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Acceptable - 69%

gasmask_colostomy, November 4th, 2018

Accept don’t have a great deal to prove with The Rise of Chaos. Having burst (eventually) into the ‘80s European metal scene with Restless and Wild and come back ferociously in 2010 with Mark Tornillo replacing the inimitable Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, the Germans’ reputation is secured. And, despite shifting one guitarist and a drummer, as well as trimming this album down to a slimmer 46 minutes, not a great deal has changed since Accept’s new era began.

The guitars have quite a crunch to them, with plenty of modern techniques on show, some of which can be put down to Uwe Lulis’s days in Grave Digger, to whom the lurch of ‘No Regrets’ and ‘Hole in the Head’ is comparable. However, there is also the presence of several more hard rock elements, not least the steadier riffing of ‘Koolaid’ and ‘Analog Man’, both of which rather defeat their backward-looking lyrical themes by competing with the modern production, even if Tornillo’s gnarly voice adds a bit of authenticity.

On the flipside to the metallic modernity, the choruses and lyrics hint at a band attempting something a little simpler. By reducing song lengths to under five minutes, there is less opportunity to wander away from the basic template, something that is evidenced by a bulk of very predictable song structures: these 10 songs tend to be propelled by riffs and seek a foothold by way of choruses that are memorable on first listen, yet don’t exactly dig deep into poetry to do so. The repetition of “What is done is done, the bullet’s left the gun” on ‘What’s Done Is Done’ or the frankly bizarre refrain of “Don’t drink the Koolaid/Don’t taste the holy water” on ‘Koolaid’ seems a touch disappointing, particularly considering the lack of effort that has gone into titles and themes, in addition to the lackluster lyrical hooks.

As a listen, The Rise of Chaos isn’t poor, nor are Accept likely to release a poor effort with the quality of their line-up; nevertheless, for all its catchiness and the bite of some of the riffs in ‘Die by the Sword’ and the title track, this represents a step back for the band. Fans may be happy, but certainly not ecstatic.

Originally written for Metalegion #3 -