F U L L . R E V I E W S


Accept
Blind Rage
Type: CD
Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2014
Genre: Traditional
Reviewer: Vinaya Saksena
Published: 8/22/2014
Overall it's something to be commended
I thought Accept's 2010 release, 'Blood of the Nations', was one of the most powerful and utterly flawless comeback albums in recent metal history. So, you'd think I'd love this, their third album since bouncing back with former T.T. Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo in place of longtime shrieker Udo Dirkschneider, given the band's remarkably consistent adherence to the "Blood..." formula since then. And yeah, on the surface, 'Blind Rage' is more of the same flawlessly sculpted Teutonic metal that worked wonders on both BotN and, to a lesser degree, its 2012 follow-up 'Stalingrad'. But as much as I have marveled at the band's vitality, I feel that there's something missing this time around. Things start off in killer fashion with the fast and furious opening salvo of "Stampede," but then "Dying Breed" kicks in and you realize that this pair of tracks utilizes much the same formula as the opening pairs of songs on both 'Blood' and 'Stalingrad'. You know: Fast, angular, well-composed, riff-rocker followed by swinging, triplet-grooved sing-along in the tradition started with "Teutonic Terror". Not that any of these are really bad songs, but this routine is getting to feel a bit predictable and formulaic.

To varying degrees, this is a problem that haunts 'Blind Rage' throughout many of its eleven tracks. At certain points, you can almost predict on the first listen what chord they are going to hit next or what sort of riff or melody you are going to hear next. On one level, it's reassuring to those who love the sound of the band's last two albums (and much of their classic work). But on a deeper level, it's a somewhat troubling development, making one wonder how much longer they can keep things fresh and exciting.

However, worry as I might about the state of the band's creativity, there is pretty much no problem at all with their musical skill and craftsmanship. Songs like "Dark Side of My Heart" (with its "Up To The Limit"-esque intro riff) and the insistent "Bloodbath Mastermind" boast catchy, grooving riffs and tasteful yet edgy, piercing solos from guitar mainstay Wolf Hoffmann. Presumably 'Balls To The Wall'-era co-guitarist Herman Frank is still officially involved, although from what Wolf and bassist Peter Baltes told me circa BotN, Hoffmann played nearly all of the guitars on that album. Judging by the sound, I'm guessing pretty much the same is true of both 'Stalingrad' and this album. Another positive: the lyrics occasionally show an increased maturity, dealing in a sincere fashion with topics like human trafficking ("Wanna Be Free") and the frustrations felt by those trying for good in a world that does not always reward their efforts ("The Curse").

Overall, 'Blind Rage' is something to be commended, the third solid album in a row from a band many probably (understandably) believed to be well past their prime. The fact that the band are willing and able to put in the work needed to make an album of this quality level this late in their career is in itself good news. The aforementioned concerns about formula and repetition are not serious enough for me to lose faith in the band...yet. But I would hope that the band take that as a polite hint that -as solid as this album is, and as much as they don't want to mess with a winning formula- they may want to consider some minor (key word: MINOR) tweaks and experiments next time around. (Note: One of my favorite "Blood of the Nations" cuts was the haunting, heavy and moody "Shades of Death," which in my opinion demonstrated what can happen when these guys shake things up just a bit) So, to conclude: If you want something that reinvents classic German metal, look elsewhere. If you're happy with what you got from Accept the last couple of times, buy this! I'm grudgingly on board, but holding out hope that they can do better next time (because I believe they can!).
About this Writer:
Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ACCEPT
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Blind RageAccept
2014
Eric Compton9/1/2014
Blind RageAccept
2014
Vinaya Saksena8/22/2014
Blood of the NationsAccept
2010
Eric Compton9/1/2010
Eat The HeatAccept
1989
Eric Compton12/5/2005
The Rise of ChaosAccept
2017
Eric Compton7/29/2017


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: ACCEPT
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Blood of the NationsAccept
2010
Vinaya Saksena8/16/2010


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: ACCEPT
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Peter BaltesAcceptVinaya Saksena12/2/2010


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