Veteran hard rock/metal band Accept released its brand new album Too Mean to Die Friday. The 11-song record – the band’s 16th — is the first great entry in this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums. It is yet another display of why this band remains today, one of the most respected and beloved acts in the hard rock and metal community as is evidenced through the song’s combined musical arrangements and lyrical themes. From start to end, this record offers audiences so much to appreciate in terms of both items. That is evidenced in part late in the album in the track, ‘Symphony of Pain.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘No One’s Master,’ which comes early in the 52-minute record’s run, shows in its own way, how the album’s overall content plays into its success. It will be addressed a little later. Much the same can be said of ‘Not My Problem.’ It will also be addressed later. When it is considered with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album in whole, a presentation that is certain to end up on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.
Accept’s new album Too Mean to Die is a record whose appeal certainly will not die anytime soon. It is a presentation that from start to end, will appeal to any hard rock and metal fan with its musical and lyrical content. That is proven in part late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Symphony of Pain.’ The song’s lyrical content actually focuses on none other than composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. Guitarist Wolf Hoffman noted in an interview with Apple Music that is exactly what the song centers on, lyrically. Yes, there are bands out there that have classical influences in their metal performances, but few actually go so far as to craft a song about a classical composer. The only bad that comes to this critic’s mind in regards to that, is Trans Siberian Orchestra, which in fact crafted a whole album about Beethoven. Mark Tornillo even sings in the song’s chorus, “Trapped in silence/How I loathe this sanctity/Imprisoned by this irony/Darkened elusion/Seeking only to embed/Melodies held hostage in my head.” This is a direct reference to Beethoven dealing with being deaf and how he must have felt having to cope with the disability. Tornillo conjures Beethoven even more as he continues in the chorus, calling the situation, “A silent prison/This symphony of pain.” That is pretty much straight forward. It is a concept that is sure to entertain so many listeners in itself. Together with the song’s musical arrangement, the song gains even more traction.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Symphony Of Pain’ adds to the song’s presentation, as it incorporates Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ into its overall power metal approach. Hoffman and new guitarist Philip Shouse join with current member Uwe Lulis to make the song’s arrangement a solid, driving old school metal work that, as already noted, will appeal to fans of acts, such as Judas Priest, Saxon, and others of that ilk. As an added note, while Trans Siberian Orchestra is one of the only acts out there to actually take on the topic of a classical composer for one of its songs, the arrangement sounds nothing like anything that TSO has ever crafted. So audiences can rest easy knowing this. The manner in which Hoffman weaved the noted classical composition into the whole was seamless and it makes the song even more appealing. All things considered here, the song in whole makes itself a clear example of what makes Too Mean to Die such a strong new offering from Accept. It is just one of the songs that makes this record stand out. ‘No One’s Master’ is another key addition to the album.
‘No One’s Master’ is another work whose musical arrangement takes listeners back to the golden age of hard rock and metal. It is yet another work that right off the bat, lends itself to thoughts of Judas Priest what with its guitars, bass, and drums. Interestingly enough, Tornillo’s vocal delivery conjures thoughts of Motorhead’s late, great front man Lemmy Kilmister. The comparison is not a mirror image, but is so close that it cannot be denied. That combination of influences and sounds makes the song’s musical arrangement more than enough reason for audiences to hear this work. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too. The bombastic ending to the song makes it come across like a live song, ensuring that whenever live music does return, it likely will become part of the band’s live shows. The lyrical content that features alongside the song’s high-energy composition makes the work in whole even more impacting.
The lyrical content featured in the song comes across as a statement that celebrates individuality and thinking for one’s own self. This is implied as Tornillo sings in the song’s lead verse, “The media’s controlling the masses/Stoking our anger and fear/Further dividing the classes/Serving the richest careers/heir mantra is lies and deception/When honesty’s all that I crave/I decline and there’ll be no exceptions/I am no one’s master/No one’s slave/No one’ s slave.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Living in fear ain’t worth living/Wasting your life is the crime/The reaper will be unforgiving/Wake up while you’re still in your prime/The guide of my life is my conscience/My way is the path that I pave/I treat, how I want to be treated/I am no one’s master/No one’s slave.” The real harsh statement comes as he sings in the song’s chorus, “I won’t rule/I won’t bow/I won’t sink my eyes to the ground/I won’t steal/I won’t kneel/I won’t bend my knee to the crowned/I pledge an oath to myself and to life/I’m not afraid of the sword or the knife.” That bold statement that, while familiar is still presented in its own unique fashion, couples with the song’s musical arrangement to make the song in whole, another powerful example of what makes Accept’s new album such a strong new record. It is just one more example of what makes the album stand out. ‘Not My Problem’ is another entry in this album that makes it so successful.
‘Not My Problem’ gives listeners another notable musical work that is one part Motorhead and one part just pure guitar rock. The blues-based composition is another driving, high-energy composition that together with – again — Tornillo’s Lemmy style vocal delivery makes for yet another powerful addition to the album.
The musical arrangement that is featured in ‘Not My Problem is certain to make the song another fan favorite from Too Mean to Die. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The social commentary contained in the song adds even more appeal. In the case of this song, the song’s lyrical content comments on those people who would rather point the finger at everyone else for their problems than take responsibility, much like in another of the album’s songs, ‘Sucks to be You.’ In this case, Tornillo sings, “Dug your hole/Don’t bear your soul and sin all over me/made your bed/Now lay your head/You don’t get no sympathy/Hear that sound/It’s coming down/The hammer’s got to fall/Hit the lights/You’re in the sights/Up against the wall/Don’t blame your misfortunes on me/You’ve done this all on your own/So many others are too blind to see/Well, let me throw the first stone/It’s not my problem/Keep it to yourself.” He continues just as sharply in the song’s second verse, “Realize how many times I’ve bailed you out/I bought your charms/With open arms/Now I close the door/You’ve done the crime/Now do the time/Go bitch to someone else/Take a stand/And play your hand/You’ve brought this on yourself.” This overall statement is such that it will echo with any listener. Everybody has been in this situation at least once in life if not more times. We have all dealt with that person who just wants to blame everyone else for his or her misery and have just reached the breaking point. This song will help anyone get through those times, especially when these lyrics are paired with the vim and energy in the song’s musical arrangement. It is certain to be overall, yet another fan favorite. When it is considered with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s songs, that whole makes Too Mean to Die a record whose appeal will not die anytime soon.
Accept’s latest album Too Mean to Die is another positive new offering from the veteran metal act. It is a work whose musical and lyrical content is certain to appeal to the band’s established fan base, and metal and hard fans in general. That is proven through each of the songs examined here. When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes unquestionably this year’s first great new hard rock and metal album. It is available now.
More information on Accept’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at: