Remember what metal was like back in the day? There were no subgenres. Metal was known as just heavy metal. Every single song had a long and usually excellent guitar solo. Guitarists understood the importance of a solid gallop. Choruses were sung or shouted in harmony by all members of the band. Riffs were created and played with precision, but were still simple. No one worried about competing for the oddest time signatures or inserting palm mutes at every possible moment. Vocals were clean, soaring and high-pitched but never harsh. Man, that was a good time.
Well, if all of this is something that you have been craving for quite a while, then rejoice! Accept has brought us all of that and then some with their fourteenth album, Blind Rage. This is one of the best traditional heavy metal albums I have heard in a very very long time. I can say without a doubt that this is Accept’s best album since the 1980’s and is definitely their best with Mark Tornillo on vocals. It’s so good that you may even forget for a few minutes that Udo Dirkschneider was ever even the band’s front man to begin with. Tornillo and the band have finally put all the pieces together, and goddamn it is awesome.
Sure there are other elements at play on Blind Rage. One can certainly see why the band has always been considered one of the godfathers of power metal with fanciful lyrics, like “We live and die by the sword” and “It’s the fall of the empire” on the song “Fall of the Empire” and fast shredding riffs on “Trail of Tears” and “Final Journey”. Something that I never noticed is the possible influence that Accept may have had on thrash, especially on bands like Megadeth and Testament. The early days of thrash come crashing back to earth through the riffs ,vocals style and post apocalyptic lyrics featured on “Stampede”, “Bloodbath Mastermind” and “200 Years” respectively. You can’t help but think of these bands with lyrics like “No more nuclear power. No more new technology” and “Welcome to the stone age”. Accept even mixes in some doom elements on the slower paced tracks “Dying Breed” and “Fall of the Empire”.
In metal’s early days, this is exactly what the metal scene was like. You had your speedier bands like Iron Maiden and Venom. There were acts like Black Sabbath and Pentagram with a much more deliberate and down tuned riff style. Then there were your bands like Accept and Judas Priest that seamlessly mixed these paces together. The best part of all of this is that none of these bands were called anything other than heavy metal back then. I know many of us miss that. Blind Rage takes everything that made 1980’s heavy metal great and folds it into one nice package.
I am not going to make recommendations about songs. Trust me, you need to check out this entire album. Alright, alright you twisted my arm (Jesus! This album is so good, it has me talking to and arguing with myself). “Stampede”, “Dying Breed”, “200 Years”, “Bloodbath Mastermind” and “Final Journey” are the ones I would recommend starting with if you only want to dip your feet into the Blind Rage pool. Then again, you shouldn’t do anything aside from diving into this one head first.
It has been many years since I have heard a better traditional metal album than this latest effort from Accept. It trumps last year’s amazing album 13 from Black Sabbath. It is much better than many of the albums that Accept’s 80’s counterparts have been turning out over the past several years. Blind Rage is what Judas Priest’s latest album, Redeemer of Souls, should have been. Accept pays a lot of homage to their past, while still managing to create music that fits easily into the current era of heavy metal.
For those of you wishing for a time gone by, this is the album for you. To the younger rapscallions that don’t know enough about the history and influence of the early days of heavy metal, this will be a perfect album for you to pick up. You will love the heavy feel of it and it may also show you where the sounds and styles of your current favorite metal bands actually came from. This is a great listening experience that will also expand your appreciation of heavy metal. As a website that prides itself on educating people on the vast history of heavy metal, we can write about what influenced what until our hands are tired but some people will truly only begin to grasp what we are saying when they can physically hear it. Blind Rage is an album that affords everyone that exact opportunity.
Blind Rage was released on August 19, 2014 through Nuclear Blast Records. Make sure to grab a copy of this excellent album and be sure to give us your thoughts on it in our comments section.