Accept: Blood of the Nations

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Accept: Blood of the Nations
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Accept: Blood of the Nations
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Nuclear Blast Records
August 20th, 2010
Release length: 1:07:36
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Blood of the Nations has met with plenty of mixed reactions from both critics and fans. The main reason being that Blood of the Nations is the first to introduce new vocalist Mark Tornillo , replacing Udo Dirkschneider, who has been a staple element of the band. Many fans feels that without him, there is no Accept. So, with this announcement, the band had to put their best foot forward with Blood of the Nations, and prove that the band still has what it takes to create heavy enough Metal to kick you in right in the ass. While the shoes haven’t been completely filled, the performance on this effort still shows potential, and musically, it’s the same Accept that fans have come to know and love, and if you can look past the similar, but not the same vocals, then Blood of the Nations will make for a solid listen either way.

Well, of course, the first thing that needs to be examined are the vocals on the recording. While Accept was known for a more AC\DC quality to the vocals utilized on their recordings, their new vocalist manages to hit familiar, higher pitched notes during many of the tracks, but there clearly is a little more strain to them at times compared to others. Luckily, this is not all the time, and seems limited to when more emphasis is being put on them, such as during the chorus of the first song on the release, Beat the Bastards, which finds the vocals feeling a little forced to hit higher notes, but still working well with the harder, and heavier anthem-like music being played. But, in comparison, “Shades of Death” has a natural sounding vocal style that is reminiscent to previous Accept material, having that nice little extra fire behind the voice to give it a rougher edge, suiting the darker atmosphere of the song nicely. In all actuality, there isn’t really that much of a difference outside the fact that the pitch on the vocals are a little deeper most of the time.

As for the rest of the album, the music to Blood of the Nations is pretty much what you would expect from Accept, with many of the songs delving into a Heavy Metal sound with a Hard Rock attitude backing it up. There are plenty of tracks on here, such as “Shadows of Death”, that could be considered more like an anthem then anything, and with good reason as the songs, slow or fast, seem to have more of an epic Heavy Metal vuild to them that just makes the track feel larger then life as it continues, and in the case of “Shadows of Death”, the seven and a half plus minutes of music is well done and never gets old or repetitive, bringing on a Manowar feel to the overall composition. Of course, there are plenty of other songs that just don’t quite reach the epic standards, but are simply just hard hitting kicks to the temple of your skull, like the following “Locked and Loaded”, as well as “Rollin’ Thunder”, which is just a balls out track that hammers away with the Hard Rock attitude and great Metal riffs and fire, especially during the chorus and the bridge about half way through the song, taking on shades of classic Heavy Metal acts like Judas Priest, and easily the best track off the entire release.

Of all the tracks on this release, the one that really stands out nicely is the haunting ballad “Kill the Pain”. The softer, natural vocal performance suits the song well, adding nicely to the doomed atmosphere that surrounds the generally depressing music, as well as becomes one of the more pivotol performances on the effort as it shows off the range of this new vocalist well, without having to really push to the higher pitched Hard Rock approach that adorns many of the tracks on the album. Of course, this isn’t the only track to feature vocals that sound a little more normal then usual, but it’s one of the tracks that uses this approach to it’s advantage, as the others just sound a little less enthusiastic in the long run.

Udo may have put the brakes on Accept, but the reunited band did not want to leave it as such. The group formed back in 2005, and and five years later, they replaced Udo, the man who didn’t want to return to Accept with a formidable replacement who may not have the same power as Udo himself, but does an impeccable job filling his shoes, and ushers in a new era of Accept that shows it still has what it takes, even after all this time since their 1996 full-length effort Predator, and given the fact that this group has existed since 1968 (originally under the band Band X), it’s time to quit giving this group flack and embrace this line-up as a new chapter in the powerful history of Accept thanks to it’s high octane Heavy Metal tracks that get the blood pounding, to the anthems that will have your fists pounding in the air.

01. Beat the Bastards – 5:25
02. Teutonic Terror – 5:14
03. The Abyss – 6:54
04. Blood of the Nations – 5:38
05. Shades of Death – 7:33
06. Locked and Loaded – 4:29
07. Kill the Pain – 5:47
08. Rollin’ Thunder – 4:54
09. Pandemic – 5:36
10. New World Comin’ – 4:51
11. No Shelter – 6:04
12. Bucketful of Hate – 5:12
Overall Score: 7.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Nuclear Blast Records.