Accept - "Blind Rage" (CD)
"Blind Rage" track listing:
2. Dying Breed
3. Dark Side Of My Heart
4. Fall Of The Empire
5. Trail Of Tears
6. Wanna Be Free
7. 200 Years
8. Bloodbath Mastermind
9. From The Ashes We Rise
10. The Curse
11. Final Journey
Reviewed by CROMCarl on August 22, 2014
It’s startling enough to watch the energy displayed by the legendary Accept ever since Wolf Hoffmann decided to bring the band back from oblivion in 2009. From this point on, it is as if Accept has been living in a parallel universe – matching the period of time encompassing “Restless and Wild,” “Balls to the Wall,” “Metal Heart,” and “Russian Roulette.” If you really study it, it’s astounding: there really is a case for the fountain of youth. Accept was one of the first metal acts to grace my ears and there was never a time after 1989 where I have thought the period from 1981-1986 would ever be matched by the band in terms of classic value and pure metal greatness.
Even with the fantastic return in 1993 on “Objection Overruled,” that old magic had a short shelf life, as “Deathrow” and “Predator” followed with mixed results and many holes. Enter a renewed energy and two instant classics “Blood of Nations” and “Stalingrad: Brothers in Death,” and Accept is poised to recreate its glory days with an equal dose. “Blind Rage” has all the qualities that you have come from Accept classics even if it's just a smidge below “Stalingrad.”
Broken records aside, it bears repeating just how much Wolf Hoffmann needs more respect as metal’s best guitarist. Like Mozart with a fretboard, there is no guitarist on earth that can produce solos with this much classic quality, which includes the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and the great Victor Smolski. All classically trained guitarists should start with Wolf when it comes to learning how to write a real metal song. His style is as distinct as that of a vocalist and his songwriting is perfect in terms of producing the most perfect German metal. Check out the solos in “200 Years,” “Dark Side of My Heart,” and the integration of Edvard Grieg’s classic “Morning Mood” in the album closer “Final Journey.”
Having said that, even the best in the business don’t win on every single song they write and over the years there have been some questions. With “Blind Rage,” Accept displays some of its best material to date along with a little filler mixed throughout. There really isn’t a bad song on the album, but there are just a few that come across sounding a bit too close to previously released classics. Take “The Curse” for instance…while the song has all the hallmarks, it is eerily reminiscent of tracks like “Winterdreams” and “It’s Hard to Find A Way.” Likewise, “Dark Side of My Heart” starts off and for a split second you swear it was an updated version of “Up to the Limit.”
Now on to the many instant classics, which include “Stampede,” “Dying Breed,” “Trail of Tears,” and “200 Years,” all speedier and upbeat numbers that find their place among the band’s greatest. The one song that ends up as one of the best the band has written is “Fall of the Empire.” As a sucker for the unique deep low male backing vocals (an Accept trademark that I once dubbed the “Nazi chorus,” though it is only a reference to the male choruses of history’s most infamous group, which in this day and age would not be politically or morally correct), any time the band employs them, my interest peaks. Even in a mid-tempo song like “Wanna Be Free,” the use really enhances the song. While on the topic of “Wanna Be Free,” it is really enjoyable to hear more of the “softer” style vocals from Mark Tornillo. Interestingly enough, he gives a cool Blackie Lawless vibe when he comes down from the Udo-esque garble.
“Blind Rage” has left its mark and once again Accept continues this amazing streak of great releases, which has matched the 80’s releases blow for blow. While I did think it fell just a bit below “Stalingrad” (“Shadow Soldiers” is just unmatched in recent memory), the album proves as good as it gets and easily ranks among the best ever from Accept. As a huge fan that has been privileged enough to have lived in both great eras of this band, I would tell any fan that laments missing out on the classic era of Accept due to accident of birth: you need only buy the latest albums and go see shows now. How often do you get a chance to go back in time? Quick, it won’t last forever!
Highs: Reliving a parallel universe, Accept easily matches its classic output from 1981-1986.
Lows: Just a little bit more filler than on "Stalingrad," but not much!
Bottom line: For the last five years, Accept has matched its most classic era with the fury of "Blind Rage!"
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