Accept – Too Mean To Die (Nuclear Blast)

When you’ve been around for as long as Accept the anniversaries inevitably come thick and fast.

And 2021 is no different.

It’s 45 years since the Solingen noise botherers first burst onto Germany’s fledgling metal scene.

And 40 years in March that Breaker proved to be the band’s breakthrough album — landing them a coveted slot on Judas Priest’s World Wide Blitz Tour.

With such a storied history it would be easy for founder Wolf Hoffmann to rely on the past.

But Accept are celebrating a decade back at the top of their game.

And a fifth album since 2010’s ‘comeback’ Blood Of The Nations is the sound of band focused on the future.

Too Mean To Die? You bet!

Too Mean To Die chimes with a world gripped by a global pandemic.

But Hoffmann didn’t want to create a coronavirus classic.

And the bulk of this record was done and dusted before last March.

Once again frontman Mark Tornillo delivers a vocal performance that’s more than a match for Halford, Dickinson, Byford et al.

And there’s no doubt that Hoffmann’s decision to recruit the former T.T. Quick man was inspired.

As a duo, two of trad metal’s key figures are capable of driving Accept forward for years to come.

Just as long as Hoffmann really is Too Mean To Die!

And right now the veteran axeman is breathing new life into a genre enjoying an Indian summer.

From 70s newbies to Overnight Sensation

Opener Zombie Aggression kicks things off in suitably gruesome style.

And the title track is a kick in the balls to anyone and everyone suggesting metal’s days are finally numbered.

But it’s Overnight Sensation that brings a truly brilliant record into sharp focus.

Imagine Alice Cooper covering Priest — this groove-laden party-starting anthem is a killer tune is a modern classic.

Tornillo even references the Kardashians in a superbly cynical insight into the 21st century obsession with fast-track fame.

The Undertaker could be a meaty tribute to the recently retired WWE star of the same name.

But it’s not.

Instead, it’s another impossibly catchy — and unsurprisingly creepy — example of Accept Mk II’s ear for a modern metal anthem.

The Best Is Yet To Come. We hope.

If any other band dropped The Best Is Yet To Come towards the end of their 16th studio album eyebrows would be raised.

But given the quality of 2017’s The Rise Of Chaos and its equally uplifting follow-up who would bet against more vintage Accept in the future?

Tornillo and Hoffmann successfully fuse metal’s proud past with its power to shape heavy music’s future.

And theirs is a partnership fans everywhere should treasure.

If trad metal is your thing then look no further.

Accept no substitute.

Love metal? You might like this: check out Rushonrock’s Top 10 Trad Metal Albums Of 2020.