REVIEW: Accept – Too Mean To Die

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If 2017’s “The Rise of Chaos” or the hit song “Pandemic” (2010) had become your perfect soundtrack to the apocalyptic nature of what was 2020 and what will be 2021, then metalheads beware! Not even a pandemic can stop German heavy metal titans ACCEPT from writing new music, especially with a new bass player and guitarist joining their ranks. The result is their thirteenth studio effort, “Too Mean to Die,” released on January 29th, 2021, via Nuclear Blast Records.

The menacing guitar intro of “Zombie Apocalypse” tells you, basically, that you should run away as fast as you can, as a horde of zombie and furious riffs will be shot your way, while Mark Tornillo‘s high-pitched, powerful screams kick off the fuming heavy metal track. Altogether, this track is a mighty opener. Following with title track, “Too Mean to Die,” ACCEPT maintain the high pace and continue paving the way with their vigorous heavy metal sound.

“Overnight Sensation” adds up to the diversity of this album by leaning more towards an ’80s classic hard rock sound à la SCORPIONS. Picking up the pace with “No Ones Master,” the catchy track is an excellent motivational track that will get you going for the day with its heavy riffs and powerfully catchy chorus. “The Undertaker” is definitely one of the highlights of this album, with its unmistakable trademark ACCEPT sound and a strong ’80s vibe. With its stadium-like chorus, the song will definitely serve as a great track to play for any audience willing to sing along loudly.

Another highlight is the epic “Symphony of Pain,” a track that includes Wolf Hoffmann‘s trademark neoclassical inspirations, this time in form of Beethoven‘s 9th symphony, movement IV, “Ode to Joy,” while subtle it’s elements like these that makes these songs refreshing. “The Best is Yet To Come” should be the anthem of 2021 – a brilliant slower-paced motivational song. With “How Do We Sleep” and “Not My Problem,” ACCEPT throws in two classic great heavy metal tracks in the mix, of which the latter is especially groovy.

The album ends in a refreshing way in “Samson and Delilah,” an instrumental track that again has some subtle references to classical music, borrowing motives from Camille Saint-Saëns“Samson and Delilah” and Antonín Dvořák‘s iconic 9th symphony. Altogether, the song encompasses the album’s best guitar work and serves as the perfect end to a powerful, diverse album.

In short, “Too Mean to Die” may not be anything new in the band’s long-spanned career; however, that is not necessarily a bad thing. For a long time, when ACCEPT release a new album, you kind of know what to expect and moreover, you are never disappointed. In comparison to “Rise of Chaos,” this album brings more diversity to the table, be it in the songwriting, but also in the guitar department (especially the interplay between guitars is quite a nice change on this record). The crisp guitar work, catchy choruses, hooky melodies, and gnarly, stellar vocals by Mark Tornillo are just a few of the album’s biggest selling points and probably also the most immediately likely reasons you will definitely enjoy “Too Mean to Die,” which – in hindsight – in contrast to its title, is sweeter than you might think.

Tracklist

  1. Zombie Apocalypse
  2. Too Mean to Die
  3. Overnight Sensation
  4. No Ones Master
  5. The Undertaker
  6. Sucks to Be You
  7. Symphony of Pain
  8. The Best Is Yet to Come
  9. How Do We Sleep
  10. Not My Problem
  11. Samson and Delilah

Lineup

Mark Tornillo – vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – lead guitar
Uwe Lulis – rhythm guitar
Philip Shouse – third guitar
Martin Motnik – bass
Christopher Williams – drums

Label

Nuclear Blast Records

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