I talked to Udo Dirkschneider last summer, who seemed rather dismissive of the upcoming Accept album. In his stead the band found Mark Tornillo who has provided his lungs on this record, and what can is known as the ‘classic’ Accept lineup.
Blood of the Nations is very much an album of a band from the past who’ve discovered modern recording technology, each and every track leaps off the record sound thick and full; I always found that a lot of the live energy of metal was lost on the records of the 1980s. The opening track, Beat the Bastards is a slab of classic Accept, gigantic riffs galore and a throaty voice that you can only tell it’s not Udo because Tornillo can actually sing at more than one pitch. While not the most versatile voice you’ll ever here, he’s backed up by some titanic songwriting. It’s not often that a song can be carried on its main riff alone, yet Rollin’ Thunder among others do so with ease. The only real flaw of an album such as this is that it’s pretty much an hour of the same thing, despite Teutonic Terror trying to mix things up a bit. Despite the obligatory ballad breaking up an otherwise barn-storming pace, BotN is classic Accept from head to toe, Pandemic and the title track itself providing giant stadium choruses with some truly memorable riffs. It’ll never stand up to the classic Balls To The Wall or Metal Heart, but that’s a given considering how engrained to metal culture the early to mid 80s era of Accept has become.
If you liked Herman Frank’s Loyal To None, you’ll like this. While BotN isn’t going to win any awards this year, it’s a very solid effort from a band who were considered to be well past it, but destined to be forgotten by festival crowds who want to hear Balls To The Wall.