Accept - The Rise Of Chaos review


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Band: Accept
Album: The Rise Of Chaos
Release date: August 2017

01. Die By The Sword
02. Hole In The Head
03. The Rise Of Chaos
04. Koolaid
05. No Regrets
06. Analog Man
07. What's Done Is Done
08. Worlds Colliding
09. Carry The Weight
10. Race To Extinction

The Rise Of Chaos struggles at first to get off the ground. I won't hesitate to say that "The Rise Of Chaos" and "Koolaid" are the weakest singles Accept has put out in the last decade - certainly no "Teutonic Terror" or "Stampede" - and wading through those inertia dampers only to break through to an even less dynamic midsection takes the wind out of your first listen. Some of these songs feel like they were assembled with the bare minimum of songwriting exertion. Accept trended very vaguely towards simplification over the last few albums, but always leaving intact the strong riffs and choruses that seem to be missing from many of the tracks here.

The songwriting simply doesn't stack up, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a lot of these tracks were leftover filler from Blind Rage, which was a killer album, but one whose formula could definitely be done wrong. Blood Of The Nations, Stalingrad, and Blind Rage dealt often with weighty, powerful subject matter that turned even the weakest tracks into a solid march-along piece. Those albums told tales of empires collapsing, heroic bloodshed, wreaking havoc, sacrifice, freedom, being German - you know, important stuff. The Rise Of Chaos returns to the same territory with songs like "What's Done Is Done," "Die By The Sword," and "Worlds Colliding," but just as often the mood gets undercut by the downright silly lyrics of, for example, "Koolaid" and "Analog Man."

I say that, but Accept's distinctive backing vocals will put hair on the chest of every man, woman, child, dog, rooster, automobile, elevator, writing desk, and extradimensional construct within earshot, and I have found myself singing any handy five-syllable phrase to the tune of "don't drink the Koolaid" and where lead vocals are concerned, Mark Tornillo's kidney-rupturing shrieks in "Die By The Sword" and elsewhere attest to the fact that sweeping him up to be frontman was the best decision Accept made since agreeing that "balls to the wall" is kind of a catchy phrase.

In my review of Blind Rage, I claimed in a rather more creative fashion that I could listen to Wolf Hoffmann's iconic guitar tone bulldozing its way through anything, and that remains a factual statement - especially when accompanied by Peter Baltes - but I do feel that the production on The Rise Of Chaos lacks the same energy and vivacity that allowed the last three albums to shine. Accept really went wild on those releases; the sound of The Rise Of Chaos is of a competent and coordinated band, but one that is restrained and suddenly too cautious. The album doesn't really gear up until the second half, when you get songs like "Carry The Weight," which bears the unmistakable signature of Restless And Wild, but then, all too soon, it ends.

The Rise Of Chaos is an album that I will cultivate a soft spot for as a fan who has loved Accept since I first realized that metal is a cool thing - but I'm afraid I can't call it one of their stronger albums. This is undoubtedly the weakest of the band's reunion albums and probably the first I wouldn't stack up against the classic material; the composition and overall aesthetic are too mixed for me to give my unequivocal recommendation. Casual fans and newcomers could probably wait until the next one or look back a couple of years to get their Accept fix, although there's no sense in letting slip the highlights, like "Die By The Sword," "Worlds Colliding," and "What's Done Is Done."

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 7


Written on 04.08.2017 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 236 users
04.08.2017 - 08:12
So generous giving the songwriting a solid 7
07.08.2017 - 19:54
Bad English
I disagree Koolaid is weakest single , I think Stompage was weaker single, lyrically, musically maybe, but Koolaid is better , all sounds better there
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14.08.2017 - 00:48
Valentin B
I agree that there is a noticeable drop in songwriting quality, I don't have that pants-crapping feeling I had when first listening to Blood of the Nations, Stalingrad and Blind Rage. This album does not make me say "wow, they did it again!"

This album has a darker/heavier vibe I feel, so I would respect the effort to not make the same album even though it has been a proven successful formula, especially on Blind Rage which was the most successful commercially.

One factor should definitely be the new lineup, I am fairly certain Stefan and Hermann had their contributions in the songwriting process in the previous albums.

In any case there are a good couple of excellent songs on here like Die By the Sword and Koolaid, good enough for me, and an excuse for them to tour and play concerts at their usual-awesome level is always welcome!
Sing me a song, you're a singer
Do me a wrong, you're a bringer of evil.

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