Released: 2010, Nuclear Blast
It blows my mind that this is the first review for an Accept album on this site. However, in sober retrospective, the last album they did was PREDATOR in early 1996, which was just when Metal Rules was just starting. Considering our mandate to stay current and try to avoid going back and writing reviews of albums from the 80’s, I guess it makes sense, that this veteran German band has had no review representation, until now.
As a life-long fan I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear that not only had the band reformed, not only had they found a truly talented vocalist who I am familiar with (from the good ol’ days) AND had they recruited Andy Sneap to produce this monster, AND they had settled perfectly onto Nuclear Blast…my expectations were very high. I’m very pleased to report that all my expectations were met and exceeded.
BLOOD OF THE NATIONS is a fantastic album. In the media Andy Sneap said when he worked with the band he made them go back and listen to the 80’s albums, and it worked. Accept have delivered the album they needed to make. Even if it is the last one they ever do, they have ended on a high-note, unlike the weaker, aforementioned PREDATOR and a couple of half-assed live/ reunion type albums and shows. If it all wraps up tomorrow I will be satisfied. However, forget the sweet nail in the coffin, this could be, Satan willing, a rebirth for the band.
A dozen tracks (plus a bonus track on my version) spread across 72+ minutes make this the longest Accept album yet, but it never seems to drag or have filler. So what? Think about it. BLOOD OF THE NATIONS is almost twice as long as most of all their other albums! It’s a great package, great, design, layout, colour scheme, military theme, lots of very interesting liner notes which I always appreciate as they give a little more insight. Andy production shows us again why he is one of the best in the world. In case you have lost track over the years, we get as close to the ‘classic’ line-up as you are going to get with Hoffman, Bates, Frank, Kauffman and new throat Tornillo.
Speaking of throats, this situation is fantastic. UDO has now done more solo albums than he did with Accept and is still going strong. Accept has reformed with a vocalist who is just as good as Dirkschneider and the two bands can co-exist. For a change, the fans are the winners. The die-hard UDO guys who will never ‘accept’ the band without him have still got UDO solo stuff to enjoy. The rest of us are smiling ear-to-ear as Mark rages through the songs with power and charisma, without being a clone. The giant back-up, gang-vocals make a raging return as well. Mark is no slouch having done time in TT Quick back in the day so we know he has the pipes for the job. Those signature, deep gang vocals and chants, are all over the album. The mid-tempo grinder, ‘Pandemic’ is another fine example of this great feature.
The track ‘Teutonic Terror’ is one hell of a catchy song, with it’s chorus of ‘Give ‘Em The Axe’. It’s probably an album highlight. Supposedly the album was going to be called ‘Give ‘Em The Axe’ but Lizzy Borden already staked claim to that great album title back in 1984. Every aspect of each Accept album are present. Slower songs, faster songs, anthems, crushing metal rockers, all find a home hear. Tracks like ‘The Abyss’ at almost 7 minutes show some diversity with a slower middle section with some somber, cleaner singing accompanied by some acoustic guitar before ripping back into a killer solo. This album has so many highlights it’s hard to list them all.
This record reminds me of OBJECTION OVERRULED and a mix of the ‘classic’ mid-80’s era. Accept have proven to the world in 2010 they are still relevant, powerful, uncompromising and most of all entertaining. Welcome back.