By Carl Begai
How about an Accept story that doesn’t involve discussion about former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and his personal issues with the band? On top of that, let’s not talk about a possible reunion with the U.D.O frontman because, at this point in Accept’s career, stirring that pot is just plain bad manners bordering on insulting. Nope, the focus here is on Blind Rage, the band’s third go-round with singer Mark Tornillo, which the fans have been praising to high heaven according to guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. In fact, some diehards have actually gone on record calling Blind Rage the best of the three records in this “new” Accept’s catalogue. Brave words indeed, particularly when stacking it up against Blood Of The Nations, the band’s bold 2010 return that amounted to a “We’re back!” eargasm for their legion of fans.
Interestingly, Blind Rage comes off as being somewhat less heavy in places compared to Blood Of The Nations and its follow-up, Stalingrad. Call it classic heavy Accept with more melody and dynamics thrown into the mix, just like the good old days of Breaker (1981) and Restless And Wild (1982). Almost as if Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes experimented with branching out from what they know works for Accept fans in 2014.
“I’m not sure we did,” Hoffmann counters. “If anything I think we tried to hone it into what Accept really is. I think ‘experiment’ is a bad word to use. There are songs on Stampede that are more melodic, but all in all it’s totally Accept to me. A good song is a good song, and we always try to concentrate on songwriting more than anything, and if things sound a little softer or more melodic here and there, so be it. We’ve always been about melody in our songs. As long as people like it I’m happy.”
“Something interesting has started to happen,” he adds. “A lot of people tell me ‘I’ve been a huge fan since the ’80s’ or ‘Restless And Wild has always been at the top of my list…’ but this new era of Accept has started to overtake that. People are saying now that this new stuff is some of the best music we’ve ever done, and it’s a huge thing if people start to feel that way.”
Hoffmann’s explanation as to why people are reacting to the new(er) albums is simple:
“These are all songs we could have written back then, we just never did. This new music should feel authentic but current, and it’s clear we pulled it off.”
Blind Rage is essentially Accept’s second third album, a goal many bands that have fallen apart and rebuilt themselves fail to achieve. At least not at a level where the fanbase considers the music on par with the old days. Looking back at Accept’s official third album, Breaker, are there any similarities between making that step then versus now? For Hoffman, apparently not.
“Nah, I can’t even remotely compare those two things. Take the first album we ever did (in 1979), that never should have been recorded. It was just a bunch of demos and it never should have been released, so you can’t even count that. In those days they released anything; nowadays that album never would have seen the light of day. We were kids just coming out of the rehearsal room, nobody had a style or a clue of where things were going to go. You can’t over-interpret this stuff too much and I can’t compare those two scenarios. Here we are 35 years later and… Blind Rage is the third album, I’ll give you that (laughs).”
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