If you have never heard of Accept before, then you’ve definitely been living under a rock! The Rise of Chaos is the fifteenth studio album from the German heavy metal band, who have been shredding for over 40 years, and their sound has definitely withstood the test of time. ‘Rise of Chaos’ is no exception, showcasing not only the instrumental talents of its members, but the talents of their front man Mark Tornillo, who at 63 years old is packing some of the best pipes in the industry, and continues to rock like he’s still a teenager!
Accept is comprised of band members Tornillo (Vocals), Wolf Hoffmann (Guitar/Backing Vocals), Peter Baltes (Bass/Backing Vocals), Uwe Lulis (Guitar), and Christopher Williams (Drums).
Opening with somewhat of a haunting riff, “Die by the Sword” sets the tempo of what is certainly going to be a true heavy metal experience! Tornillo’s vocal talents are truly showcased throughout “Die by the Sword”, ranging from his standard tone, to the glass-shattering high notes that leave you in absolute awe. The backing vocals (in parts) provide a choir-esque ambiance that compliments the instrumentals, and helps lift the atmosphere of the track. With guitar solos that will send shivers down your spine, this, ladies and gentlemen, is how you kick off a heavy metal album!
Accept have definitely nailed opening their tracks with riffs that have you on your knees, begging for more, and “Hole in the Head” is no exception! The tempo direction slights shifts to a calmer pace, and the instrumentals are slightly stripped back (compared to “Die by the Sword”). However, with that being said, the ‘simplicity’ of the instrumentals in this track makes it all the more memorable, and allows for Tornillo’s vocals to truly shine through. Then the guitar solo comes in, and slaps you in the face! Whack! Talk about unexpected sensations! Lulis and Hoffmann, take a bow!
Here we go! “The Rise of Chaos”. There’s huge expectation once you reach the track that the album is named after, and “The Rise of Chaos” pulls absolutely zero punches. The opening of the track creates an abrupt burst of energy, surrounded by chaos, and returns the tempo direction back to where the album kicked off. Tornillo, yet again, belting every note with perfection. When the instrumentals break away from Tornillo’s vocals, it transcends the track to new heights, especially the guitar work of both Lulis and Hoffmann – simply sublime.
When you look at the track name you’re probably going to think to yourselves, “You cannot be serious?” Do not let “Koolaid” fool you. The opening riff walks right up to you, and punches you square in the jaw, bringing you to the sudden realisation that Accept are really that damn good! From start to finish, the guitar work within the track are going to have you absolutely hooked. The instrumentals as a whole come together perfectly, making this track one of the more memorable on the album. The tempo direction of the album wavers, which allows Tornillo to take a front row seat, and let his vocals reign supreme, before the instrumentals returning to blow you away!
Drummers don’t get as much recognition as they deserve, and Williams definitely needs a standing ovation for his work within “No Regrets”. Complimented by the instrumentals around him, it’s the percussion that creates an atmosphere of urgency, and returns the tempo direction to the more manic tenacity that Accept are best known for. Tornillo takes a back seat for the most part, allowing the instrumentals to stamp their dominance. This is why Accept are so highly revered within the Heavy Metal world. Their talents, both instrumental and vocal, are a combination of some of the best within the industry!
Let’s rewind. No, really, that’s how the track opens up. “Analog Man” speaks of wanting to return to the time when 8-tracks were all the rage, as opposed to living in a digitally dominated world. Lyrically, probably the most simplistic of the tracks on ‘Rise of Chaos’ thus far, but that doesn’t take anything away from the song – it allows Tornillo’s vocal talents, blended effortlessly with the instrumentals, to be showcased above all else.
Once again, Lulis and Hoffmann providing an opening riff that has you salivating. “What’s Done is Done” returns us to the more manic tempo direction that the album, for the most part, has headed. Tornillo’s vocal talents are mind blowing; need anyone be reminded of how old this man is? Lyrically, a lot like “Analog Man”, it’s stripped back a bit, allowing the instrumentals to yet again show off their dominance, and they don’t pull any punches at all, especially the shredding combination of Lulis and Hoffmann.
What Accept have done brilliantly with ‘Rise of Chaos’ is their ability to hook you on a track simply with the opening riff, and “Worlds Colliding” is no exception. Lulis and Hoffmann providing guitar work in this track that will give you goosebumps, if they haven’t continuously done so already. Close your eyes, and allow the combination of Tornillo’s voice, and the instrumentals swirling around him, transport you to the spiritual plane. The guitar solos alone will force the transcendence!
The album is called ‘The Rise of Chaos’, and I think said chaos has been a slow build up to “Carry the Weight”. Returning the tempo direction of the album to the more tenacious, manic speed that we’ve seen showcased before, “Carry the Weight” is amping you up for the Grand Finale! The drum work of Williams, yet again, shining through in this track. There’s no surprise either, yet again, that “Carry the Weight” allows Tornillo to showcase his vocal range, and there’s no surprise yet again that it’s nothing short of brilliant. Any budding vocalist should be turning their attention to this man, because he’s got a lot to offer them. When Tornillo steps back, and allows the instrumentals to hit the forefront (as he has done on many occasions throughout ‘The Rise of Chaos’) they take over with brute force. Lulis and Hoffmann, as expected, providing guitar work that has consistently been superb throughout the album.
We’ve reached the end, which is ironic, considering the track is entitled “Race to Extinction”. The opening riff is slowed right down, combined seamlessly with the drum work of Williams behind it, to almost match the tempo in which “Die by the Sword” opened the album with. Shifting slightly to a more upbeat tempo direction, however containing a similar eeriness that, yet again, is likened to “Die by the Sword”, allows for ‘The Rise of Chaos’ to come full circle, ending exactly where they started. We’ve come to expect brilliance from Tornillo’s vocals, and he delivers. The instrumentals have been dominant throughout, and they don’t let you down. What a way to finish a heavy metal album!
Shredding solos, the perfect combination of instrument and voice, tracks that leave you on your knees begging for more. It’s what Heavy Metal is at its core, and Accept have absolutely smashed one out of the ball park for a Home Run! You’ll be biting at the bit, agonising over the fact that the album has finished, because you’ll want more, believe me! This album hasn’t released yet, but the anticipation to see what Accept has in store for the future evokes thoughts that will cause mild hysteria.