Four years after the release of Rise Of Chaos and with another line-up changes Teutonic Heavy legends Accept are back with their new, 16th album named Too Mean To Die.
Let’s start with the line-up changes: bassist Martin Motnik replaced long played Peter Baltes after his leaving and now Wolf Hoffman is the only founder and long-time member in the band. Also guitarist Philip Shouse joined Accept and now there are three guitars in the band (like in Iron Maiden). As for the rest, things are the same as they were: Mark Tornillo still sings in a way that some vocalists can only envy his raspy vocals, which can really impress from time to time; Wolf Hoffmann and Uwe Lulis play fast riffs and some great melodic solos, while Christopher Williams provides really powerful drumming.
Musically, Too Mean To Die is a classic Heavy Metal, of course – it would be silly to expect some radical experiments and crucial changed from Accept. Nevertheless, new album has much more drive than previous one, as for me. The band worked with Andy Sneap again and here we have some ambiguity: on one hand Too Mean To Die sounds heavy and is a very qualitative record but at the same time the sound is exactly what was on the previous Accept‘s albums. However, the formula “if something works, don’t touch it” also has a right to life.
The opening “Zombie Apocalypse” starts in a little bit sinister way but then it sharply turns into Judas Priest‘y Heavy with great screams from Mark, powerful verse and melodic, catchy chorus, which will be sound great on live shows. Some Judas Priest notes can be also heard in dynamic “Not My Problem”, where the chorus is pretty reminds of “Night Crawler”, but I can’t really say that it’s a plagiarism or something like that. Dynamic “Too Mean To Die” and “No Ones Master” also sounds heavy, with great hooks and good solos; Christopher Williams delivers some interesting drum patterns too.
“Overnight Sensation” and “Sucks To Be You” reduce the pace but get back to “classic” Accept sound: tough riffs, chanting choruses, great solos and vital lyrics, where the band talks straight what they thing, without unnecessary metaphors and second meanings. Sinister “The Undertaker” with potent bass line sounds like a great Heavy Metal anthem and “How Do We Sleep” is another one NWOBHM track, quite epic and rigid at the same time, with melodic solo.
Wolf Hoffmann’s love to classical music hasn’t gone away and there is a place for it in Too Mean To Die too, of course: fast “Symphony Of Pain” with tough riff and unexpectedly heavy chorus includes some passages from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with “Ode To Joy” among them, revamped a little bit, but still recognizable.
The ballad “The Best Is Yet To Come” also made for live shows, it seems: fans will catch the chorus easily and will sing it gladly. Of course, this song can be accused in some naivety and some generic genre passages but as for me this song is valuable for the feeling of hope that it gives. While some other bands sing about how shitty was the previous year (which it truth) and how bad everything now, Accept say that there always will be a dawn after dark, and that’s also what we need now.
The album ends with instrumental “Samson And Delilah”, where there is a place for every musician to shine with his techniques and play a short solo. There are some Orient motives here, interwoven with typical Accept riffs and solos, but I personally here The Offpring‘s “Pay The Man” in the main Orient melody.
But all in all, Too Mean To Die is a great Heavy Metal album, tough and powerful, with lots of hooks and memorable passages. Maybe it’s about the “fresh blood” in a form of two new members or the band just needed some time but this album is a real step forward from the previous Rise Of Chaos, which was pretty good too. And I really hope Too Mean To Die won’t be the last one.
Too Mean To Die was released on January, 29 via Nuclear Blast.
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