Accept Embrace the Darkness for ‘Blood of the Nations’
"It's a fine line," Accept guitarist Wolf Hoffmann admitted to Noisecreep of the writing struggle that comes after reforming. "You want it to sound like what the fans know and like about you, but at the same time it needs to be fresh, but no too different."
When the European metal titans announced their reformation last year with a new frontman, Mark Tornillo of TT Quick fame, many reserved their applause. "A lot of people thought it wasn't possible to go back after all this time, and it's not possible without [Udo Dirkschneider], but once people heard the new stuff that stuff goes away." This new Accept embraces an older type of riff, one that still reflects on their previous work, but doesn't try to be a monument of their '80s accomplishments.
"We didn't want to rock the boat or try anything drastically different. The goal was to write songs that are really typically Accept," said Hoffmann, who now lives in Nashville with photography as his main gig. Though 'Blood of the Nations' doesn't veer far, it does embrace a more Judas Priest form. Hoffmann points to producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Exodus) for keeping the band in that direction as he helped them narrow down the songs.
According to the guitarist, the band went into the studio with nearly 40 song ideas, scrapping the happier, more melodic numbers for intense powerhouses, making their 12th effort a modern heavy album with no retro baggage.
Sneap contacted the band on hearing of their reforming out of hopes to produce them, something Hoffman was overjoyed by – as well as Sneap approaching the entire process as a fan.
On first glance, a title like 'Blood of the Nations' can lead people to believe the band that screamed 'Balls to the Wall' in 1983 has gone political. Though understanding of that concern, Hoffmann said not to expect any onstage rants any time soon.
"We didn't want to be too political. I mean, it's a weird situation for us now," he explained. "We have an American singer, and half of us live over here now, so we have a United Nations thing going on. You don't want to offend anyone and take a political side. I don't think that should be a role of a heavy metal band anyhow. We're just trying to entertain basically."
Politics aside there is a darkness to 'Blood of the Nations,' each riff seeming epic and the harrow streaks of Tornillo create a tone one doesn't normally equate with Accept. Pondering that direction Hoffmann rests in it as fitting for the days we live in. "Maybe that's the direction of modern times. That seems to be the trend nowadays. It goes away from the happy '80s to the more darker side of things."