Sunday, September 7, 2014

Accept - Blind Rage

Accept is not just any band, they're an institution in metal. Officially formed in 1976 their roots go back to 1968. This band is an absolute favorite of mine, and most metal heads, based on their contribution to metal during it's infancy. Albums like Restless and Wild and Balls To The Wall were instrumental in getting me into metal and hold a special place in my "Metal Heart." After numerous splits, reunions, and hiatuses, the band went back to the drawing board and in 2009 the band reformed with a new vocalist and a new energy. They released two balls out metal albums and it appeared that not only were Accept back, they were back with a vengeance.

Accept's newest and 14th full length album, Blind Rage, is actually the perfect successor to the two previous albums. Once again we have guitar driven heavy metal as only Accept can do it. This album is just full of quality riffs and enough hooks to grab you. What's different here is that the songs seem more thought out. You have straight up rockers like the opener, "Stampede." This was a teaser that the band released back in July. I thought it was a great song then and I stand by that. It's melodic but with enough aggression to make it believable. The guitar work is just amazing. There's solos galore...which is right up my alley. Then you have "Dark Side of my Heart" that could have been on any of the 80s albums. This song just reeks of the 80s with the slow verse leading up to the arena rock sounding chorus and 80s metal gang vocals. Another bad ass solo on this song makes it an Accept classic already. Then you have an all out ass kicker like "Trail of Tears." This is a speed metal Accept at it's finest, fast but yet melodic and catchy.

But even with the diversity in the sounds, this is still an Accept metal album. It does seem a bit laid back in it's approach but I think it's because of the production. The production on this album reminds me a bit more of the old school sound. It doesn't sound so compressed and over loud. The guitars aren't as ballsy and crunchy as Sneep usually likes them. And it fits the music well. As I said, the songs feel more thought out. There's everything that we all love about Accept, the melodies, the ballsy riffs, the gang backing vocals but with songs that have more meaning. And the lyrics are really heavy on this one. I think that's where the Blind Rage comes in. Some said that the title of the album is a bit misleading because this is such a laid back album but I think they are overlooking the lyrics. "200 Years" is a fucking ominous prediction that sends a message that we need to think about what we, as humanity, are doing to this planet and each other. Rage means a lot of things and after listening to these songs, the title of the album fits like a glove. The aforementioned "Trail of Tears" is another example. You want to get pissed, look that up truly happened.

"Fall of the Empire" is the epic number on this one. This song is a mid paced song that is an all out metal epic from the riffing to the melodies to the choruses with those Accept backing vocals. A song about mutual destruction we see the blind rage showing up once again. But the song just rocks with that main bluesy riff and the solos that sound almost like Ritchie Blackmore. To contrast you have a song like "The Curse" that shows that Accept does cheesy right. Yeah, the song is a bit cheesy but it's such a great song. With a slow main riff and verse it picks up a bit at the chorus. It spotlights Mark Tornillo who's voice sounds quite good where he cleans it up a bit...not so much of the gargling with glass sound. But the song is catchy and well written. Again the guitars are just amazing with the riffing and solos adding melody and providing the texture of the song. Those leads in the background make me love the song even more. The lyrics aren't really as cheesy as I've heard some say but are actually quite thought provoking. "Final Journey" is the closer and is there to make you never forget that you just listened to an Accept album and you are much better for it. A faster number it has some great riffing and an infectious melody.

There's a few moments on the album that didn't work for me but they were very small issues with a few parts on a couple of songs. Nothing that really takes that much away from the album. This is a great Accept album that is a touch better than the last two just based on the maturity of the songwriting. These guys have had an interesting career but it seems that after all of these years they have finally found the ingredients to consistently release quality albums. Bring 'em on.


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