Review by Rick Ossian
Since the addition of Mark Tornillo for the reunion of the band in 2010, these stalwart Teutonic terrors have not rested on their laurels in the least. In fact, their list of accomplishments reads like a CV of a band half their age. Their releases Blood of the Nations, Stalingrad and Blind Rage have hit #4, 6 and 1 respectively in their native Germany. They have also hit #1 in Finland. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK have also yielded high-charting spots for the boys. Wacken, Masters of Rock and Bang Your Head are among the festivals they have played. Their list of musical milestones keeps growing and growing. Along with Mark at the vocal helm are Wolf Hoffman on guitar, Uwe Lulis on guitar, Peter Baltes on bass and Christopher Williams on drums.
Now we come to the best yet – at least, from what I’ve heard. Naturally, when we hear the first track of a new LP or CD, we expect it to be an arse-kicker! We want to hear the boys (or girls) open with something incredible. Something hard-charging, something that grabs your attention and won’t let go. Luckily for us, The Rise of Chaos is like that on every track! Surely you jest, Rick, you are kidding us all! How could there possibly be ten arse-kickers in a row?? It’s not possible. That, dear reader, is why you must listen.
I’ve decided to go backwards…at least in order of tracks. Just to kind of shake things up a bit, you know? The last tune on this wondrous collection is called Race to Extinction. It was at this point in my listening that I had ultimately decided that the boys deserved top marks. This outing never let up for a second! No Blues, no ballads, just one rocker after another!
Carry the Weight is an uptempo, speedy, jamming number. It’s almost thrashy in its delivery, and the lyrics are somewhat predictable, but the pace is relentless. “Don’t carry the weight on your shoulders/Don’t carry the weight all alone/It’ll turn your heart to stone”. In my notes it says HOT DAMN!, so you can imagine my excitement.
Worlds Colliding is another holy shit moment. Gods, I love the riffs/licks/leads/rock guitar jamming that these blokes have got going! This is clearly some of the most exciting Hard Rock/Heavy Metal I have heard all year. The most important thing here is that it is not diluted. The delivery, the execution, everything is pure Rock. “Am I going crazy? Am I losing my mind?” Let’s hope not, Mark! We need you to be lucid for when the ultimate tour comes along! Please, please play the US, especially the midwest ( Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, etc.).
What’s Done is Done is really good as well. I found myself several times wondering how they keep up the pace. This tune will lead you down the Heavy as Fuck Hallway and on the road to Riff City. “What’s done is done/ the bullet has left the gun/It’s over/You can’t unring the bell”. Almost haunting lyrics, but the playing is even better. There is an absolutely infectious rhythm bouncing along through this one. The lead guitar solos work well with the tune as well, and in fact on every track the leads work very well.
Analog Man contains a sentiment that I’ve often professed. Being “an analog man in a digital world“. Yes, I get tired of the constant downloading of MP3s. I prefer CDs over those, and I prefer vinyl over compact discs as well. I know that I am old – I get called grandpa and griefer all of the time! That’s what I get for trying to keep up with the kiddos at my job… There is some serious jamming going on here. Keep up the good work, boys!
No Regrets had me marvelling at the fact that there were five arse-kicking tunes in a row. It was at this point that I was determined to find and purchase the physical product. I am hoping for a vinyl release… I probably mentioned that already!
Kool-Aid get five kool points just for the title. According to my notes, this was another holy crap moment.
The title track, Rise of Chaos (remember Rise of Chaos?), is probably one of the best tracks here. It is difficult to pick a favourite, however, as they are all very good. They come charging out of the box with a wicked lead that will tear your head off!
Hole in the Head is another hard charger. It will remind you of the things that you DON’T need.
Die By the Sword is where I began this musical adventure. It is another excellent tune.
In short, if you were an Accept fan back in the old days, then you will no doubt enjoy this collection. It is not Balls to the Wall or Fast as a Shark, but it’s just as good, if not better. Top marks!