Accept’s latest album will have you head-banging through quarantine


Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashups

Accept is a German heavy metal band formed in 1976 by Wolf Hoffmann (pictured) and former members Udo Dirkschneider and Peter Baltes.

The German heavy metal legends known as Accept are back, metal-heads! Three and a half years after the release of “The Rise of Chaos”—a great album despite not being as ruthless as previous outings such as “Blind Rage” or “Stalingrad”—the band, for their sixteenth album, return to their aggressive, pulse-pounding abilities, cracking out a release that stacks above their predecessor in almost every conceivable way. The rip-roaring and ballistic “Too Mean to Die” is a killer release that proves that this 44-year-old band still has what it takes to produce brutal material.

If you have listened to albums from the Mark Tornillo era of Accept, from “Blood of the Nations” all the way to “The Rise of Chaos,” you pretty much know what kind of music, riffs and lyrical content you are probably going to get yourself into. What you don’t realize is just how fist-pumpingly awesome it’s going to get based on the band’s execution.

One unique element about “Too Mean to Die” are the thematic elements it subtly shares throughout its lyrics, particularly ones that relate to the modern generation. Examples include the opening track “Zombie Apocalypse,” an extremely punchy little note about people fixated on their phones, disconnecting themselves from reality. Although Tornillo’s spectacular vocals, lead guitarist Wolf Hoffman’s savage riffs and Christopher William’s drum work are so terrific, it is enough to imagine yourself running away from a horde of the undead. Other examples include the third song “Overnight Sensation,” a fun, mainstream song that feels inspired by their 80s albums like “Metal Heart” and “Eat the Heat.” The number hones in on the concept of becoming famous and how easy it is with technology.

“Lyrically, it’s talking about the modern generation of YouTube kids,” said Hoffmann in an interview with Apple Music. “We found it intriguing to think that when we got started you had to learn something for years and years until you got good enough to be famous one day. Nowadays kids go online, post something, it goes viral and they’re basically overnight stars…all the rules are changed completely.”

The entire album has a diverse vast array of ferocious and melodic tunes that’ll make you crank the volume up to 11, whether it be on your electronic device or car stereo. The title track scorches the air in a blaze of glory, the somber, slow-paced “The Best is Yet To Come” contains a tremendous vocal performance by Tornillo, and “Symphony of Pain” is a glorious track about Beethoven’s life, with epic guitar covers of Beethoven’s 9th, “Ode to Joy” and “Movement IV” all from Hoffmann, Uwe Lulis and Philip Shouse’s peerless talent on the guitar.

The best track of them all is the grim, mid-paced tune called “The Undertaker.” From the traditional chanting vocals Accept’s known for, the delightful riffs and the glorious chorus that is destined to be sung at concerts throughout the world, this song exists as a reason to why the repeat button was invented. 

Superior over its progenitor, “Too Mean to Die” is too great to ignore. In a year where a horrible pandemic is still in effect, this album is 53-minute long head-banging beast that will lift and motivate the spirits and hearts of both the newly initiated and the hardcore fanatics of the heavy metal genre.