"Too Mean to Die" (Nuclear Blast; 2021)

Reviewed by Snidermann

When I think of the band Accept, I think of the legendary singer Udo Dirkschneider. Well, Udo isn't part of the 2021 version of Accept and I say good riddance! Why? Because the band's current singer, Mark Tornillo, kicks major ass.

Also, this band is known for tight, strong, killer music and "Too Mean To Die" is all of those things and more. You got to dig cuts called "Zombie Apocalypse," "Sucks To Be You" and, of course, the title track "Too Mean To Die."

Loud and in-your-face, Accept delivers a powerhouse metal performance that is really needed in today’s metal scene. Three guitars that rock the house and with a  rhythm section that puts the power into Accept's overall coolness. This very well could be the second best release of 2021 (so far!)  Accept and "Too Mean To Die" will be on my a list spin cycle for quite some time. Udo who? (Actually,  I still love Udo, too!)

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"Blood of the Nations" (Nuclear Blast; 2010)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

German metal masters Accept return with "Blood of the Nations," a 12-track album that displays this Teutonic unit’s classic loud and fast dynamic with some discernible twists.

This disc (the band’s first studio offering in 14 years), brings on some major changes in the lineup for starters, as former TT Quick singer Mark Tornillo replaces the mighty Udo behind the microphone while Herman Frank returns to the fold to reform one of metal’s most underrated twin guitar tandems alongside the blistering six-string blitzkrieg of Wolf Hoffman (“No Shelter”, “Rollin’ Thunder”). Despite these massive shakeups and the decade-plus long studio layoff, Accept sounds as determined and rejuvenated as ever, retaining their vintage musical bite while exhibiting a hard rock snarl that finds Tornillo formidably projecting an Udo-like presence while interjecting slices of his vocal personality into Accept’s tried and true slabs of concrete hard rock seasoned with the contagious songwriting that puts this troupe squarely in the annals of metal history.

This disc truly has everything a fan would want in a comeback album and more, as the changes the band endured allows them a greater range for the music to develop and organically venture into unseen territory while never getting in the way of the band’s patented classic gang vocal choruses (“New World Comin’”), stomping style (“Beat the Bastards”) or underlying mission to deliver the most heartfelt and hard rocking traditional metal excursion possible with a potent and polished metallic punch giving this band a solid second wind.

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"Death Row" (Pavement; 1995)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

To me, Accept means the albums “Restless And Wild,” “Balls To The Wall,” “Metal Heart,” and “Russian Roulette.” Little did I know it at the time, but I was listening to ‘power metal’ in its infancy. These four albums were very important in the formation of this particular metalhead’s lifelong obsession with fast and furious music. Seeing Accept open for Iron Maiden back in 1985 is still one of my favorite memories – Accept was promoting “Metal Heart” and Iron Maiden was promoting “ Powerslave” – damn do I feel old having written that. 

However, my purchases of Accept albums stopped after “Russian Roulette.” I completely dismissed Accept when when Udo Dirkschneider was not the lead singer of the very band he started. What other reason did I have to listen Accept?

Fortunately, a buddy of mine followed the band longer than I did and a few years ago eventually convinced me to purchase either “Objection Overruled” or “Death Row” knowing full well that I would like either one with Udo back screaming his lungs out. As fate would have it I would find “Death Row” before finding “Objection Overruled.” “Death Row” was a bit of a shock for me as I came to realize that the band had shed a guitar player and added a more straight-forward sound bordering on what I considered at the time to be more of a hardcore style than the classic metal style that I loved hearing from the classic Accept line-up circa 1984. Although the ‘hardcore’ impression does not hold true today, my first impression of “Death Row” is indelible – “Death Row,” although a decent disc, is a thoroughly disappointing record compared to the band’s track record.

To this day I’ve not heard “Eat The Rich” save for the song “Generation Clash” – and the only reason for that is because it reappears in a re-recorded form on “Death Row” as “Generation Clash II.” I simply could not pass up the chance to hear the ‘same’ song recorded with two different vocalists. Bottom line: Udo rules.

Although I’ve never heard “Objection Overruled,” it gives me great pleasure to say that Dirkschneider’s unique vocal style and sound works remarkably well in Accept’s new, simplified approach on “Death Row.” This realization caught me by surprise after I initially purchased it and it still surprises me to this day on the rare occasion that I listen to it. 

The classic Accept sound appears on tracks like “The Beast Inside,” “Like A Loaded Gun,” and “Stone Evil” – these three tracks are enough to make me pull “Death Row” from my crowded shelf at least a couple of times a year.  When I was younger, Wolf Hoffmann was one of my favorite guitarists and I tried to emulate him as I was learning the guitar. Flashes of brilliance appear on the various tracks of “Death Row,” but it is painfully obvious to me that Accept means a twin-guitar attack by two separate guitar players not one guitar player doing two separately recorded guitars.

The album contains fifteen songs running over 71 minutes in length. Quite frankly some of the tracks run on too long given the band’s adoption of a simpler style. Many of the riffs are repeated ad nauseam - I expected more from Wolf Hoffmann, Peter Baltes, and Stefan Kaufmann. Shortening both the number of songs and the length of songs would have made “Death Row” a bit easier to stomach. 

“Death Row” was produced by Accept. There are noticeable drops in quality in certain songs (check out “Guns R Us” as an example) – but perhaps that is a fault of the recording process and not the band.

Accept: Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, Wolf Hoffmann on guitars, Peter Baltes on bass, and Stefan Kauffman on drums.

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"Objection Overruled" (CMC International; 1993)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I was at the Foundations Forum a few years back. The FF was a rock'n'roll convention that introduced the music world to new bands and paid tribute to the veterans.

This particular year, I read that Accept was going to open the evening. I had heard of Accept, of course, but really never paid them much attention. When the time came for them to play, I found myself surrounded by about 300 other folk (the convention only held about 500) and all of them were pumping their fists in the air and singing along with the words. 

Accept was incredible that night and, after the show, I sought out some of their older CDs and their new ones. "Objection Overruled" was one of the later CDs and, let me tell you, this shit does rock. Lead vocalist Udo Dirkschneider sings like a man possesed and bandmates Wolf Hoffman, Peter Baltes and Stefan Kaufmann are right there along with him. Accept is one tight, together band and they obviously loved what they were doing. 

"Objection Overruled" may not be as powerful or as steady as "Balls to the Wall," but it still kicks metal ass.

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"Restless and Wild" (Legacy Recordings; 1982)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I just listened to Accept and their 1983 release, "Restless and Wild," and I loved it! I started listening to the band in the 90s. For some reason, I had never heard of them before then. Now, I am a big fan of both Accept and Udo Dirkschneider (and his myriad bands/collaborations).

The music here is great. It's raw, fast, and in-your-face. At this point in their career, the band had only been putting out releases for about four years; however, they sounded fucking great on this recording! Udo has one of the most recognizable voices in metal. Furthermore, 75% of Udo is still better than most of the other vocals out there, today and even in 1983.

Songs like "Ahead of the Pack," "Neon Nights," (not the Black Sabbath song) and "Demon’s Night" really stand out. This recording is simply awesome.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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