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Accept – Blood of the Nations: Review

On August 20, the iconic and highly influential heavy metal band Accept released their latest album. Before Blood of the Nations, the last release by the band was in 1996. This could very well be seen as the icons comeback album, both because of the extensive hiatus and the quality of the record. Brace yourselves, Accept fans: they’re coming to get you, and then you’ll get your balls to the wall…

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. Beat the Bastards
  2. Teutonic Terror
  3. The Abyss
  4. Blood of the nations
  5. Shades of Death
  6. Locked and Loaded
  7. Kill the Pain
  8. Rollin’ Thunder
  9. Pandemic
  10. New World Comin’
  11. No Shelter
  12. Bucketful of Hate

In this album, Accept keeps their 80’s musical style while incorporating a more refined overall sound and production. One could say they bring the old into the new. And as expected from and 80’s style album, its main instruments are the guitar and vocals. Blood of the Nations is filled mostly with riff-heavy songs that showcase powerful vocals. Of course, there are ballads distributed throughout the track list. But for the most part, expect some riff-driven heavy metal (with a hint of power metal influence).

All the instruments on the album are well-done, the most notable aspect being the guitar riffs. There is a healthy collection of energetic, grasping riffs, although they do get repetitive towards the album’s end. In addition, there are many leads and harmonies dispersed among the song collection, giving a slight sense of power metal involvement. The acoustics are quite well-done as well, giving a more well-rounded value to the album. No doubt, it is a commendable performance by the guitarists.

But the remainder of the instruments did a fine job as well. On vocals, Tornillo displays his fine range and an aggressive metal voice. However, his overly raspy tone takes time to adjust, and can be overwhelming. He does have range and power, but his control and versatility could use some work. With his phrasing, it has a strongly positive initial impact, but it feels too repetitive throughout the album, as does the abundant sections of chanting. The drums are above average, but mostly basic and filler; there is little to comment on. But the bass is decent, giving some fast basslines and fancy grooves. As a whole, the instruments performed well on the album, though there is inarguably areas which can be better.

The biggest downfall of The Blood of Nations is its repetitive nature. It starts very strong and impressive, but the song structures are standard and reused throughout the record. The instrumental phrasing on behalf of all members is seemingly derived from the same mindset in the majority of songs. They are varied but the essentials feel too familiar. At times, songs can seem like alternate versions of other songs… well, not to that extent of course. Consequently, it causes the album to drag mid-way through. There is simply not enough value in this album to keep it enjoyable for a long time.

Overall, this is a great album, and a highly appropriate way for Accept to return to the scene. I would definitely recommend one or two listens, but it is only downhill from there. The guitar riffs are appreciable for as long as they can stay fresh, but that is not a significant period of time. I would say the exact same for the remainder of the instruments. Blood of the Nations is a great album; it just needs more depth and variety to it. But for what it is (a flashy, riff-based album), it is a fine piece of art.

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