Album Review – Accept / Too Mean to Die (2021)

In their hard-hitting, uncompromising sixteenth studio album, the unrelenting German kingpins of Heavy Metal will tell you why they’re too mean to die.

Following on their critically acclaimed releases Blind Rage and The Rise of Chaos, the unrelenting German kingpins of Heavy Metal collectively known as Accept are back in 2021 with a brand new and pulverizing album of undisputed metal music entitled Too Mean to Die, the 16th studio album in their amazing career and the fifth to feature American frontman Mark Tornillo on vocal duties. Recorded in Nashville, the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and considered by many as the worldwide capital of music, the album was once again produced by British master producer Andy Sneap, known for his work with titans the likes of Judas Priest and Megadeth, and who has also been responsible for all Accept productions since 2010, enhancing the impact of the music blasted by the aforementioned Mark Tornillo on vocals, Wolf Hoffmann, Uwe Lulis and newcomer Philip Shouse on the guitars (marking it as their first-ever album with three guitarists), newcomer Martin Motnik on bass and Christopher Williams on drums, and therefore, proving this legendary squad will keep bringing to us all hard, direct and uncompromising metal music for many years to come.

Wolf, Uwe and Philip rev up Accept’s metallic engine in the amazing opening tune Zombie Apocalypse, delivering pure, unfiltered 80’s-inspired Heavy Metal with a modern twist, of course showcasing the band’s trademark sound and Mike’s piercing vocals, singing about mankind’s dependence and fixation with social media (“They’re walking by day, they stumble by night / Wandering blindly, with no end in sight / Mass communication, hand to hand / A new epidemic has control of this land”); whereas in Too Mean to Die we face lyrics about being a true headbanger (“I’m a heavy metal warrior / Restless son of a bitch / A weapon of destruction / With both hands on the switch”), while fast and furious German Power Metal flows from their riffs and Christopher hammers his drums in great fashion. And adding a good dosage of Hard Rock to their core metal music, the band fires the excellent Overnight Sensation, with Martin’s rumbling bass and Christopher’s classic beats providing Mike all he needs to shine on vocals in a song about becoming a (sub)celebrity and getting addicted to that ephemeral fame.

In No One’s Master, Accept lean towards some of their latest songs from The Rise of Chaos and Blind Rage, with the band’s guitar triumvirate being on fire with their crisp, crystalline riffs and soulful solos in another high-octane metal extravaganza, and Martin will make your head tremble with his wicked bass jabs in The Undertaker, a good, classic Heavy Metal tune that has its moments, but that’s considerably below the rest of the album in terms of adrenaline and punch. Then Wolf and his wolfpack extract sheer rage from their sonic weapons in the thrilling Sucks to Be You, with Mike’s classic screams being effectively supported by the band’s backing vocals, resulting in a beer-drinking, pub-brawling hymn for diehard fans of the band. And there’s no sign of slowing down or selling out by those dauntless metallers, as Accept keep blasting their instruments mercilessly in Symphony of Pain, showcasing a more imposing sonority found in Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad: Brothers in Death.

After so much heaviness and adrenaline, it’s time for one of Accept’s stylish, melancholic ballads entitled The Best Is Yet to Come, where Mike steals the spotlight with his introspective performance singing about how we get simpler as time goes by, while the band’s guitar trio embellishes the airwaves with their delicate riffs and piercing solos; followed by How Do We Sleep, a true headbanger by Mike, Wolf & Co. that sounds at the same time old school and modern, with Christopher dictating the pace with his pounding drums. And those metal veterans speed things up a bit, getting heavier and more aggressive in the acid tune Not My Problem, displaying an amazing job done by Wolf, Uwe and Philip on the guitars, adding endless electricity to the overall result and as a consequence sounding straight-to-the-point and as fun as hell until the very last second. Lastly, the solid instrumental tune Samson and Delilah closes the album on a distinct mode, with Wolf stealing the show with his classic riffs and solos and, of course, his undeniable and deep passion for all things Heavy Metal.

After listening to Too Mean to Die, I’m pretty sure you’ll get yourself headbanging nonstop, tapping on your desk, raising your horns while drinking a cold beer, and everything else that perfectly represents our beloved metal music, getting back to the start and repeating this exciting “ritual” over and over again, which means Accept moe than succeeded once again in their quest for Heavy Metal as expected. Hence, in case you’re from another dimension and don’t know Accept yet, you can start following them on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte, subscribe to their YouTube channel, stream their extensive catalogue on Spotify, and purchase their awesome new album by clicking HERE or HERE, showing the world that just like the unstoppable guys from one of the most important metal bands in the world, you’re also a true metalhead that’s too mean to die.

Best moments of the album: Zombie Apocalypse, Too Mean to Die, Sucks to Be You and Not My Problem.

Worst moments of the album: The Undertaker.

Released in 2021 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Zombie Apocalypse 5:31
2. Too Mean to Die 4:21
3. Overnight Sensation 4:24
4. No One’s Master 4:10
5. The Undertaker 5:37
6. Sucks to Be You 4:05
7. Symphony of Pain 4:39
8. The Best Is Yet to Come 4:47
9. How Do We Sleep 5:41
10. Not My Problem 4:21
11. Samson and Delilah 4:31

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

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