"Blood of the Nations"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I suppose the cynical might say that Accept are back together to pad their retirement accounts and pick up a little cash. And I couldn't totally disagree, as there is hardly a band from the 80's that hasn't gotten back together with loot in mind. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Accept tried to make a go of it before without their iconic frontman Udo Dirkschneider and the result was pretty tepid at best. This time, the Germans again look Stateside for their new screamer and managed to come up with Mark Tornillo from the long-moribund T.T. Quick. I almost fell off my chair when I heard they made that choice. But again, the proof is in the sonic pudding known as "Blood of the Nations".

It is indeed strange hearing something other than Udo's schnauzer-like barks fronting Accept, but this record grows on me the more I hear it. Tornillo's has got some rough grit to his voice, but he doesn't come across as an Udo clone and he gets points for that. The fact is, this record is crackling with energy and good basic heavy metal tunes that should satisfy anyone with an open mind and an appreciation for honest headbanging. Productions is absolutely fantastic and all the instruments come across with maximum clarity. "Beat The Bastards" gets the ball rolling with a fist to the face and you can tell the band means business. It's not an aberration, either, and the band manage to keep that energy flowing throughout. "Teutonic Terror", "Locked and Loaded" , "Rollin' Thunder" and "Bucketful of Hate" are all as fast as a shark, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). Guitarists Wofl Hoffmann and Stefan Schwarzman have never sounded so fired up as they do here. Check out the ballad "Kill The Pain", which is pretty by the numbers until it comes to the blazing axe solo that carries it to a different level.

In true Accept fashion, the band mix up tempos pretty well. "Shades of Death" is quite epic and builds extremely well while "New World Comin'" really does sound like classic Accept and almost reminds me of "Princess of the Dawn". "The Abyss" is very moody while "Pandemic" thumps along with true Teutonic plod. Ironically, the most average tune is the title track, which just sounds very generic and didn't click for me. Throughout it all, Tornillo shows more range than his predecessor, but admittedly, Udo's growls can never really be replaced.

Skeptical fans can put their minds at ease. "Blood of the Nations" is the same Accept that did "Restless and Wild", "Metal Heart" and "Objection Overruled", with some new twists. Maybe it's just another reunion, but for now, I'm convinced.