If you were lucky enough to have caught Accept live earlier this year, when they gave Sabaton an almighty run for their money, then it surely could not have escaped you exactly how potent a force the German veterans still are. Vintage? Yes. Classic? Most definitely… but a nostalgia act? Hell, no! The addition of Mark Tornillo in 2009 gave the band a much needed shot in the arm, and the subsequent albums released since have been of exceptional quality. ‘The Rise Of Chaos’ continues this rich vein of form, and is anything but the sound of a band trading on past glories.
Evergreen guitarist Wolf Hoffmann sounds as potent as ever, with producer Andy Sneap coaxing an effortless performance out of him. Fellow guitarist Uwe Lulis makes his studio recording debut, and the pair make quite a formidable team. No worrying change in style or signs of slowing down, it’s full-pelt traditional metal, with lashings of AC/DC-on-speed thrown in for good measure. If Accept didn’t do it for you on the last few albums (why not?), then that is unlikely to change here. If the rampaging ‘Die By The Sword, ‘Carry The Weight’ and ‘No Regrets’ don’t get the blood pumping then nothing will, fella. The twin guitar playing on ‘No Regrets’ is particularly effective and, in places, some of Hoffmann’s playing echoes his stunning solo album, ‘Headbangers Symphony’. New drummer Christopher Williams is hardly the shy and retiring type either, and he totally pulverises, as he did on the tour. When Williams locks into a groove with veteran bassist Peter Baltes on ‘Analog Man’ and ‘Koolaid’, they are simply showing the countless AC/DC copycats how the big boys do it. Tornillo shows that he could easily step into Axl’s shoes, should Angus gets fed up waiting on the Guns N’ Roses tour to end. The influence of bar-room rock n’ roll are still as important today as it was decades ago when Bon was alive. ‘Analog Man’ will strike a chord with old farts everywhere, as Accept go on a rant against technology… ”I was born in a cave, when stereo was all the rage, gatefold vinyl and 8-tracks ruled the world”. Pair that with an AC/DC shuffle, and it’s manna from heaven.
‘The Rise Of Chaos’ is chock full of (but not restricted to) heavy and aggressive guitars, pounding rhythms, and the musical equivalent of the gas pedal being floored. It’s also an album of great wit and lyrics that are easily relatable (‘Hole In The Head’ and ‘Analog Man’ especially), and could a song be more topical than ‘The Rise Of Chaos’? These guys are not slowing down, they are just getting started.
Available August 4th on Nuclear Blast
Review – Dave Stott