Since its 2009 reformation with new vocalist Mark Tornillo, Accept has been a recording a touring juggernaut. The German metal stalwarts have released three highly acclaimed studio albums featuring Tornillo and original members Wolf Hoffmann (guitars) and Peter Baltes (bass). This line-up, which I now think of as Accept A.D., is more consistent and powerful than the legendary line-up from the 80s. Blasphemous to say, I know, but still, it is true. The chemistry between the three and the years of growth as people and songwriters have helped create what is essentially a better version of its former self. That sentiment remains true on the band’s fourth album since reforming, The Rise of Chaos.
Accept has something of a formula now with how they work, write, and record, and it is not something they like to mess with. Andy Sneap is once again on board as producer, and Hoffmann and Baltes crafted the music for Tornillo to work with. The Rise of Chaos marks the recording debut for new drummer Christopher Williams and guitarist Uwe Lulis.
With The Rise of Chaos, Accept is not breaking new barriers or reinventing the wheel. They are simply continuing to refine their riffcentric form of traditional metal into another solid record of memorable headbangers.
The album opener, “Die by the Sword” has an epic intro that will be perfect for kicking off their concerts. Guitarists Hoffman and Lulis begin ripping it up and Tornillo’s gruff vocal delivery on the hooky chorus is exactly what one expects, and just what Accept delivers. Baltes and Williams anchor it all down rhythmically. The title track, falls into this same vein.
Meanwhile songs like “Hole in the Head” and “Analog Man” hark back to the band’s “Balls to the Wall” London Leatherboys” era, without forsaking the modern style and production.
Accept takes aim at the 1978 Jonestown Massacre that befell the followers of Jim Jones and the People Temple, on the track “Koolaid.” On November 18, 1978 Jones convinced over 900 followers to drink cyanide-laced Koolaid, including over 300 children.
The band gets into its thrash mode for the propulsive “No Regrets” while “Worlds Colliding” resonates with a bit of the band’s Metal Heart era, before the album closes out with the dramatic and energetic riffer, “Race to Extinction.”
Since it’s rebirth in 2009, Accept, has become as formidable as any band in metal. Powerful vocals, inspired riffs and memorable choruses, combined with relentless rhythms and relatable lyrics has made them as consistent as any fan could ask for. While The Rise of Chaos is not as engaging overall as Blind Rage to my ear, it is certainly a worthy successor, and blends in nicely with Blood of Nations and Stalingrad. It is also an album that bears repeated listens as it grows stronger the more you recognize the layers and nuances of each track. Tune up those air guitars.