A great trash metal band that drops another legendary album
Legendary trash metal band Accept is back with a vengeance for their new album Rise of Chaos. Legends of the metal genre, Accept are specifically known for ‘Teutonic trash’. For those not familiar with the subgenres, trash metal is characterised by a combination of hardcore punk tempos and rhythmical components (Bad Brains, Minor Threat) to the musical elements of more classical band (Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath etc). Teutonic trash metal is a variation founded in Germany by bands such as Sodom and Kreator, integrating certain elements of classical music (Beethoven), opera (Wagner) and the lyrical sensibilities of German literature (such as Goethe and Friedrich Nietzsche). As of late, the genre has had a resurgence as giants such as Kreator, Sodom and Accept have released new material. Unlike so many band renaissance, their new music can be considered just as good as what came before, if not better as it somehow avoids the pitfall of making music that feels antiquate.
With the history lesson done, it’s time to get to the review itself. The album is really good both in a technical and lyrical sense, an example of old and simplistic principles done right. Rise of Chaos has amazing solos that don’t feel excessive in length; the drums are a little muddy in the mix to create an old school vibe to the music, but not to the point where they are sound bad; grooves are solid and fills are elegant section transitions. The bass guitar is syncopated just enough not to feel boring or just a copy of the guitar line, while the lyrical context is interesting, shifting away from addressing corrupt politicians to concerning a corrupt human race. Focusing on who is right or wrong more than a solution (with occasional sidetracks about love and history), vocal delivery is actually better than in old albums, with a wide, well used range.
The opener ‘Die by the Sword’ is a great metal song that is self-explanatory – if you live by the sword you will die by the sword, if you chose to live a life of conflict it will get you at one point. ‘Hole in the Head’ is basically a love song that presents the pretty stereotypical narrative only to turn it on its head with an admission of obsessive love, creating a mould-breaking narrative that reoccurs throughout the whole album. ‘Kool-aid’ is a telling of the tragic happenings of the events of Jonestown (900 people died by drinking cyanide laced Kool-aid as part of a cult). It’s probably the worst of the bunch but it is still enjoyable as a song.
The album gets a nostalgic vibe thanks to ‘No Regrets’, a hard hitting and epic song about not looking back with sorrow. The lack of highly sentimental instrumental which is almost cliché in songs about living your best life is welcomed. ‘Analog Man’ is another nostalgia filled track that presents a man “born in a cave where stereo was all the rage” who tries to wrap his head around the modern life and utilities. ‘What’s Done is Done’ is a song about going on even in the face of sorrow and loss – musically it feels like an Iron Maiden song, excluding little sections where the drums sound like they come from a Slayer album, but it still retains the flavour of the album. The album flows extremely well.
The last three songs leave the personal field a little to get more of a wise perspective on living life. ‘World’s Colliding’ shows an interior battle between the evil tendencies we all have and the knowledge that we need to restrain them; again there is an Iron Maiden influence in this song but again it is tasteful not just a mediocre copy. ‘Carry the Weight’ feels like an anthem for the working person that feels crushed by all that happens in the world. The album ends with ‘Race to Extinction’, a pessimistic note that warns about the lack of collaboration between all humans for a better tomorrow. Musically, this song uses similar motives and a similar structure in order to create a loop in between the last and the first song; this makes the album feel like a fluent experience.
This album deviates from the usual super macho form of heavy metal and makes intelligent use of all the standard trash metal clichés to create what feels like a sage advice in musical form. Though it shows wisdom, Rise of Chaos crackled with youthful energy, showing that even if legendary bands don’t need to make music anymore, some of them still have something relevant to say. An enjoyable listen for a heavy metal fan, and a great point for newcomers to start their journey.
Rise of Chaos is out now via Nuclear Blast Records