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Blind Rage

Nuclear Blast (2014)
Rating: 8/10

So here we have it, studio album number 14 from Germany’s Accept which introduces itself via way of ‘Stampede’; a no holds barred metal attack featuring that formidable two-pronged axe attack known as Herman Frank and Wolf Hoffmann.

Vocalist Mark Tornillo goes straight for the jugular, acting up like a thrashin’ version of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson as he dredges the last dregs of metallic fury from the inner vacuum of his throat and gives drum madman Stefan Schwarzmann even more reason to up that molten tempo.

This is pure igneous metalm delivered from the fists, coated with spit and burning like hot coals. You know what you’re getting from Accept; it’s always been a case of that barbaric metallic meandering that borders on speed metal angst and hard-as-nails melody. No deviation from its path, Accept is no doubt one of the most consistent and reliable forces within the metal realm as it burns rubber, removes eyeballs and produces sweat by the bucket load in its quest to rage.

Of course, there will always be the detractors, but this quintet is too long and iron-like in the tooth to care as once again it shreds, pummels and just about smokes – keeping very much in the vein of the band’s previous brace of outings in that the music remains focused, and in spite of lacking overall frills there’s always enough meat on the bone to satisfy our metal hunger.

After that bulldozing ‘Stampede’ extravaganza, which is about as straight as a bullet to the brain can be, we’re racked up and stretched again this time with the metal anthem ‘Dying Breed’; a five-or-so minute blitz kicking in with a killer memorable riff and strong ball-busting bass-line courtesy of Peter Baltes. It’s mid-tempo but weighty, offering an almost Germanic stomp to its pulverising and happy to pay homage to some of metal’s greatest bands as Tornillo pukes out references to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC and Motörhead before claiming that such gods are “the last of a dying breed”. Hopefully he’s wrong, but one gets the feeling that such veterans can’t go on forever, and yet there’s no lull in their procession of metallic melody.

‘Dark Side Of My Heart’ with its menacing plod and vocal drool, ‘Fall Of The Empire’ with its ominous chug, ‘Trail Of Tears’ with its furious gallop and ‘Wanna Be Free’ all come roaring out of the traps. The latter is the most subtle of these with its deft acoustic intro and gradual build and where again the bass of Baltes is prominent and the message clear in addressing the world’s issues.

This is most certainly an album of two halves. ‘200 Years’ is delivered with traditional metal nuances, with that kicking percussion and Tornillo’s brooding vocal sneer, while ‘Bloodbath Mastermind’ is a furious concoction of heavy riffage and devilish vocalisation. ‘From The Ashes We Rise’ is another glorious anthem of majesty bringing an AC/DC-styled fizzing plod and Tornillo’s rough ‘n’ ready growls. Meanwhile, ‘The Curse’ and ‘Final Journey’ cap off this opus, my favourite being the latter and a fine way to finish off such a sizzling opus as the band resort to thrash tactics to bring down what remains of the wall.

And so, Blind Rage is another hard-boiled addition to the Accept arsenal and proof that hot-bloodied, full steam ahead metal is just as relevant now as it was four decades ago.

Neil Arnold

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