Review by Rick Ossian
As with many bands who did their thing in the early days of Metal and consequently ripped many of our collective heads off, Accept is a band that has had two lives. Their second act, if you will, features the vocals of one Mark Tornilla (T.T.Quick). Many of you will say that the first act was better, and that Udo Dirkschneider was the better vocalist. In my opinion, when something such as this happens, the fans are many times the ones to benefit. Not only do they have the band with the new music AND the capability to render the old tunes well; we also have Udo’s solo projects/band. Best of both worlds, two for the price of one, etc.
Since regrouping with Mark in 2010 for the Blood of the Nations LP, these lads have produced one other record, Stalingrad, and have gone quite a ways in reclaiming their rights as Metal brothers known worldwide for their tenacity and fierce strength. Today, in addition to Tornilla, Accept are Wolf Hoffman and Herman Frank on guitars, Peter Baltes on bass and Stefan Schwarzmann on drums. This latest work of theirs is nothing short of brilliant, and I think listeners will find that they are still very much worthy of a listen or two.
Stampede, the opener, is a clarion call to metal heads everywhere. The lightning fast riffs will have even the skeptical playing air guitar trying to keep up while simultaneously banging their collective noggins. I know I did! Last of a Dying Breed is a medium-steam chugger of a riff. Mark Tornilla does himself proud here. “Here’s to the rockin warriors/here’s to the heroes“, he bellows, as if to announce that he is still here carrying on the vocal warrior bit. There is a tasty guitar solo at 3:45.
Dark Side of My Heart, on the other hand, is almost FM friendly – makes me wonder if this track will get any airplay. “Just a slave to the shadows/Just a pawn in this game/Drawn to the slaughter like a moth to the flame“. Not exactly your run-of-the-mill love story! There is the requisite guitar solo at the 3-minute mark. There are also some more conventional lyrics: “You know it’s tearing me apart/knew it from the start/here in the dark side of my heart“.
Fall of the Empire, a longer number (5:44) is a bit proggy, almost battle metal at times. It will have you recalling other bands from the genre, particularly Manowar. Trail of Tears is a heavy duty tune, very neat riffs – uptempo stuff, very cool. Wanna Be Free is another mid-tempo number, cool but sort of predictable at this stage of the game. 200 Years is a great, riffy tune with menacing vocals.
Bloodbath Mastermind features wickedly cool double-time riffage, and an awesome, shredding guitar solo at the 4-minute mark. From the Ashes We Rise is another excellent tune. The Curse features a cool guitar intro, with a mid-tempo run-up featuring guitar heralding the beginning of a monster. It is a longer number, as is the closer, The Final Journey. Most of these tunes feature good or great guitar solos, and very heavy duty drumming, of course. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Mark Tornilla is a very good vocalist in his own right, whether you are a Udo fan or not.
There you have it, then. Eleven good ones, some not as powerful or as manic as the others, but all well worth a listen