Accept – Humanoid (Napalm Records)

Friday, 26th April 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

A household name in the traditional metal scene, Accept continues to execute in their own lane – trends be damned. With guitarist Wolf Hoffmann at the helm, the intercontinental group of musicians in the current lineup know what bread-and-butter elements at play need to be there to appease the faithful followers. Humanoid as such continues the mix of anthems, steady rockers, and occasional ballad-esque offering that intertwine the larger-than-life Teutonic choruses, fluid/thoughtful lead breaks, as well as bluesy / classical-oriented nuances to keep the platform sturdy as ever.

With an Egyptian-style intro that harkens back to the Metal Heart days, “Diving Into Sin” opens the record in heads down anthem form – the riffs powerful next to the clockwork rhythm section mainframe, allowing Mark Tornillo’s gritty delivery to grab the lion’s share of attention for the verses and catchy chorus. While the record progresses second guitarist Uwe Lulis gains comfort in his songwriting contributions as well as his obvious axe expertise, “Frankenstein” a heart pounding winner featuring an alluring bridge transition beyond the emotive circular lead fireworks that tradeoff between Uwe and Wolf. The band also excel in slower realms – continuing that aspect through “Ravages of Time”, the lower register vocals as well as clean to electric guitar work exquisite without softening the atmosphere too much, as the dramatic shifts keep listener interest heightened. The influence bank that these musicians pull from is very much rooted in the 60s and 70s – one airing of the AC/DC-esque “Straight Up Jack” proper evidence of that – yet the production skills of Andy Sneap ensures Accept keep one foot in touch with modern recording abilities to capture their sound to the widest possible fanbase they can.

Certain songs lyrically do touch upon the AI / artificial intelligence movement that’s certainly a hot button issue for all (especially in the entertainment industry) – while closer “Southside of Hell” is one of those heavier closers where the mish mash of classically-infused riffs mandate some sinister neck whipping motion that should exhort massive horns approval from the hordes. Many would say if the formula isn’t broken, why do any major fixes? Accept keep the metal machine rolling along just fine for Humanoid – enjoy the ride as the old guard proves that there’s still plenty of creative juice left in those veins.

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