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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Accept: The Rise Of Chaos


1) Die By The Sword; 2) Hole In The Head; 3) The Rise Of Chaos; 4) Koolaid; 5) No Regrets; 6) Analog Man; 7) What's Done Is Done; 8) Worlds Colliding; 9) Carry The Weight; 10) Race To Extinction.

Yes, it is that season again — the rise of chaos, where everybody drinks too much Koolaid with no regrets, leading to worlds colliding where people race to extinction, dying by the sword with holes in their heads. And this means another Accept album that sounds just like any Accept album since Blood Of The Nations, just as the rise of chaos circa 2017 looks just like any other rise of chaos at any given point in the life of human civilization.

There is absolutely no point in discussing the music here; all I can say is that there are no expe­riments with the sound whatsoever — all the songs differ from each other strictly in terms of tempo — and that not a single riff has struck me as being particularly outstanding, though, to be fair, Hoffmann is still spending time trying to come up with new ones: they simply all end up sounding like variations on the old ones. The only thing that makes this less of a problem than it was on Blind Rage is that the album is notably shorter: ten new songs is all she wrote, and, frankly, there is no need for an Accept album to ever be longer than 45 minutes, unless your casual adrenaline supply exceeds everybody else's.

The lyrical content, while trivial, is another matter: more than ever before, The Rise Of Chaos sounds like a wholesome concept album about the sordid state of things in the world at large — a problem that has always stayed relevant for Accept, but now more than ever, as they grow old and, consecutively, more and more bitter and skeptical about the piss-poor progress of humanity. Clearly, this should endear their attitude to my own heart, as I also grow older and more bitter and skeptical about the same things, but they just regularly go overboard with this thing, nowhere more so than on ʽAnalog Manʼ, where part of the blame on the overall moral decay is laid on digital technologies ("I was born in a cave, when stereo was all the rage... now there's flat screens in 3D, my cell phone's smarter than me, I can't keep up, my brains are beginning to burn"). You know you've really crossed over into bizarre territory when the familiar gang choruses of DOGS ON LEAAADS! and BALLS TO THE WALL! are replaced with UPDATE AND DOWNLOAD!, and silly diatribes like that do a poor service to Accept's general stand on human issues.

On the other side of the equation there's ʽKoolaidʼ, a welcome historical reminder of the 1978 Jim Jones nightmare as an allegory for today's problems with mass brainwashing — Tornillo's admo­nition of "don't drink the Koolaid, no matter what the preacher says!" truly deserves his highest notes, and while I could certainly live without a detailed account of the events in the verses (then again, perhaps a brief history lesson is good for Accept fans), this is the only song on the album that slightly transcends the state of generic ranting and raving, just because they happened to single out a pretty damn good analogy for modern times.

Other than that, Rise Of Chaos simply ticks off three more years of Accept's longevity: given that Hoffmann has only just turned 58, and that Mark Tornillo, though somewhat older, is still going very strong as a vocalist (and, cynically, is expendable anyway), this is probably far from the last Accept album in the making, unless, of course, they happen to be true about the ʽRace To Extinc­tionʼ, and we're all drinking Koolaid over the next three years. With this in mind, I am going straight ahead to update and upload, adding my own two cents to the downfall of humanity.

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