Accept has been around so long, churning out the same kind of old school Germanic metal that they’ve essentially become a younger, heavier version of AC/DC. This isn’t a bad thing really, as AC/DC is known for consistency and sticking to their (big) guns. Accept has charted a similar course, delivering album after album of rocking 80s style metal with just enough melody and quasi-pop-acumen. The Rise of Chaos is the fourth album featuring Mark Tornillo on vocals and he continues to settle into the foundation the band’s been building since the 70s. It also marks the departure (again) of mercurial guitarist Herman Frank as well as significantly less mercurial drummer, Stefan Schwarzmann. Considering all the lineup shuffling, there are no real surprises to be found herein and the basic recipe remains the same – hard rocking songs for lovers of classic metal who like to chug beers whilst spinning attitudenal tuneage. As with the ancient, esteemed AC/DC, it all comes down to the song writing at this point in Accept‘s career and once again they nail it more often than not. But not without a few costly mistakes along the way.

Opening cut “Die By the Sword” is a prime example of the Accept playbook at peak operational strategery. It’s got just the right amount of aggression in the riffs, some flashy axe-work, a huge, anthemic chorus and plenty of those Teutonic oooh-oooh-ooohs Accept loves so much. Tornillo even goes for some Halford-esque wailing and screeching to put a fat stamp on the whole package before mailing. It’s a song I’ve been habitually spinning and I love it muchly. Just as expectations (and chaos) rise however, “Hole in the Head” comes out with the opening line “I need you like a prison term,” and things start to go pear-shaped. It isn’t a totally bad song, but it’s very rote and generic with some really unfortunate lyrical choices (“I tried so hard to quit you”). Yuck.

From there it’s metallic hopscotch from good songs to more questionable fare. Cuts like “What’s Done is Done” and “Worlds Colliding” are catchy, enjoyable rockers with good choruses and enough balls proximate to walls to satisfy fans. Other selections however, like “No Regrets” slightly misfire and feel less uninspired. “Koolaid” is a song about the Jonestown tragedy, which is obviously a serious event. While the song is mostly entertaining, when the chorus of “Don’t drink the Koolaid!” hits it’s unintentionally hilarious, which is unfortunate considering the source material. On top of that, the song sounds way too much like “Hoodoo Woman” by Krokus at key moments (yes, Krokus, motherfucker!). Album closer “Race to Extinction” is quite heavy but is the least engaging songs here and should have been left off entirely.

Besides the opener, the song that strikes me most is “Analog Man,” which tells of the confusion older folk feel in this increasingly hi-tech age. It has a simplistic rock structure much like, you guessed it, AC/DC, but the lyrics are so insightful, funny and true, they raise the song up a few notches. In fact, the line “I’m just an old school son of a bitch in a digital world” will now be the official tagline for Steel Industries, Ltd.

At 46 minutes and ten tracks, The Rise of Chaos is the ideal length. The production is a tad loud but in that stadium-ready hard rock way that suits the material. Tornillo is way out front with the guitars occupying the remainder and a fat, reverberating drum sound backing it all up.

Speaking of Mr. Tornillo, he’s grown into the frontman role well since taking over for the legendary Udo Dirkschneider. He has the same kind of raspy bark but possesses a much more versatile voice, capable of clean singing and wild screaming. He brings a Brian Johnson-esque tough guy grit to the proceedings and makes the music a bit heavier even when things are catchy and accessible. He sounds extra venomous this time out too, hitting more high notes and scrotum-testing screams. Founding guitarist Wolf Hoffman ensures every album is full of slick riffs and even slicker solo-work, and there’s no shortage of that here. He and well-traveled new axe Uwe Lulis (ex-Grave Digger, ex-Rebellion) work well together and splatter the album with enjoyable 80s metal moments that propel the songs along to mostly good ends. Wolf doesn’t get near the amount of praise he should and I enjoy his playing on every song.

The Rise of Chaos is another rocking, hard-charging album with more hits than misses, and for a band as vintage as Accept, it sounds satisfyingly pissed-off. It’s not quite as good as Blind Rage, but it’s well worth hearing for fans and newbies alike. As long as you are, in fact, about to rock, this will work just fine for you. The rest may now leave the hall.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 271 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast
Websites: acceptworldwide.com | facebook.com/accepttheband
Releases Worldwide: August 4th, 2017

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  • HeavyMetalHamster

    As promised….thanks SD
    Never thought I’d see the day when Accept would release a song called Kool-aid. …..perhaps the ESL impairment…..
    Still….a mediocre Accept album is better than most these days.

