Nuclear Blast [Release date 29.01.21]
Accept, the German masters of heavy metal for more than 40 years and key influencers on bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, return with their 16th studio album – ‘Too Mean To Die’.
Accept have a global reputation of being one of the best and loudest live acts, based on a number of world tours and headline slots at festivals. With a pedigree that has millions of records sold, top 10 chart positions worldwide, this new offering has a lot to live up to! It is the fifth album with Mark Tornillo as front man, recorded in Nashville, USA and produced by Andy Sneap.
When the band and Andy met in Nashville in March, they couldn’t forsee what would happen 2 weeks later, early into their studios sessions, they had to abruptly draw to a close and return to home due to Covid 19 impact on travelling arrangements, “the risk that none of us would be able to return home at that time was simply too great” says Hoffmann.
The band regrouped in July in Nashville to continue recording the album with only their producer missing, not to be defeated, the band would record and communicate with their producer online, “we recorded the songs… He produced from a distance. Amazingly it worked better than we thought it would… Fortunately we had already recorded a large part of the songs before the break, so the experiment with Andy Sneap working as a remote producer worked well. Special circumstances often lead to very special albums” Hoffmann
Too Mean To Die alludes to Covid 19 “the fans will get a hard, direct and uncompromising metal album, but of course accompanied by a wink: we are too mean to die! Accept do not let themselves get down!” Hoffmann
From the opening track, ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ you can hear the result of the newcomers to the band – Philip Shouse (guitar) and Martin Motnik (bass) as the riffs are sublime and the heavy bass line sets the stall out from the beginning.
The title track, ’Too Mean To Die’ should be cranked up and already sounds like a rock classic – Accept are back!
Impressive guitar duels continue throughout the tracks with ’No One’s Master’ and ’Symphony of Pain’ having impressive solos and key changes that defy the pace.
’The Undertaker’ is melodic and atmospheric with fantastic gravelly vocals setting the tone. Wolf Hoffmann states it as being one of the most notable and brillant pieces on the album – I don’t disagree.
However, my stand out, absolute favourite track on the album is ’The Best is Yet to Come’ , a ballad (I am not usually a ballad gal) with its slower melodic opening and showcasing Mark Tornillo’s vocal range and the rather beautiful sentiment of the lyrics
“When it rains, I look for rainbows,
When its dark I see the stars,
Call me naive,
I will always say, the best is yet to come”
I’ll raise a glass to that!
‘How Do We Sleep’ is so topical and really a reflective song of it’s time – “how do we sleep at night with the world around us going to hell?” Indeed!
’Not my Problem’ is undoubtedly a crowd pleaser – you can almost hear the crowd singing along to this track – will be awesome live.
With the closing track, an instrumental, ‘Samson & Deliah’ reminding you of their orchestral capabilities and leaving you feeling like you have just been on a journey that was reminiscent of all the good about our pedigree metal giants.
‘Too Mean To Die’ not only demonstrates that Accept are back, but they have delivered an unwavering , relevant classic metal album yet again. ****
Review by Karen Clayton
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