Sunday, August 20, 2017

Accept – The Rise of Chaos

Accept is now four albums into their latest reunion, and really have nothing to prove anymore. They’ve hit the mark of consistency achieved by bands like Tankard, Overkill, and others. If you’ve heard any of their other recent records, “The Rise of Chaos” will be a fairly predictable affair. That isn’t a bad thing though, as it is once again filled with hard rockin’ tracks. The band continues to have an amped-up, Judas Priest meets AC/DC feel (the former due to the riffs and the latter due to the vocals). The pleasant surprise of “The Rise of Chaos” is that it’s much more succinct than their other 3 reunion albums, clocking in at just 46 minutes. Though Accept are strong songwriters, even they struggle to maintain the hour or so length that has dominated their music recently.

As seasoned veterans, Accept write songs that are instantly memorable. Even when the song itself might not be that great, you’ll probably have it stuck in your head. The lone instance of this on “The Rise of Chaos” is “Hole In The Head”, which has an awkward chorus, amidst an otherwise acceptable tune. The real highlights are tracks like the high-energy opener “Die By The Sword”, and the incredibly melodic “Koolaid”. Wolf Hoffmann continues to dominate throughout the record, primarily due to his unlimited arsenal of traditional heavy metal riffs, but he also has plenty of great leads as well. There is plenty of variety in terms of speed; the album obviously leans towards more upbeat tempos, but there is the occasional slow-burner like “Analog Man” that offers a nice change of pace. 

As the album soldiers on, there really aren’t many surprises. The band still has plenty of great gang-vocal parts that are perfect to sing along to. The riffs are fairly standard, but none of them feel unoriginal. Despite decades of writing this type of music, Accept somehow manages to avoid rehashing the past (or any of the other thousands of other similar sounding bands out there). Overall, it’s easy to be happy with “The Rise of Chaos” as it is definitely on par with everything else the band has done in the last decade, and even exceeds much of it!  

Be sure to check out and like Accept on Facebook!

Highlights
"Die By The Sword"
"Koolaid"
"Analog Man"

Final Rating
4.0/5 or 80%. 

Written by Scott

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Deserted Fear – Dead Shores Rising

Deserted Fear is something of an enigma. Despite being signed to Century Media Records and recently releasing their third album, it feels like the band hasn’t received a significant push in either the underground or the mainstream metal scenes. After a few listens of “Dead Shores Rising”, it becomes clear why they don’t seem to be especially in favour of either group: they straddle the line between the two almost perfectly. Deserted Fear can best be described as Bolt Thrower meets Amon Amarth. Imagine a constant onslaught of crushing grooves infused with harmonized guitar playing. In fact, the opening moments of “The Fall of Leaden Skies”, the first real song on the album, bring these two elements together.

To the band’s credit, where they differ from these two groups is their willingness to push tempos to fairly high speeds. Not content with simply grooving and bobbing some heads, Deserted Fear has some thrash-inspired moments that will induce immediate whiplash. The band seamlessly transitions between faster moments and monolithic mid-paced sections, taking no prisoners in both instances. The production is monstrous and supports the band’s sheer heaviness. This is one of the few examples of where a major label (for metal) production really has a positive impact. It accentuates how tight the band’s playing is, and makes everything infinitely heavier.

As one might imagine, much of Deserted Fear’s riffs are predicated on tremolo picking various patterns. Though the guitars are extremely downtuned, the band’s more melodic tendencies open up more variety in the riffs that can be used, as opposed to more brutal bands that have a limited selection of notes. The drums range from the aforementioned thrashier beats, to speedy double bass drumming with simplistic handwork over top, to spacy grooves (with the latter two styles paying great homage to Bolt Thrower). Blast beats are not particularly in favour, and likely would not suit the band's sound. The growling is primarily limited to gutturals, with the occasional higher note, but the execution on the low end is extremely convincing. 

There aren’t too many tricks to be found as the album soldiers on, but Deserted Fear opted to make a concise, impactful record. Everything they do on this album is done with extreme care and precision. My initial confusion when discovering the band was how could a band signed to Century Media receive so little attention; after listening to this album numerous times, the real question is how could a band this good be ignored by so many listeners? I don’t have an answer, but regardless, Deserted Fear is essential death metal that wipes the floor with almost everything else going on in this subgenre in 2017!

Be sure to check out and like Deserted Fear on Facebook!

Highlights
"The Fall of Leaden Skies"
"Towards Humanity"
"The Carnage"

Final Rating
4.3/5 or 86%. 

Written by Scott