April 8, 2024

This year proves to be a celebration of classic bands releasing some really strong material. We already have the excellent new albums by Magnum, Saxon and Judas Priest and now the new Accept is also only three weeks away. The seventeenth album of the German legends is called Humanoid and it comes out three years after the solid Too Mean To Die. The partnership between sole original member Wolf Hoffmann and singer Mark Tornillo is going on for fifteen years already with good results and the addition of Uwe Lulis in 2015 proved to be a great move, with Lulis having had a hand in some quite impressive albums in his career by Grave Digger and Rebellion.

Diving Into Sin starts with the typical sharp riffing of Hoffmann, but fails to deliver a memorable chorus. Things get considerably better with the hymnal title track, which is very fast and aggressive, almost speed metal, with clever lyrics by Tornillo and a simple but effective chorus. The classically-inspired guitar melodies, a band trademark, are of course here once again, so it’s business as usual for Accept. The following song Frankenstein is even better (I would even say the best in the album), with impressive melodies, a fantastic pre-chorus and a chorus meant to be sung along live. Man Up is also very good, more mid-tempo, with some tasteful background gang-vocals, which can also be said about Nobody Gets Out Alive – a true heavy metal hymn of the new century. The Reckoning is very dark in mood, with a brooding leading riff and an ominous melody – a perfect match for the apocalyptic lyrics – an impressive composition. Ravages Of Time serves as the album’s most balladesque song, moody and self-reflective, with very strong lyrics by Tornillo, but I just can’t avoid the comparison with the way Peter Baltes sang those type of songs in the eighties and my preference goes to the latter.

The album then loses some steam with the average Unbreakable and Straight Up Jack, the slightly better and heavier Mind Games sandwiched between. We’ve all heard those type of songs a million times before by Accept. That Wolf Hoffmann is the king of the riff is an undeniable fact, a heavy metal paradigm if you want, but Accept have always needed a memorable, punchy and inspired melody and chorus to make a song stand out, which is not the case with four of the songs in this new album. On the other hand, songs like Humanoid, Frankenstein, The Reckoning and Nobody Gets Out Alive are easily among the best the band has composed in the new millennium. Thankfully, the closing track Southside Of Hell is another winner, a speedy riff fest with, you guessed it, a very well-composed and catchy pre-chorus and double-guitar melodies to shine above the previous three. Just listen to the guitar harmony at 3:33 – that’s the stuff we love Accept for and we need more of these moments in their recent music.

Maybe not quite as good as 2014’s Blind Rage, Humanoid is nevertheless the best bunch of songs by Accept since and a nice reward for all of us – fans of classic old school metal. I know they can do better, hence the score, but make no mistake – this is still a masterclass in metal at a level unimaginable to the majority of new bands in the genre.

7,75/10


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Humanoid will be out on April 26th via Napalm Records and can be pre-ordered from HERE