Accept made a Midwest stop at The King Of Clubs in Columbus on their Too Mean To Die Tour last weekend.
German heavy metal legends Accept wrapped up the US leg of their Too Mean To Die Tour last weekend in Columbus, Ohio at The King Of Clubs. I can’t say enough about Accept, but then I probably don’t have to say anything – metal fans know them well. They were one of the first bands I listened to back in the day after the formative trinity I always talk about (Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, and Blue Oyster Cult). Their big hit then was “Balls To The Wall,” and they are still remembered for it. Ironically, as fun as that tune is, it doesn’t really represent their music very well in general. Accept has laid down unforgettable heavy metal for more than four decades across sixteen albums, including their latest one that the tour is named for. There is no dispute about their place in metal history.
The show started with two local bands, Day of the Sun and Corrosive Vengeance. Day of the Sun has a classic approach to hard rock in their performance, focusing on vocal delivery and cooking rhythm. Corrosive Vengeance is a little more out there, riding the rails of groove metal and tossing in disruptive calamity now and again. Both sets were excellent, and I am going to have to keep an eye out for these bands while I am exiled here in the middle of the country because now I know they put on a good show.
Narcotic Wasteland was on the full US tour leg with Accept. The band started out over a decade ago in the coastal south, and they have put out a couple of albums, most recently Delirium Tremens (2017). Their music is a sharp brand of death metal that cranks and heaves. They have put out two new singles this year, and they played them both at the show. That must mean there is a new album in the works.
The main event was Accept, a band I have been trying to catch live for years. It is funny that even though I see at least 300 bands live every year there are still a handful that I am trying to catch for the first time. Most of these bands are from Europe and they do not tour all the time in the US, so that does add up in the end. Accept has been at the top of my to-do list for a while now because I have listened to them all of my life and I have really like their last few records. Starting with Blood Of The Nations in 2010 and on to Blind Rage (2014), The Rise Of Chaos (2017), and, most recently, Too Mean To Die, these albums have all been fantastic. The live show, I reasoned, would blow the roof off the place. I was right.
They started with “Zombie Apocalypse” and rolled through the hits, including chart toppers like “Metal Heart” and, of course, “Balls To The Wall.” They also played several songs from the latest record – that makes sense – and the tour favorite “Pandemic.” I had built up in my head what the show might be like, and it turned out to be even better than I expected. You don’t get a lot of good surprises in your life, but this was definitely one for me.
The 2022 tour is done for us North Americans. Accept is on tour again for many dates in Europe starting in January, and a few shows have already announced for Spring 2023 in South America. See them whenever they make their way back to our shores, and, meanwhile, check out their albums, videos, and merch at the links below.
Continuing their decades long tear through heavy metal history, Accept release another monstrous album of relentless ingenuity.
Accept is an iconic band, seminal in its importance to the development of heavy music. The band’s first album came out in 1979, and they enjoyed a huge hits a couple years later with Balls To The Wall (1983) and Metal Heart (1985). Continuing through the decades, Accept released a steady stream popular albums.
The recent music from the band has been fast and wicked, even more than their earlier work. Blind Rage (2014) and especially The Rise Of Chaos (2017) are impossibly packed with interminable pummeling guitars and new looks and turns on hard music regularities. There have been some changes in the lineup, naturally, over the years. Wolf Hoffmann (guitar) was there at the start, and Mark Tornillo (vocals) has been on board for more than ten years. Uwe Lulis (guitar) and Christopher Williams (drums) are returning for more clinical incision, joined by newest-to-the band musicians Philip Shouse (guitar) and Martin Motnik (bass).
There are eleven meaty tracks on Too Mean To Die. “Zombie Apocalypse” starts like a mob of shambling dead staggering straight for you that suddenly switch from the slow George Romero zombies to the sprinting 28Days Later zombies. The piercing wiggle in the lead is a clandestine offset to the steady journalistic vocals. The title song hits second, and it will be a crowd pleaser when live music becomes a thing again with its catchy licks and singable chorus structure that is the perfect edifice to hang layered guitar shreds. “Overnight Sensation” adds mid-tempo depth to the set and plays as an honorific to compositions of the past. These three songs are a good overview of the themes and sentiments that recur on the album, combined and rearranged, sifted and separated throughout to create constant vibrant variation.
There are surprises that pop up here and there, like the Beethoven in “Symphony of Pain,” sounding great in the metal guitar interpretation. And there are a couple of songs on the slower side, too, like “The Best Is Yet To Come” and “The Undertaker.” The album goes out with a bang, raising the adrenaline levels with the roaring “Not My Problem” to set up the closer, the mystical instrumental “Samson and Delilah.” This is the sixteenth studio album from Accept – an extraordinary amount of music, and an even more impressive accomplishment when you listen to the new one a realize that band is blazing as bright as ever. Recommended.
Too Mean To Die is out now. Nuclear Blast has all the variants and merch.