Accept - The Rise of Chaos

Accept The Rise of Chaos cover
The Rise of Chaos
Nuclear Blast Records
Accept, unfortunately since their reunion without Udo, have been on a decline turning into a hollow shadow of their former selves. Despite the relative euphoria that “Blood of Nations” caused being the first time something was heard from a band that was presumed to be dead and buried and relatively solid live performances, the albums that followed were in turn a very serious concept, a lackluster attempt to refine the style and now a rather bluntly aggressive and by the numbers album with the band now down to Hoffman and Baltes, from 4 “former” members, following the disdain of people whose contributions were not welcome into the writing process for the albums that resulted in their expulsion. The problem is however that the core duo of Baltes/Hoffman can hardly come up with enough “good” material; I mean there’s no shortage of good riffs or chops in the band, but those things don’t automatically equate with “great” songs being written.
“The Rise of Chaos” as an album is a lose concept, about how “funked up” the world we live in is… but there’s no main story the album follows, just a common subject matter running through a lot of the tracks.
“Die by the Sword” is a decent opener, with fantastic riffing a decent build up an a bearable chorus that maybe tries a little too hard to work, but it works after all, being one of the closest things to “classic Accept” you could come to expect including a pretty cool solo.
“Hole in the Head” sounds like a mix of Accept and Megadeth (at their experimental) but other than a decent riff, it feels “forced” despite Tornillo’s best efforts at screaming some verses out and a quite decent solo.
“The Rise of Chaos” is cool, but feels a lot like someone pretty much “cloned” “Die by the Sword” and just tweaked a couple of things around and wrote some new lyrics; it ain’t bad, but it feels “template”-made.
On “Koolaid” the inability of the band to write a credible chorus comes full circle, with the “riff” becoming the hook while Tornillo tries to blues it out and sing some verses that hardly even fit the songs melodies. The solo tries, but hardly manages to raise this song from the grave it’s dug itself into...
“No Regrets” is a little more aggressive and that’s it’s lone charm, because it hardly stands as a good son; it’s groovy riff and melodic verse in the middle that’s a complete copy of “Run If You Can” are some of the few highlights (I guess the solo ain’t bad either) – in a song that feels like a hastily written “filler”.
“Analog Man” decries the “digital”, but it’s funny that the band both uses digital “amp simulators”, hard drive recording and even digital services to sell their music. I guess it tries to massage the old-schoolers… let’s also say, it feels like the poor digital cousin of “Monster Man” with a solo that doesn’t really make you sit up and pay notice.
“What’s Done is Done”, despite its repetitive chorus, seems to be a step in the right direction, with a nice enough riff, melodies and a quite “vintage” approach; it almost feels as if it could have been in a classic album, if the chorus actually didn’t try to rhyme “gun” with “bell”, resulting in a bit of a blunder really… neat solo though.
“Worlds Colliding” has a nice riff, boring verses, a pretty decent chorus and a cool enough, if not slightly predictable, solo. It does lack a bit in coherence, mainly because of the minimal verse that the band doesn’t even try to build on seriously, opting instead for repeating the chorus lots.
“Carry the Weight” enters with a manic riff and trying its best to sound like “classic” Accept, mood wise, even succeeding to a point; the melodic chorus doesn’t feel 100% like it belongs to the song, but heck it works, being probably one of the best, if not the best song on the album.
“Race to Extinction” closes the album and it feels pretty much cut from the same riff fabric as “Die by the Sword” and the title track. It is carried by a dark and rather aggressive, yet still melodic riff, but despite a nice enough bridge, its “shouted” chorus that tries to mimic older hits, doesn’t feel all that inspired; the second solo, I guess, is quite decent in a song that tries hard to work and barely does.
The production is probably a little drier than in previous albums, pretty apt to the band’s style and clear, but lucks serious punch; then again it might be the songs that are not really that great altogether and sound quite monotonous.
Despite a number of decent tracks, this Accept by the numbers / on autopilot album doesn’t seem to have any memorable choruses or bonafide “singles” and barely scrapes together enough good songs, to avoid being a complete disappointment. A proper reunion might actually allow the band to celebrate both their legacy, but also bring the whole thing to a close, before they start to lose face.