Sound — 9
Accept are a classic heavy metal band, with songs such as Balls to the Wall, Metal Heart, and Fast as a Shark forever engraved in the memory of old-school headbangers. When they announced that they were recording a new album without their iconic singer Udo Dirkschneider and American vocalist Mark Tornillo in his place, I was, to say the least, doubtful of how good it could be. Let's just say that the album exceeded my wildest dreams. They decided to give it another go in 2009 after a jam session with the band's creative core, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes. Someone suggested they call singer Mark Tornillo, and with him on board, they decided to resurrect Accept. Monstrous, catchy guitar riffs, melodic, Michael Schenker-influenced solos, and pounding beats are plentiful here, but none of it is rehashed from the band's glory days. The songs are new and exciting, and the album they created is unquestionably the heaviest thing the band has ever recorded. This is due in large part to veteran metal producer Andy Sneap, himself a lifelong fan of Accept. The record's production is marked with Sneap's signature style, bone-crushingly heavy, yet all the instruments are perfectly audible and evenly mixed. Sneap gave the band the extra push to craft an excellent metal record.
Lyrics — 8
An area of which I was particularly skeptical was how well new singer Mark Tornillo would measure up to Udo. In short, Tornillo is the best possible replacement for Mr. Dirkschneider that the band could possibly have gotten, more than capable of filling his predecessor's sizable shoes. His voice has a similar shrieking quality to it, with Tornillo tearing wrenching howls from his guts. Tornillo also proves himself to be an expert lyricist as well, contributing sometimes wrathful, sometimes thoughtful lyrics to the band's already excellent songs. He writes about subjects such as oppression, murder, and vengeance, which compliment the band's newfound intensity. There is no Screaming for a Love-Bite to be found here, that's for sure. Tornillo, it seems, is the burst of new energy it took to bring back Accept.
Overall Impression — 9
All the doubts have been laid to rest, Accept are back in a blaze of glory. The album kicks off with the rousing, fast-paced Beat the Bastards and features such other strong cuts as the venomous closer Bucket Full of Hate, the driving No Shelter, the anthemic title track, and the single Teutonic Terror, a marching, invigorating piece of metallic rage that proclaims loudly Accept's return to form, loudly exclaiming we will give them the axe! All songs are worth listening to, however, and although the album clocks in at over 70 minutes, it contains no filler. There are a couple of acoustic and/or clean parts on the album, usually intros, but these are good, atmospheric parts, as is the ballad Kill the Pain. These also serve as a breather, so the band can come back and hit you full force again. All in all, this album can sit proudly beside classics such as Balls to the Wall and Restless and Wild, and it is a terrific return to form that will set Accept back on the path to glory and world domination. Teutonic terror, indeed!