Released: 2014, Nuclear Blast
Three albums in now with Mark Tornillo at the helm of what can only be considered a metal institution and Accept shows no sign of becoming merely a novelty touring act. So many bands become scared of a working recipe, scared of being accused of being formulaic. Accept clearly has a routine here that is working, and so they have stuck with it. Andy Sneap once again helms the production controls and competently finds the right sound for the band. Yes, Tornillo has clearly been a force in the band, but musically the energy and inspiration has to be band deep, and the songs have to stand on their own, which they do. No question, of the many great bands making a go at a second career in this millennia, Accept’s efforts have to be ranked as among the best and most consistent.
A track-by-track take is tempting, but ultimately unnecessary, as every song is worthy. “Stampede” is the quintessential Accept track, meaty and mid-paced with a locking groove that will wreck some necks. “Dying Breed” is another hooky tune complete with Accept’s patented gang vocals come chorus time. If you are looking for quicker numbers amongst the mid-paced tempo, “Trail Of “Tears” and
“Final Journey” checks off that box, while we get some rarified acoustic guitars to open “Wanna Be Free.” Hoffman’s guitar riffs are direct, thick and pure metal, while Baltes bass continues to thump and drive the not inconsiderable back end of things.
Considered as a whole, BLIND RAGE subtly distinguishes itself from its previous two predecessors as being slightly more melodic with more elements of power metal, like the sing song bounce of the guitar melodies leading towards the end of “Final Journey”. Schwarzmann’s drums propel things along, the vigor in his playing being a major force in the band’s continued revival. The chugging guitar is naturally front and center, and while there is no reinvention here, there are also no weak moments. The end result is another consistent, high quality offering from a band that exudes metal from its pores. Accept is everything that is right with metal, and though they have grown a bit long in the tooth, BLIND RAGE still puts scores of younger upstart bands to shame.