(Album Review) ACCEPT - Too Mean To Die
Released January 29, 2021 (Nuclear Blast)
Written by: Jeff Tighe
German metal masters Accept are back with Too Mean to Die, their 16th studio album in their 40+ year career. And given the title, it will surprise nobody when they hear that these old-timers mean business on this 11 song, 52 minute slab of traditional metal, Accept-style.
The fact that Accept can continue to issue high quality metal this deep into their recording history is a testament to sole original member Wolf Hoffmann's dedication to his craft and honouring the Accept name. This is the fifth album with the band's third lead singer, Mark Tornillo. While many fans probably fell off the Accept bandwagon when Udo left for the second time, it has to be said that American singer Tornillo was clearly chosen for the fact that his raspy vocals are similar to the long-departed Dirkschneider's, and they are a perfect fit for this band's catalogue, new and old.
Too Mean to Die is also the first album after the 2019 departure of original bassist Peter Baltes. New bassist Martin Motnik fills the void in fine form, even if it is disappointing to see band members leave legendary acts like this one after more than four decades.
The best tracks include the speedy numbers such as the title track and "Not My Problem". Also of note is "Overnight Sensation", which would fit seamlessly on Metal Heart or any other album from the band's golden era. Another catchy song with that trademark Accept group vocal sing-along chorus is "No One's Master". Meanwhile the boys channel Ritchie Blackmore with "Symphony of Pain" which has some snippets of Beethoven thrown in and "Samson and Delilah" which has that Middle Eastern flavour that the Man in Black loves so dearly.
On the weaker side, "The Undertaker" and "Sucks to be You" are a bit plodding and sound like last minute filler, while "The Best is Yet to Come" is a power ballad, and even if it isn't really that bad, it is always best to avoid this type of song.
All in all, another solid entry for the Accept legacy. Those who abandoned the band should know that there are still gems to be found in their output.