One should approach Accept’s The Rise Of Chaos, which dropped last week, opposite the way Forrest Gump compared life to a box of chocolates: you know exactly what you’re gonna get. That means 46 minutes of shout-along anthems highlighted by blazing guitar solos, raspy wailings of war, social injustice and some inner strife with regular double-bass drum attacks.
A Distinct Sound
A war-torn scene is swiftly set during “Die By The Sword,” where images of battlefields and mayhem are conjured. No time is wasted incorporating vocal baritone harmonies in the prelude to its chorus, a trademark that Accept has pioneered for the genre. By the end of the fast and furious opener (guess what happens if you “live by the sword”), you’re either on board for the next 40 adrenaline-packed minutes or you’re spent. The next nine songs are similar in structure and lyrical content, as exemplified by “Hole In The Head,” which reflects on a partnership gone sour.
This further establishes Rise’s running theme of keeping a lean lifestyle amid turbulent times and living with one’s decisions. “No Regrets” and “What’s Done is Done” are two especially heavy highlights, which pick the topic clean; except for the speed levels, they are otherwise identical.
“Koolaid,” is as close to radio-friendly as Accept can get. The song opens with an uptempo shredding (a change from the power chords that dominate most other songs), which easily could have expanded into power metal territory had the drums followed the guitar. The anticipated double-bass drum pounding never arrives and instead a slower, Phil Rudd-inspired beat fuels a mid-tempo thumper. The band delivers an all-out assault about external pressure in “Carry The Weight,” which should have audiences’ heads banging.
Comfortable and In Control
Rise is Accept’s fourth studio album of the decade and as many with no-longer-new singer Mark Tornillo, whose gruff vocal stylings and tough guy aura fit the band like an old pair of ripped jeans. Ever since 2010’s Blood of the Nations reestablished the band’s heavy metal comfort zone, Accept seemingly has no plans of leaving it, which should please fans of the last three albums and even those who prefer the band’s early-80s output and 1993’s often-overlooked Objection Overruled. At this point, changing the time-tested songwriting method of power chords and group vocals would be Accept’s career equivalent of a “hole in the head.”