Accept - Blood of the Nations

Artist: 
Accept
Performance: 
5 (excellent)
Production: 
5 (excellent)
Stand out moments: 
Teutonic Terror, The Abyss, Shades of Death, Time Machine, Pandemic
Summary: 

It's hard to remember my exact first impressions of Restless and Wild, Balls to the Wall, and Metal Heart. I was in my early 20s then, and I'm in my mid 40s now. Much has changed.  Sure, I remember being blown away, and enjoying the hell out of those albums. I have continued to enjoy them for over 20 years. But in the early 80s, it seemed like I was being blown away by great albums from great bands almost every month. Great metal was everywhere. There was so much to choose from. So much to enjoy.  Who knew back then that the well would run so dry.  We are so far removed from that experience today, the feelings I get from Blood of the Nations are quite different.  

I run this site, and a lot of guys – mostly the younger ones try to get us old farts into newer bands. Some of them succeed with that effort. Unfortunately, I seem to be hopelessly stuck back in that other era. I haven’t really heard anything from new bands that I feel adds up to the whole picture. When people play me newer metal, I seem to get bits and pieces. The songs are sometimes good, but the singer is awful.  The guitarist can play, but he’s no Schenker/Lynch/Hoffmann/whoever.  Or the singer or the guitarist is great, but the songs suck.  Sorry, I grew up in an era when there was an abundance of music that had it all.

So when someone puts ALL the pieces back together in this decade – believe me, I notice.  That's what Accept has done with Blood of the Nations. It stands out like a sore thumb and a shining beacon to past glory – a pearl among swine!  So yes, I’m blown away by Blood of the Nations, but there’s more. While listening to it,when I don’t have what another reviewer of this album brilliantly put as "a big shit-eatin’ grin on my face," I actually get kind of choked up, because this album pushes all the old buttons. I know what it is I have here!  This album is the real deal. True Metal. The kind they used to make Panther tanks out of. It’s a preserved artifact from a past time when all of the elements you wanted – and had grown to expect in an album, were present in most albums. Blood of the Nations is a gift to us older guys who just can’t buy into the idea that bands likes of Spiritual Beggars or Opeth – nothing against them – can fill the void left by bands like Accept. So if you loved Accept back in the day, you will smile all the way through Blood of the Nations. I promise you.

In Mark Tornillo, Accept has found their Brian Johnson.  The perfect voice to carry on with. Similar enough to Udo's that it sounds perfect with the music. Different enough that when Accept wants to play something with a bit more dynamics than say, Fast As a Shark, (such as in Kill the Pain, or the middle of The Abyss) Tornillo can cleanse the gravel from his throat just enough to sell it, but not enough to sound out of place in an Accept song.  Udo couldn't do that. But rest assured, just when you want one of those gravely, squealing, blood-curdling Udo-like screams in one of the new songs, Tornillo delivers it perfectly. And that big, shit-eatin' grin returns to my face. I love and respect Udo as much as any Accept fan, but Udo has moved on. Now Accept can move forward, too. Mark is perfect. Period.

Beat the Bastards – There’s enough guitar solos on this track for an Iron Maiden song! If Sabbath can rhyme masses with masses in War Pigs, I’ll give Mart T a pass for rhyming "down" with "down" here. ;-)

Teutonic Terror – I’ve been enjoying this one all summer.  Classic Accept.

The Abyss – One the best tracks on the album, loaded with dynamics, great melodic hooks, and an unexpected – for Accept – bridge section that’s almost ballad-like.  It works.

Blood of the Nations – The title track. Message song. War is hell. Support the troops.


Shades of Death – No one builds tension and uses dynamics like Accept. This song takes 2 minutes just to get underway, with an ominous, melodic intro.  When it finally gets going, it’s chugging riff-fest with strong melodic undertones.

Locked And Loaded – an uptempo, double-bass drum driven track ala Fast as a Shark.

Time Machine – another one with brooding dynamics that create tension before turning into a very melodic, but grinding track. Perhaps more than most, this one feels like classic Accept to me. Very hooky, catchy, melodic chorus that is somewhat reminiscent of Run if You Can.

Kill the Pain – A slow ballad, ala Amamos la Vida or Winter Dreams.  Gives Mark a chance to show a different side of his voice, and Wolf a chance to unleash some dramatic, melodic leadwork.

Rolling Thunder – This fast paced driving, riffy track is Hermann Frank’s largest contribution to the album.  He wrote it and plays the solos on it. 

Pandemic – Classic Hoffmann crunchy grinding riff. Somewhat reminiscent of Bad Habits.

New World Comin’ – This was the first track that kind of felt like a filler to me. Then Hoffmann tore into a great solo over unexpected melodic section, and I changed my mind. So even this one has some great stuff on it.

No Shelter – Uptempo track with some Neo Classical melodies. Check out Peter’s awesome bass lines on this. Another lead guitar workout.

Bucketful of Hate – Big, chuggy, bombastic classic Accept, complete with the Gregorian chant ending.


Blood of the Nations is everything you want an Accept album to be. It’s all here, folks. The crushing riffs. The great Teutonic guitar melodies and backing vocals.  Wolf’s stellar lead work. The snarling, yet melodic lead vocals.  Peter’s dominating bass work. The driving double bass drums. Andy Sneap's contributions as producer – keeping the band sounding like the band we grew up with. Unmistakable. Accept.

Like all modern albums, Blood of the Nations has too many tracks (IMO). But I'd be hard pressed to say which ones are "filler." Is it Restless and Wild, Balls to the Wall, or Metal Heart? Not quite, but Blood of the Nations fits in quite well with Russian Roulette and Objection Overruled, and is much closer to the classic Accept sound than Death Row.  ACCEPT ARE BACK!  And that in itself is a big treat. Enjoy.

 

Overall Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Get it here: 
http://astore.amazon.com/dinorockguit-20/detail/B003SWNRU2