Accept - The Rise of Chaos, mini-review

Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,059
edited August 8 in CD, DVD, and Book Reviews
Been listening to this since the streaming release, and my CD copy arrived Saturday.  It's a good one!

As most of you know, I loved BotN and Stalingrad, but didn't care much for Blind Rage.  TRoC, IMO sort of falls somewhere in between.

It's funny, I was dubious when I heard the first two tracks they released as singles: TRoC and Don't Drink the Kool-aid.  I don't think either of these tracks served them particularly well as "singles," but they work great in the context of the rest of the album.  For singles,  I think they would have been far better served releasing the lead off track Die By the Sword, Analog Man, or No Regrets. The first two of which have that hooky, sing-along type of chorus. The latter is just a ball of energy with infectious dynamics.  Others, like Hole in the Head, worm their way into your consciousness.  

At this point, I'll be comparing everything they release to BotN and Stalingrad.  I think both of those -- particularly BotN have and had the huge benefit of being "new, fresh music" from Accept.  There was an immediacy to tracks like Teutonic Terror, The Abyss, Pandemic, Stalingrad, Hellfire, and some others, that they will be hard-pressed to match moving forward.  But I'm not sure how much of that is songwriting leveling off vs. my own personal joy (particularly at the time of the BotN release) of having this band back. Probably a bit of both. 

What we have with TRoC, I think, is a slow-grower. Nothing here has quite the immediacy of Teutonic Terror (how could it?), but this IS a real good set of songs that seem to get better with each listen.  After streaming it twice, I bought it, and I'm glad I did.  Gonna hold off on numerically grading it for a while, but to me, it's a good deal better than Blind Rage, and not quite the first two.

Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
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Comments

  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 646
    Listening to it right now. I am up to the last song, and probably will give it another listen later today or tomorrow.

    I like it, although on a first listen I can say I actually liked (gasp) Blind Rage more. But Accept is an old favorite and I find it hard NOT to like anything Wolf comes up with.

    Second half of the albums sound stronger to me... Analog Man is such a reminder of Balls to the Wall it's not even funny. That koolaid song is fun as well.

    Someone said it sounded less power metalish and more like classic Accept, but I don't hear it. It's fitting with Accept's current style, but well, we all hear different things I suppose.

    I'll comment more when I give it a couple more spins.
  • EugenicScumEugenicScum Posts: 5,138
    It does have more of their AC/DC influence, especially during choruses than the previous ones of this era. I think that makes this more fun to listen to.
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  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,179
    Songwise and performance wise there's nothing wrong with it. Solid Tornillo-Accept with maybe a bit more concern for dynamics.
    But does it sound muffled? Sonically there's no sparkle.
  • EugenicScumEugenicScum Posts: 5,138
    I do remember hearing a lot of low end but not hearing the bass guitar clearly. The kick drum is loud in the mix. Perhaps your stereo couldn't perceive it too well? This is definitely not a vinyl friendly mix.
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  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,004
    I gave it three spins on Spotify.  No surprises, it's a very solid Accept release, but I don't like as much as the three other Tornillo albums. I can't really point out what is missing. Maybe some of Wolf's melodicism that could be found in songs like "Shadow Soldiers", "200 years", "The Curse", "Pandemic" etc...   
    In any case, as Dave pointed out, it's a less immediately compelling listen.  I also agree with Srikanth about the more present AC/DC vibe, but that's something I didn't like in old Accept, so... 

    The song I like the best is the opener, "Die By The Sword", I think it totally kicks ass. I also like "What is gone is gone", a cool catchy anthem with nice guitar work by Wolf.  The Kool-Aid song has kinda grown on me, it has some serious oomph.  On the opposite side, I think "Hole in the head" is a dud, "Analog man" sounds way too much like "Balls to The Wall" for its own good (the pre-chorus is almost identical) and the last two or three songs sound a bit samey.   
    I know I'm in a minority, but "Blind Rage" remains my favorite Tornillo-Accept album...  Among others, "Dark Side of My Heart", "200 years", I love those songs. 
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,059
    edited August 9
    Sancho said:
    But does it sound muffled? Sonically there's no sparkle.
    I don't think it's bad, but it DOES seem to be mixed (or maybe it was in mastering) a bit less effectively than the first two. It seems tighter -- not in the good way -- congested. Like it breathes less.  Probably over compressed.

