After a long hiatus in 2009, Mark Tornillo joined German titans of Accept as a vocalist. In 2014 guitarist Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann decide to leave the band and Accept finds replacement in guitarist Uwe Lulis and drummer Christopher Williams. It is with this lineup that bassist Peter Baltes and guitarist Wolf Hoffmann continue for their 15th studio release “The Rise of Chaos”.
Even though the original lineup dating from the 80s has always been praised and has been proved to be legendary, it is this lineup that is defending their repertoire and keeping the fort strong. “The Rise of Chaos” is no exception to that rule.
Hoffmann states about the title and artwork: “The Rise of Chaos is something I have been thinking about often. It describes a condition which is slowly spreading around the world. With the stage setup on our latest European tour, we wanted to portray rather dystopian and destroyed scenery. If you now take a look at our new cover, it’s the same imagery. This time however you can also spot the invisible destruction that we feel more and more in these times, as well as the visible destruction.”
So, considering the album is supposed to be based on our contemporary society of almost a dystopian reality, the album, the songs etc. fit well into this theme, especially when you take a closer look into certain songs like for example “Analog Man” and “Koolaid”. This proofs us the album is definitely well thought out and shows us the professionalism the Germans every time leave us with all of their releases.
Accept doesn’t necessarily tap into new possibilities, but that is okay. We are used to their approach where riffs form the centre and we are left with excellent songs to add to our playlists. “Die by the Sword”, which serves as an opener has that great intro that will immediately set you in the right mood for the album. The typical heavy Accept-riffs that are included in this song, show us immediately that Accept still has got it. The title track “The Rise of Chaos” and “What’s done is done” follow perhaps a similar pattern, with even more energy to make us bang our heads.
Yet, while some songs are built the same way, this album is certainly not boring! As mentioned before the song “Analog Man”, which fits perfectly into the theme, because the reference to the digital world taking over in our society. The song is more light and moderate, but it is definitely groovy and shows of variety. The song reminds of the old glory days of the band with songs like “Balls to the Wall”, with keeping in mind the new lineup and changes. It is songs like this that are very refreshing to hear and a line like “Don’t need no wifi/just want my hifi” is definitely a winner when it comes to catchy phrases.
In the same way “Koolaid” refers to the story related to “The Rise of Chaos” as it talks about the story of the Jonestown Massacre in 1978, Guyana, where at the direction of cult leader of the People’s Temple Jim Jones poisoned 909 members of his cult by convincing them to drink cyanide-induced Koolaid. “No Regrets” is definitely the heaviest song on the “The Rise of Chaos” and has some memorable guitar parts as well as that thrashy-feel to it.
In general, Accept has shown us a lot since Mark Tornillo joined the band. They are still capable of creating powerful songs, that include strong lyrics, refreshing heavy riffs and good concepts in general. The details of the album are in a way very captivating and it takes definitely more than once or twice to completely get into the album, but the more you listen to it, the more you will realize how this album is a great addition to their already strong discography.