Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Accept: The Rise of Chaos (2017)

Despite the band's high status as German metal pioneers, I have never really gotten too much into Accept's material.  That is not to say that I do not like the band.  Quite the opposite.  I love "Balls to the Wall" and "Midnight Mover".  I also really like "Losing More than You've Ever Had".  But for some reason, I never picked up my first Accept album until 2010's Blood of the Nations, a monstrous return to form for the band.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that Udo Dirkschneider is no longer with the band, but after getting that album, which admittedly took some time to grow on me, I have finally started to really open up to the band.

That brings us to this year's The Rise of Chaos.  This one is very similar to the 2010 classic, but unfortunately slightly pales to it in most respects.  The songs are not quite as memorable.  The riffs are not quite as sharp.  The vocals are not quite as savage.  That is not to say that this is a bad album, far from it.  It is a terrific slab of traditional heavy metal, it just does not live up to one of the band's greatest albums.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

One of the biggest issues I have with the album is that some of the lyrics are a little bit laughable.  I doubt they are all to be taken seriously, but songs like "Hole in the Head" which repeats the refrain "I need you...like a hole in the head" is positively juvenile.  I was also not sure quite what to make of the title "Koolaid", until seeing the lyrics, after which I came to enjoy that track quite a bit.  I can though really identify with "Analog Man" as I also prefer the old ways of vinyl and cassettes to our current computer-driven society.

Despite some of my minor gripes, this is still a very strong album.  Several tracks like "Die by the Sword", the title cut, and "Worlds Colliding" stand up quite well to any of the band's prior classic songs.  This is a band that has been at it for over 40 years at this point (two original members remain), and yet, they still sound fresh and powerful.  That is damn impressive.  Accept really should be on the same pedestal as contemporaries like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

This is a terrific album that just does not quite live up to one of its predecessors.  Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as this album stands up quite well on its own.  One thing this album did do though, is convince me to go back and find their older releases.  I have a lot of catching up to do.   

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