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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Accept – Too Mean To Die (2021)

Staying in the vein of old 70s metal bands that are still kicking, the JAR moves to Accept! Since their Udo era, they have been…inconsistent. How does this new album measure up against the heyday?  

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Staying in the vein of old 70s metal bands that are still kicking, the JAR moves to Accept! Since their Udo era, they have been…inconsistent. How does this new album measure up against the heyday?

Many metal fans maybe know 1 Accept song, that being Balls to the Wall, even if it’s because Fozzy covered it, you still know it. Hell even some anime fans have an idea who Accept are because the anime Bastard!! Has a character called Dark Schneider, named after Udo Dirkschneider.

Accept took a few small breaks in the early 90s and the mid 00s. After parting ways for the second (or was it third time?) with Udo; their current singer is from New Jersey and has been in the band since 2009. Honestly, I haven’t really given Accept much of a spin in a long time, so when I saw they released an album in 2021…it grabbed my curiosity.

It’s time to find out if they’ve recaptured any magic from their 80s era!

  • Artist: Accept
  • Album: Too Mean to Die (2021)
  • Label: Nuclear Blast

Zombie Apocalypse starts a little ominous but then you get a blood curdling scream akin to like Exodus or Testament, and it just comes ripping into the verses. Wow, the sound is pretty fantastic a few minutes into the album. It sounds like a combination of OverKill and that First Strike Still Deadly guitar tone when Testament redid a few older songs. Even if it’s supposed to be a funny play on the pandemic, I don’t care. The song just rocks and drives through, this is a banger of a tune. Too Mean to Die follows the opening punch in the face with a quick, very 80s sounding, revving rhythm. The really quick chunky riffs, the harmonized “I’m too mean to die” sounds like something you’d catch Johnny Lawrence playing in Cobra Kai.

After the first few kicks in the teeth, Overnight Sensation is just a great 80s bop. This has the playful club rhythm and reminds me of something Motley Crue would do. It doesn’t feel out of place, it’s just nice to see them steer a little more into 80s sounds, but the lyrics are very modern. Talking about wanting to get a million views, helps the song sound retro but being very relevant at the same time. It’s always a cool accomplishment when a song can be heavy but also make you grin because of tone and lyrics JUST silly enough to be dumb, but catchy and topical. No Ones Master is different. It strikes me as sounding more like Sabaton then the NWOBHM that they are attributed to. It’s not bad, but the slower guitar tempo and more emphasis on the drumming is a little sonically off-putting. They have a solid dual guitar solo, but it’s more of a fill that doesn’t change tempo or bridge to anything, and it just stays in that classic heavy metal vein. Not a bad song, but the first song that comes off a little generic.

The Undertaker, no not the wrestler, starts off slow and growled in a very Udo-esque way. This then slowly bleeds into a groove heavy anthemic dirge. Where the last song’s tempo adjustment came off generic, this is very old school. Using the color of the vocals and the atmosphere the instruments creates to help drive the song is very cool. The chorus picks up a little and is the perfect kind of song for a live audience to scream back at the band. This is a great call and response deliberate set up song.

Now we start to kick things back in a more fun direction with Sucks to Be You. A very fun rocker that reminds me of many chiding metal songs like Liar by Megadeth or I Hate by OverKill. The guitars and drums do a great job almost skipping along to really establish a playful almost dancing tone about just insulting someone. Symphony of Pain cashes in on the fact that the album started to pick back up. Sung more gruffly than most of the songs, it’s just pointed, succinct in the verses and nice little punches instrumentally. The bridge into the chorus change the tone from anger to personal pain as it just echoes with a great scream by Mark Tornillo. As a title, as lyrics and even the instrumentation does a good job playing in anger, pain, and disillusion, just really living up to the song title. I also like how toward the end there are solos where they take pieces of Beethoven’s 9th and 5th Symphonies. Given the name of the song again, very clever.

The Best is Yet to Come has a sad, reflective ballad-esque tone, but it also works coming off a song rife with so much pain. I like how the verses are very clam, clean and somber while the chorus is belted, gruff but has such hopefully lyrics. This song plays with normal ballad style tropes and it’s just really a beautiful song without being “too soft” for proud metal heads. I suppose there’s a clever way that How Do We Sleep works in the lyrical structure of the last few songs. This definitely sounds like their pandemic song, but it’s not fluffy and rooted in more realistic interpretationWhen good men stop and stand aside – The evil ones succeed – They take for granted all we’ve done – And watch the planet bleed – So how do we sleep at night? – With the world around us going to hell – Tell me, how do we justify? – We do nothing, nothing changes at all”. Lyrically that applies to a lot more than just the pandemic, and the music almost sounds like a rally cry, so it’s very cool, with an interesting message, trying to drive some sense into people.

Not My Problem is next up and it’s interesting. The guitar work is very syncopated, quick, cool and almost follow the last song in an ironic way. That 80s fun almost punk vibe of the song helps to fit it in nicely without being a perfect puzzle piece. Samson and Delilah uses a piece of IV Allegro con fuoco, that wrestling fans would know as WALTER’s theme and music nerds know as part of Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony. A great instrumental piece to end, with the usage of the final movement of something called “New World” could just be cleverly pushing this concept of all of us moving into a New World. Also cool to hear an instrumental in general, much less close out an album.

Well there we go! It doesn’t have Udo, but damn did it impress me! I also realized why so many things tonally reminded me of Testament, OverKill & Megadeth. Andy Sneap was the producer on the album, and he’s done quite a few albums from those three bands. He apparently also did the last few Accept albums with their singer Mark Tornillo. So I think I’m going to have to go back and check things out.

There we go, Accept sounds better than they have in a damn long time and there’s only one really questionable song on the whole album. Great effort, great sound, great vocals, so you get your – BALLS TO THE WALL!

 

Final Judgment: 8/10


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Hockey Talk discusses the Stadium Series plus looks at the stats and standings as the Trade Deadline draws ever closer.

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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #223: Of Paramount Importance

The original BWN quartet re-convenes to review some massive trailers and to discuss some world-changing news involving the MCU!

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The original four members of the Bandwagon make a rare convergence to discuss some huge trailers including Deadpool & Wolverine, X-Men ’97, Invincible (Part 2 of Season 2), Twisters, Godzilla x Kong and much more. They guys also discuss the possible merger between Paramount + and Peacock, official casting news for The Fantastic 4, and some massive news for the MCU in general,

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About the Chairshot Radio Network

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Featuring shows such as POD is WAR (sports, entertainment & sports entertainment) Bandwagon Nerds (entertainment & popular culture), The DWI Podcast (Drunk Wrestling Intellect), The Greg DeMarco Show (wrestling), The #Miranda Show (wrestling and entertainment), Hockey Talk (sports), Patrick O’Dowd’s 5×5 (pop culture), The Outsider’s Edge (wrestling), Down The Wire (Sports), Talk The Keki (Anime), The Mindless Wrestling Podcast, Attitude Of Aggression/The Big Four (wrestling), and more!


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