The legendary German band Accept are still going strong, with their latest album, The Rise of Chaos, featuring a couple of new members. Guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann, who each had a few different stints in the band, have exited. Their replacements are guitarist Uwe Lulis (Grave Digger, Rebellion) and drummer Christopher Williams. Founding members Wolf Hoffmann (guitar) and Peter Baltes (bass) round out the lineup along with vocalist Mark Tornillo.

There aren't any big surprises on the album, nor would you expect any, but Accept continue to deliver quality old school heavy metal. As to how they came up with the album title, Hoffmann says, “The Rise of Chaos is something I have been thinking about often. It describes a condition which is slowly spreading around the world. With the stage setup on our latest European tour, we wanted to portray rather dystopian and destroyed scenery. If you now take a look at our new cover, it’s the same imagery. This time however you can also spot the invisible destruction that we feel more and more in these times, as well as the visible destruction.”

The album gets off to a raucous start with the mid-paced “Die by the Sword,” a catchy track with a singalong chorus. The title track has a more urgent pace with a blazing guitar solo. The guitar wizardry continues on “Koolaid,” which is about the 1978 People's Temple mass murder/suicide in Guyana.

They tackle a lighter lyrical topic on “Analog Man,” bemoaning how technology has taken over, with the “Analog Man” being trapped in a digital world. It has a similar vibe to their classic song “Balls to the Wall.” The heaviest song on The Rise of Chaos is “No Regrets,” a bruiser with more memorable guitar solos.

This is the fourth Accept album featuring Tornillo, who joined when the band re-formed in 2009. His selection has proven to be a great decision, as his style has the power and range to make new songs his own, but also has enough similarities to former singer Udo Dirkschneider to pull off classic Accept tracks.

The second half of the album loses no momentum, with “Worlds Colliding” and closer “Race to Extinction” highlights of the record's back half. For a band that has been releasing albums for more than 40 years, Accept has the vibrancy and energy of artists half their age, but the experience and savvy of grizzled veterans. The Rise of Chaos is an apt description of today's world, but when it comes to Accept, consistency and excellence are the name of the game.

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