    Side note: You want to hear sub-par, listen to a few tracks off the new Mr. Big.  They made Gilbert sound like Mr. Small. 

    No surprises, it's a very solid Accept release
    While I agree with that statement, it makes me wonder what kind of surprises could they actually deliver at this point?
    I was surprised (and pleased) that it was 10 songs rather than 14 or whatever.  But I kind of wonder why that is and what that means, because if you think about it, it's almost unheard of these days. 

    I think with a band like Accept that isn't stylistically diverse to begin with, the best you can hope for is a few riffs, songs, and solos that rise above and stand out over their typical album cuts. (This is were only 10 tracks helps).  But new ideas? What does that even sound like?

    I've listened to this about 10 times now, and I can say these tracks are growing on me, and some of them are sticking.  And I should also say that in fairness, I have not given it my undivided attention, and I SHOULD do that. I've been listening on my commute on the subway, and part of that time while reading a book. 

    We all have different takes on it. I actually like Hole in the Head -- it's got kind of a different groove and mood going for it, and I find the chorus sticky.  And I didn't even notice the Analog Man similarities to Balls.  Just that it could/should have been the single. So there you go.

    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
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  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,059
    I listened closely on the way to work this AM without reading.  Here's a few more random thoughts:

    • Mark Tornillo is killing it on this album. Especially vocally, but also lyrically. He's singing his ass off and screaming like a banshee. Fantastic performance.
    • Wolf's guitar solos, while not buried in the mix, seem too far back. -- at least on my ear buds. Aside from taking away from the solos themselves, this isn't helping the album as a whole, because with most Accept albums, when you get to the solo, you'd get that blast-off of energy -- the song's second wind, and I think that dynamic element is missing a bit here. 
    • Similarly, Peter Baltes isn't as prominent as he usually is. Not in the mix (where's his big round tone?), and not compositionally. There's usually a track or two where he's featured prominently. I think that's missing here, too.
    That said, I'm still enjoying this album. 
    Life is easier, so much easier, life is easier now.
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,179
    I agree with your above assessment.
    Mastering is definitely iffy.

    A lot of bands are returning to the 10 song, 40 minute format. Seeing as how only music die hards are still buying CDs, it's pointless to cram the CD chock full with filler.
  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 646
    Gave it another listen earlier. Sounds better, but I will join the general consensus about it sounding kinda off... Maybe it's the mastering as everybody is saying.

    Still prefer Blind Rage, no question about it.

    Baltes sounds fine to me in the first song... then he kinda disappears.

    I am surprised Dave didn't notice the Balls to the Wall / Analog Man thing... As Seven Moons said, they are downright identical in the pre chorus...
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,059
    edited August 9

    I am surprised Dave didn't notice the Balls to the Wall / Analog Man thing... As Seven Moons said, they are downright identical in the pre chorus...
    Well it's certainly there- and probably one of the reasons it is one of the catchier songs. 
    Truthfully it doesn't bother me much. Not the first time they've gone close to Balls. There's a track on Objection Overruled that does that too.  
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
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  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 8,231
    I just got my copy today. I ordered from Amazon....so I already had the download with their Autorip feature.....but I have this rule that I won't listen to the download or stream it  completely until I get the physical copy. I will listen to it tomorrow. So far what I have heard I liked. I wonder if the new guitar player got to play anything on the album....
  • SanchoSancho Posts: 18,179
    Just gave it another spin.
    I like the songs, not the sonics.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 16,059
    I like the songs a lot.
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  • Nick LaytonNick Layton Posts: 649
    Gonna have to check this out!
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,181
    I have listened a bit to it. At first listens I like it better than both Stalingrad and Blind Rage (the last I think I've listened to in total three times, probably need to revisit it...).
    It sure got cool songs, lot of power and cool riffs going down throughout. Will give it a few more spins! :) They're playing in Sweden at Valentine's day next year ;) 
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