Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Accept have always been leaders, their commitment to pushing metal ever onwards as breathtaking today as it was it when they first formed forty-five years ago.
With a career littered with furiously fast and heavy anthems, it was 1982’s thrash classic ‘Fast As A Shark’ that saw them elevated to the upper leagues and it’s been a position they’ve held ever since.
With the release of this, their sixteenth studio album, the band have released something that still has the hunger and attitude they’ve always displayed, age not mellowing them at all.
Judas Priest guitarist and super-producer Andy Sneap sprinkles his magic on the eleven tracks and there are certainly echoes of the Midlands legends both in the sonic make-up and structure of some of the tracks.
Opener ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ mixes traditional trademark elements of Accept with Priest-like flashes and adds in a bit of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie dark madness into the formula.
It all works brilliantly and second track, the titular ‘Too Mean To Die’ follows that same heads-down path, the pace not letting up.
The intro to ‘Overnight Sensation’ tips a hat to fellow countrymen The Scorpions and has a touch of Twisted Sister in the gang vocals, the band pouring their all throughout into songs as full of venom and social commentary as has been their style over the years.
‘No One’s Master’ is a driving heavy rocker, ‘Sucks To Be You’ is all razor blades and bruises whilst ‘Symphony Of Pain’ is a rampant rhino charge with some tasty snatches of classical music rocked up on the guitar as it slowly fades.
You’re never too far from the epic with the album, lead single ‘The Undertaker’ a sinister treat that could be tailor-made for Mr. Vincent Furnier and ‘How Do We Sleep’ sounds absolutely huge.
Along with the open throttle ‘Not My Problem’, a gloriously roaring and dirty, bikers bar stomper, there is light and shade in the form of ballad ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ that gives vocalist Mark Tornillo a rest from shredding his vocals, his voice warm and powerful but still with that bourbon-soaked edge.
It’s down to founder member Wolf Hoffman to bring things home with his guitar wizardry on instrumental ‘Samson And Delilah’, the track snaking and striking like a King Cobra, some grand touches lifting it into heroic territory.
You can never imagine Accept compromising on anything and ‘Too Mean To Die’ does exactly what it says in the title. They’ll be fighting until their very last breath and by the strength of this album they certainly aren’t ready to settle for a peaceful life for a long time yet.
An epic and thrilling way to kick off a new year, Accept have made a monster that stands amongst their finest work and shows the young pretenders to their crown just exactly how far they’ve got to go to even glimpse their coat tails. The flame is as fierce and bright as ever.
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