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.