Legendary German heavy metal band Accept is back with their first studio album in 14 years, Blood of the Nations. That alone is quite big news from one of the 80's seminal metal bands which influenced so many others, including Metallica. Only for clarity let's add some more data. First, Udo Dirkschneider is not back, but you probably already knew that. Replacing Udo is former TT Quick singer Mark Tornillo. However, excellent axeman Herman Frank is back, making his first contribution in 26 years. Blood of the Nations was recorded in England under the guidance of longtime fan Andy Sneap (Sabbat, Megadeth, Blaze, Exodus, Testament, Arch Enemy, et al). Those are the factual highlights.
Nevertheless, ultimate questions abound. Can Tornillo mimic Dirkschneider for the classic Accept sound and for those classic Accepts songs. A single spin, or even a listen to the first few songs, will give you the answer, and that answer is yes. Yet, I think Mr. Tornillo has a better range, more diversity, than his predecessor. The Abyss is an indication of this, and betrays the simple fact that he's a much better singer when he isn't doing the 'something-is-stuck-in-my-throat' snarling rasp of Udo/Accept. (I could take or leave Udo's style any day. I'm pretty much ambivalent.) Nevertheless, Tornillo is quite convincing, as is the heavy metal on Blood of the Nations
Essentially, there's no novelty here. In other words, do not expect any capitulation to modern metal trends here, no hardcore, death vocals, or the like. Blood of the Nations is uncompromising, unadulterated, and true heavy metal, the metal that transcends every decade and every sub-type. Locked and Loaded, Shades of Death, and Rollin' Thunder are testosterone charged metal numbers of blistering accuracy. Teutonic Terror probably captures the true intensity at the heart of Accept's German metal roots. For pure melodic metal passion look no further than the soaring Kill the Pain. Throughout, every song is girded by a mammoth steady rhythm section and accentuated by some damn fine fiery fret work in the solos.
If Blood of the Nations is the future of Accept, the future is quite bright for them and heavy metal fans worldwide. Do not miss this one! Very recommended!