’ was a risky move, but in Mark Tornillo (ex TT Quick) they’ve made a very smart choice – smart because he’s enough like Udo to cope with the classics live, but different enough to deflect accusations of outright plagiarism. Produced by Andy Sneap, ‘Blood Of The Nations’ has to be one of the most anticipated comebacks of the year, and believe me, if you’re a classic Accept fan, it won’t disappoint. Apart from the sound (which is huge by the way), all the classic Accept trademarks that were missing from the last three studio albums are back in abundance – searing riffs and solos from Messrs Hoffman and Frank, broodingly ominous bass and drums from Peter Baltes and Stefan Schwarzmann, tortured metal vocals, but most importantly, that Teutonic/gothic/neo-classical bravado that defines Accept.

Shooting from the hip straight from the off with rampaging opener ‘Beat The Bastards’, tracks like ‘Teutonic Terror’, ‘Shades Of Death’, ‘Locked And Loaded’, ‘Pandemic’ or the wistful melancholy of ‘Kill The Pain’ all hark back to a time when Accept ruled supreme. Too early to say whether it will stand the test of time like their mid 80’s output, but ‘Blood Of The Nations’ sure gets stronger with every play, and is by far the best thing to bear the Accept name in more than 20 years … bit of a monster!


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