Written by Alex Stojanovic
Die By The Sword
Hole In The Head
The Rise Of Chaos
What's Done Is Done
Carry The Weight
Race To Extinction
Release Date: August 4, 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Mark Tornillo - Vocals Wolf Hoffmann - Guitars & backing vocals Peter Baltes - Bass & backing vocals
Uwe Lulis - Guitars & backing vocals Christopher Williams - Drums
It's gotten to the point where you know what you're getting with Accept, especially with the writing continuing to be handled by Wolf Hoffmann and Peter Baltes. They've made it clear that they want to keep writing the same types of songs, but there's more than a few moments on this record that will make fans question whether that decision was a wise one this time around. Opener "Die By The Sword" feels like a remake of "Stampede" to a degree, just a few beats slower. While it's a decent track with a great leading riff and groove, it's not as compelling as "Stampede". The title track would've served as a much better opener. Mark Tornillo's vocals are still in top form. The man is in his early 60s and he sounds like he's in his prime.
Of course, you can't have an Accept album without a couple of up-tempo, faster numbers. Those being "No Regrets" and "Carry The Weight". The latter is another one of the album's highlights with its melodic speed metal riffing and captivating chorus. One of the lyrical topics on the album is the constant evolution of technology and how it's hard to keep up with it sometimes. This is heard on "Analog Man" where Tornillo shares his thoughts of coming from the era of stereo and vinyl and shifting into the digital world. The song's straightforward groove will get heads bobbing, feet tapping and people singing along to the chorus. "What's Done Is Done", "Worlds Colliding", "Hole In The Head" and "Koolaid" all contain a decent riff or two, but it's not enough to hold them up. "Race To Extinction" is the only song where it's a bit mediocre, but the chorus is the track's saving grace.
While still containing a handful of promising songs, The Rise Of Chaos falls slightly more towards average as it doesn't contain nearly as many memorable moments as Blind Rage. I guess after that album came out, my expectations for the future were high because a.) it was a superior album and b.) it's Accept. The heaviness and the melody are still there, but several riffs aren't as enticing as we've come to expect. A number of riffs sound recycled, which raises the question: how much longer can they continue to re-create their past? There's only so many times you can make throwback albums that amalgamate Balls To The Wall, Restless & Wild, Breaker and Metal Heart before it starts to get a bit boring and this album seems to be telling us that that's maybe starting to happen. Maybe some of the throwaway tracks will work better on stage than in the studio.
Simply put, the only tracks that stand out here are "The Rise Of Chaos", "Analog Man" and "Carry The Weight". The rest of the record is pretty much a bunch of fillers. The album as a whole just feels rushed and it did not impress like I hoped it would. Now this is not the worst Accept album by any means, but it's the weakest of the four Tornillo era albums. They should've taken more time with this album. I still have a lot of faith in Accept and my love for them will never disappear. After a pretty steady uphill trajectory with three brilliant albums by the current version, the new album takes a dip downwards, but that doesn't mean they can't make another incredible album in the future and continue upwards again.
Highs: "The Rise Of Chaos", "Analog Man", "Carry The Weight". Vocally, Tornillo is sounding fantastic as always.
Lows: A somewhat disappointing new album from one of the all-time greats.
Final Rating: 5.5/10