The Rise of Chaos
Another quality effort from these German Teutonic masters
Accept roll into 2017 with a fresh album and a new cosmetic look. Guitarist Herman Frank, who has performed with Accept collectively for nearly 10 years, left the band in December of 2014. The same can be said for Stefan Schwarzmann, the band's sticks for about the same time. These two have been in and around Accept since the early 80s and 90s and supporting the Germans' dramatic comeback. Frank's replacement, Uwe Lulis, has been on the live circuit with the group for a couple of years and appears here for the first time on a studio album. Lulis is one of my favorite guitarists and a real torch bearer for German metal as a whole. He contributed to Grave Digger's success for 13 years and formed and performed with Rebellion for 9 years. The guy has some mad chops and a really cool guitar tone that ignites the "Teutonic" charge of Accept. It's meaty, rhythmic and provides quite the wallop of sound. His other new colleague is drummer Christopher Williams, a relatively unknown talent out of North Carolina. He's made the live rounds with John Corabi, Blackfoot, and A Thousand Horses. Needless to say, joining Accept full-time is a big deal for the 30-year old skinsman.
So, does two new members added to the fold really change anything? Other than just a slightly thicker rhythm section, complimented by Lulis, the album sounds like 1982 with better production. Andy Sneap once again turns the knobs on songs crafted by Hoffmann and Baltes. This is the Accept sound we know and love. Very few bands can get away with making the same type of album day in and day out but we love this band and we love what they do. A song like "Analog Man" isn't just begging for the 80s lyrically. It's nearly note for note "Balls to the Wall". And shockingly that's okay. "Hole in the Head" and "Die by the Sword" ride a coal-train of grooves while Williams stays comfortably in the pocket. The gang chants are as obligatory as Mark "Bon Scott" Tornillo's raspy scream. I can't get enough of it. In fact, tracks like "Carry the Weight" and "Rise of Chaos" make me want to destroy a department store with a baseball bat. It's the same feelings that erupt on comeback records 'Blood of the Nations', 'Stalingrad' or even 'Metal Heart'.
At 40, Accept and I have a relationship that has aged well. We like what we like and we never expect each other to change significantly. 'The Rise of Chaos' is just another Accept album and thankfully, I wouldn't have it any other way.