I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.
Accept – Blood of the Nations
(Nuclear Blast Records, 2010)
Over a decade after its release, Accept's MASSIVE comeback album Blood of the Nations still finds its way into my music rotation at least once a month. It was my favorite metal CD of 2010, which was no small feat since it faced stiff competition like Overkill's stellar Ironbound and Raven's long-awaited Walk Through Fire. I can still remember what a pleasant surprise Blood of the Nations was, instantly erasing all the doubts I had when the German metal veterans first announced that they were reuniting without their iconic, camo-clad screamer Udo Dirkschneider.
Don't get me wrong, I had nothing against the band's choice for Udo's replacement, former TT Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo. Mark is a fellow New Jersey resident, so of course I was gonna root for the guy! However, memories of Accept's previous attempt to carry on without Udo (1989's Eat The Heat, a short-lived experiment in hair metal with American vocalist David Reece) cast long shadows over the band's good name.
Shortly after their comeback announcement, Accept posted some of the new lineup's practice sessions on YouTube . . . which didn't sound that great, to be honest, but at least they prompted me to dust off TT Quick's 1984 self-titled EP and 1986's Metal of Honor LP. When I revisited these essential New Jersey metal classics (which I hadn't heard in a number of years), I zoomed in on Mark Tornillo's gravelly vocals and began to think, "Y'know what, this might actually work after all." Mark's style was gritty enough to fit the Accept sound, without sounding like an out-and-out Udo clone.
Thus I adopted a "wait and see" attitude while the band jetted off to England to record their first new studio album in over a dozen years with superstar metal producer Andy Sneap (who's worked with Megadeth, Arch Enemy, Exodus, and Nevermore, just to name a few) behind the console.
Accept Drops the "Teutonic" Bomb!
In May of 2010, Accept fans got their first taste of new material when the music video for "Teutonic Terror" was unleashed on YouTube to instant, near-universal ecstatic praise from the metal community. Not only was the video UTTERLY bad-ass with its images of the band performing against walls of flames, artillery shells, tanks, and military hardware, but the song was absolutely killer as well, bringing back pleasant memories of such crushing classics as "Balls to the Wall" and "Metal Heart." I was officially 'sold' on the new album as soon I saw that video!
The Album and the Aftermath . . .
Nuclear Blast Records released Blood of the Nations in September 2010 and I grabbed a copy as quickly as possible. "Teutonic Terror," of course, was still my favorite track, but I can't find fault with any of the album's 13 songs. Everything was perfectly in place—the chugging, machine-like precision of guitarists Wolf Hoffman and Herman Frank, the pounding bass work of Peter Baltes, Stefan Schwarzmann's cannon-fire drumming, those big burly sing-along "gang choruses" . . . musically, Blood of the Nations successfully recaptured the "vibe" that made Accept's '80s albums like Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall such enduring classics.
Mark Tornillo's strong, confident vocals sounded like he's been fronting the band for his entire life. In addition to "Teutonic Terror," other standout songs included the title track, "Pandemic," the epic "The Abyss," and the crushing album closer "Bucket Full of Hate." Even "Time Machine," the so-called "bonus track," kicked ass, and those are usually thrown in as filler. As soon as I completed my first spin of the CD, I only had four words: "ALBUM OF THE YEAR!" Hell, maybe even the decade!
Since the album's release, Wolf Hoffmann has stated in several interviews that in addition to all the rave reviews, he's also gotten a fair number of "apologies" from critics and nay-sayers who'd told him that he would be wasting his time resurrecting Accept without Udo.
Even better, Accept has continued their domination in the German metal sweepstakes ever since Blood's release with three more excellent studio albums—2012's Stalingrad, 2014's Blind Rage, and 2017's The Rise of Chaos. The doubters have been officially silenced. Mark Tornillo is the voice of Accept and the metal community has welcomed the band back with a Sign of Victory.
© 2011 Keith Abt
FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on May 30, 2012:
Awesome!!! I look forward to it when you get to it!!!
Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on May 30, 2012:
I have been meaning to do one for Stalingrad but just haven't had the time!!
FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on May 30, 2012:
How about a review of Stalingrad?
Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on May 05, 2011:
Yeah, TT Quick was a cool band... unfortunately I never got to see'em back in the day (even tho they're from New Jersey and so am I)... their first EP (self titled) is my fave by them.
ScurvySkalliwag from Judith River, Montana on May 04, 2011:
I was surprised at the quality of this release. The appeal of old school Accept ended for me with "Balls To The Wall". My first time playing in a New York club in 1984 was opening for TT Quick. If they (Accept) came around my neck of the woods, I'd go check em out. And......yes ! I'd beg them to let me play "Fast As A Shark" with them.