In a world locked down by Covid, world leaders imploding and the ever present all consuming movement of the digital age, German legendary metal band ACCEPT have come out with a statement. That statement encompasses a long standing slogan for metalheads around the world and it’s titled Too Mean To Die.
Produced once again by Andy Sneap, ACCEPT overcome the hurdle of being in one country while their producer is another by bringing quality song writing to the table.
Sneap for his part sprinkles his magic dust to create a sound of a band just rocking out. The album doesn’t sound like a digital baby birthed over continents but rather like an old school ‘get in the studio and rock out as a band’ album. It sounds alive and fun.
Perfect proof is opening track Zombie Apocalypse which instantly makes you want to hear that sound when played live, it’s that electrifying. The cracking guitar riffage throughout the song is only pinned down and streamlined by Christopher Williams pounding drumming as it reaches climax.
While there is no direct theme on the album, the story of how the vocalist Mark Tornillo views the world of social media and instant stardom appears on multiple tracks such as Zombie Apocalypse and Overnight Sensation.
The title track itself and the sneering Sucks To Be You display the attitude of a much younger band and who here doesn’t think of themselves as a Heavy Metal Warrior anyway.
While the album is an unashamed metal album the band do reach into different styles with a folk tinged How Do We Sleep and the classical influences in Symphony Of Pain and Samson And Delilah.
In those tracks we hear the duelling guitars go up against each other as new boy Philip Shouse displays his chops to challenge the grandmaster Wolf Hoffman himself. Having this chemistry opens the musicians up into these different worlds expanding the sound of a band that has pushed every envelope already over 45 years.
It’s not a classic metal album without a ballad and this one doesn’t disappoint. The Best Is Yet To Come stops you the same way that pool balls stops rolling and the jukebox silences when a beautiful stranger walks into a bar.
In a world that Covid continues to cut through the lands without prejudice, Accept have defied this and delivered an album of pure steel. Of crushing Heavy Metal. They are Too Mean To Die after all.
Album Review By Iain McCallum