Scorpions put German metal on the map a few years prior, but “Fast as a Shark,” the first track on Accept’s 1982 breakthrough Restless and Wild, unquestionably upped the ante. The song practically invented speed metal, and it gave Germany a reputation for putting out metal that was faster — and a little nastier — than the stuff coming from America and Britain. Accept’s legacy was established, even as they faded from relevance with a run of subpar albums in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Blind Rage is the third album in a surprising Accept renaissance that started with the 2009 replacement of original vocalist Udo Dirkschneider. The American singer Mark Tornillo stepped in and seamlessly returned Accept to prominence with the outstanding albums Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad. While Blind Rage isn’t as initially thrilling as those outings, it suggests a rock-solid new normal for the band.
The vicious “Stampede” serves as the album-opening cold-water shock, but the rest of the record shows impressive depths of light and shade. “Fall of the Empire” and “200 Years” are by turns brooding and martial, and the excellently titled “Bloodbath Mastermind” manages to build in intensity for its full six-minute duration. At times Tornillo’s earnestness can dip into schmaltz, as on the laughable Hear ‘n Aid update “Wanna Be Free,” but Blind Rage is still a fine addition to the Accept discography, and a welcome reminder of their resurrection.