Hmmmm. So, I’ll admit that I haven’t really followed along with Accept since their last split with Udo. I know the new guy, Mark Tornillo, has gotten pretty good reviews since he joined the band. But, I just couldn’t find my way to really caring that much about the band since he joined. Maybe it’s because it seems weird that American is now fronting what is quintessentially the most German of German metal bands. Maybe it’s because he reminds me of a shorter Dee Snyder. Maybe it’s because he’s the metal version of Kenny Chesney in that he’s never been seen in public without a hat. Hell, it’s probably more that I was only marginally an Accept fan even during their heyday. Their material has always been metal as fuck and those crunchy-ass Wolf Hoffmann riffs are the stuff of legends. But, they were always just a tad under Maiden, Priest and Saxon as far as quality metal in my opinion. Whatever the reason, I just haven’t been on the Accept bandwagon in a while.
So, maybe the shitshow of 2020 is getting me nostalgic. Hell, I even gave the new AC/DC album a chance and it was a very pleasant surprise. So, how does the new version of Accept stack up against the original? Man, pretty good, I’d say. I mean, Accept is basically just Wolf Hoffmann now. He’s the only guy left from the original band. And his guitar work is just what you’d expect. He’s really everything that you could expect out of a metal guitarist. He has that trademark crunch and it hasn’t changed a bit. Hell, I feel like I’ve heard many of these riffs before. Tornillo is fine. He brings a blend of Udo mixed with a smattering of Brian Johnson and Steve Souza of Exodus. I can see why the band has continued with their popularity with him on the mic.
However, the album is not a complete success. The biggest flaw has to be the lyrics. I’m not one to ever really get hung up on lyrical content. I’m really here for the music moreso than clever lyrics. But, come on. You guys have got to be in your 60s by now and you’re still rolling out song titles like “Sucks To Be You” and “Too Mean To Die”. The lyrics are so juvenile and simplistic that they simply jar me out of the song. Some of them are so bad that I honestly feel a little embarrassed listening to them.
Ultimately, if you are a diehard Hoffmann fan, this album will not disappoint. However, if you are an Accept newbie, go back and listen to Balls to the Wall or Restless and Wild.
3 flip flops out of 5