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    I was really excited when I heard the first released track “Rise” but got really worried when “Koolaid” came out. Fully expecting this to be a progression from their last 3, that song was like a punch in the gut, not the good kind. Accept is one of my absolute favorite bands so I’m definitely giving the full album a listen, I just hope I won’t be as disappointed. Your review is good and gives me some hope for the rest of the tracks. Thanks!

    • Skeeter 300 BlkOut

      Listening to analog man now, I dig it.

      • Señor Jefe El Rossover

        I grew on me quite a lot after multiple listens

  • Blind Rage was a great album. Maybe this one will grow on me?

  • Martin Knap

    Accept… or don’t.

  • The Akerstache

    It is actually believed that the Jonestown massacre was executed via Flavor Aid, instead of the aforementioned Kool-Aid. This greatly perturbs me, as Accept could have instead wrote “Escape from Flavor Town,” the tale of cultist Guy Fieri.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Slayer’s song is well known enough that NOBODY should go and name another song “Die By The Sword”. Not even Accept.

    • They care not about Slayer’s feeble sword!

    • Mollusc

      Maybe it’s the German article ‘die’.

  • Martin L

    There can be only one song about Jonestown: Guyana (Cult of the Damned) by Manowar. Accept no substitute !

    • Nola Trash Talk

      Agent Steel -The Day at Guyana

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Well, there might be more songs about it, but none will ever top Guyana (Cult Of The Damned). That said, there’s “Carnage in The Temple of The Damned” by Deicide.

    • Gloomer88

      Classic song!!!

  • Nola Trash Talk

    Good review and except it’s better than Blind Rage.

  • SelfIndulgence

    lyrics by Deafy?

  • MAGEE

    Total dud. This band should have called it quits years ago. Somehow they’ve become the most boring band in the world.

    • blindg

      Actually Blind Rage was pretty good. This one is unAcceptable..

    • FelixtheMetalcat

      Q tips are located in aisle one….

  • blindg

    3.0/5.0 is too high

  • Embedded track is very dull and the production is terrible. It almost sounds mono. The guitars sound absolutely lifeless.

  • Metal and Hockey

    Stalingrad was great Blind Rage was good. Not crazy about the two songs I’ve heard so far but it is Accept so I gotta pick it up

  • Ivan E. Rection

    That is the 2nd time this week I’ve read the word Krokus on this site. Let there be no third.

    TT Quick “Metal of Honor”… That is my preferred place to hear Tornillo.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      lolz you can’t deny Druhm his Krokus!

  • jetblindracos

    Despite the flaws listed,this gave me a pleasant surprise.

  • Probably the best 80’s band out there in terms of consistency right now, although the Koolaid man song was not expected and punctually hilarious.

  • yobazsavar

    i celebrated this album by turning up bound to fail…

  • Dustin Whiteside

    I like’s me some Krokus, a.k.a. “Swedish AC/DC”.

  • Big Bang

    Well,i respect the guitar work of wolf so far all these years but i have to say this album is just too generic and a bit boring,i just hate tornillo voice can’t stand his vocals,it’s a heavy metal version of brian johnson.

  • Mikko_Kukkonen

    Hey! What’s with this “mercurial” thing in two different reviews, by two different reviewers?

  • FelixtheMetalcat

    Interesting review and one that has me very cautious about this new release. Blind Rage was a good album but clearly a slight dip in quality over the masterpiece Stalingrad was. But hey, it is Accept and they’ve earned the right to a good fair listen.

  • Johnny Van de Put

    Better then Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad, just slightly behind Blind rage. While it doesnt have an absolute killer track like Teutonic terror, shadow soldiers, Stalingrad, Bloodbath mastermind or Dark side of my heart (my all time favorite song); I wouldnt rate any song on Rise of chaos lower then 8. Worlds coliding is the best song on the Album.

    • You’re a very generous guy.

      • Johnny Van de Put

        Nah. It wont gain Accept any new fans. If you dont like Accept before, this release wont change your mind.

        That being said this is 110% vintage accept. I have to admit I was slightly sceptical after hearing the first single for the first time. I liked it al lot more tho after they released the musicvideo along with it.

        Previous albums always had a song or 2 which was always kinda meh. This release no filler for me. Every song very consistent.

  • EnslavedEld73

    The song Time Machine off Blood of the Nations is one of the catchiest heavy metal songs in the last decade. I’ll still have to give the new record a listen even after the sub-par review.

  • Shane R

    This is the type of music that works well when I’ve got 600 miles to drive and I turn it on and quickly start to tune out the lyrics and watch the miles roll by at the speed of the groove. Respectable.

  • TheCurlyMetalhead

    I really can’t stand bands like Accept, AC/DC (worshiped them in elementary and high school) and Maiden and the whole NWOBHM scene, I guess I grew tired of it. Too generic and boring for me. *leaves the hall*