Accept – “Blind Rage” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Their 3rd album since the comeback of these Teutonic Titans, “Blind Rage” has officially taken Accept back to their roots in writing no frills metal that doesn’t pull any punches but certainly has hooks n grooves that will draw deep into the heart of any true metaller. Still with the core of the classic line-up, new vocalist Mark Tornillo has now effectively settled in as he screams n purrs just like Udo did – and does so magnificently on the likes of the thundering ‘Stampede’ that takes me right back to the glory days of ‘Restless And Wild’. Continuing with no let up it’s the brooding ‘Fall Of The Empire’ with its Germanic whoa-oh-whoa choruses, heartfelt power melodies and Tornillo’s own passionate high end vocals that puts this back into the realms of “Balls To The Wall” or “Metal Heart” and offers further proof that Accept have returned to fine form as exhibited in last year’s summer festival performances. Still, nothing could prepare me for the majesty of ‘Dying Breed’ – easily my favorite track not just on the album but in many a year with this band – from Hoffmann and Frank beautifully playing off each other just like their footballers it’s easily Accept’s equivalent to Saxon’s ‘Denim And Leather’, a chest beating anthem, nay, a chugging tribute to bands and fans alike that brought me close to tears with its moving salutation in the poetic lyrics. With Peter Baltes and Stefan Schwarzmann showing the band’s early Priest influence in a never failing, pounding rhythm the solid foundation is there for Andy Sneap to once again twiddle the console knobs, although once again it’s nothing fanciful other than to give the crystal clear sound to let these magnificent songs do their talking. With the rest of the album being made up of classic Accept material in the form of fast rockers and metallic ballads it’s safe to say that this is easily the best of the comeback albums to date. More importantly however, it shows that Accept still have their metal hearts ‘…and we salute you, the last of a dying breed..’.