REVIEW: ACCEPT – “The Rise Of Chaos”
German titans Accept are gearing up to release their 15th studio album, ‘The Rise of Chaos’ on August 4th in a very special style. The band will be playing parts of the album live as part of their three-part set at Wacken Open Air’s A Night to Remember on the night of August 3rd. What a treat for Wacken pilgrims! This is an exciting record with great new material that will make Accept fans very happy.
Visually, this record’s cover is consistent with Accept’s style. It might look familiar to European fans, as it is the artwork of the bands last stage set, now lying in ruins. The cover highlights the theme behind the album as described recently by guitarist Wolf Hoffmann: “…The Rise of Chaos is something I have been thinking about often. It describes a condition which is slowly spreading around the world. With the stage setup on our latest European tour, we wanted to portray rather dystopian and destroyed scenery. If you now take a look at our new cover, it’s the same imagery. This time however you can also spot the invisible destruction that we feel more and more in these times, as well as the visible destruction.”
The first song on ‘The Rise of Chaos’ is “Live by the Sword.” The introduction to this song is trademark Accept; big drums and loud guitars. As the first riffs come in, the cadence of this track and the record is set to headbanging! Enter Mark Tornillo whose gritty vocals bring life to the song with snappy and concise lyrics. “Live by the Sword” has an addictive anthemic quality to it. The chorus arrives and it’s complete with all the trademark Accept hallmarks; a simple but still epic, and very easily chant-able “if you live by the sword/you will die by the sword.” Wolf Hoffmann’s first solo of the album is short and sweet, and fits “Live by the Sword” well. A great start to the album.
Title track “The Rise of Chaos” was recently released digitally by the band and is a high energy track with a good tempo. Hoffmann’s guitar soars over the opening riffs, as Tornillo growls into the first verse. Highlights including Tornillo’s high pitched wail over the chorus, Peter Baltes’ thundering basslines and Chris Williams’ heavy drums. Accept have recently revealed a video to “The Rise of Chaos” to add to the song’s experience.
“No Regrets” begins with the rat-a-tat of Williams’ snare drum. This track has a good balance of heavy riffs broken up with a slower pre-chorus tempo. Lyrics like “I’ve seen fame, misfortune, love and pain, but one thing still remains the same/nothing to forget/I’ve got no regrets” gives an air of reflection amidst the frantic nature of the song. Tornillo’s screech over the chorus at the end of the song once again showcases the strength in his voice.
If there is one thing about the album that seems strange, it’s “Analogue Man.” Having tech phrases written into a metal song is a strange combination, and hearing Tornillo sing about cloud storage and data plans sounds out of place. Having said that, musically “Analogue Man” is excellent, and the lyric “Don’t need no wifi/just want my hifi” is really fun. I think I’ll need to listen to this one a few more times to get over my mental image of our analogue man struggling with connecting his laptop to OneDrive.
Penultimate track “Carry the Weight” explodes into existence with adrenaline-filled guitars. Within the frenzied pace of this track and despite the rage in Tornillo’s lyrics, there’s a softness in the end line of the chorus “…don’t carry the weight it’ll turn your heart to stone.” The classical influence is present here too, something I hear more consistently throughout this record, perhaps since Hoffmann’s release of ‘Headbangers Symphony’ in 2016. “Carry the Weight” is an excellent song and a highlight of the record.
Overall, ‘The Rise of Chaos’ is a powerful addition to Accept’s discography. It’s got all the aspects of the band that I love: powerful riffs, anthemic choruses, with a hint of classical influence. I’m impressed with the strength of Tornillo’s vocals in this record and the slightly sassy vibe in the lyrics throughout the record. I love Accept’s commitment to their own development, while remaining true to who they are. When asked about the album’s development at the end of 2016, Hoffmann said “we’re trying to sound how we always sound, just better and stronger than ever.” ‘The Rise of Chaos’ is indeed a strong sounding Accept. Fans of the band will appreciate this record, and those lucky enough to see it played live will be in for a real treat.