German heavy metal legends Accept get ‘Mean’ at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Oct. 20
From a press release:
This North American headlining tour features Narcotic Wasteland as support. Fans can expect a diverse setlist of new and classic tracks, plus mega-hits “Balls to the Wall,” “Princess of the Dawn,” “Fast as a Shark,” and many more.
“After two difficult years, I am very much looking forward to returning to the USA and playing in front of our American friends again. Let’s rock out and have a great Accept metal party with all of you headbanging metal veterans out there!” guitarist and founding member Wolf Hoffmann said.
The band around Hoffmann has defined the international genre since they formed in Solingen, Germany in 1976, reigned as one of the most important German rock bands in the ’80s alongside the Scorpions, and influenced bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Guns N’ Roses, and Iron Maiden.
Accept has written many classic albums, such as “Restless and Wild,” “Balls to the Wall,” and “Metal Heart,” played countless shows, and headlined major festivals all around the globe. They have sold millions of albums to date, entered the German and Finnish charts at No. 1, received gold status in the United States, and still impress with their trademark hard-hitting sound, characterized by Hoffmann’s razor-sharp riffs.
In February, Accept signed a worldwide record deal with leading rock and metal label Napalm Records. With their current album, “Too Mean to Die,” the group is once again at the top of the genre. Their 16th studio record entered the Top 10 of the official charts in nine countries and provided the ultimate metal survival soundtrack for the pandemic.
Doors at Penn’s Peak (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe) open at 7 p.m., and the music starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets, which are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the show, are on sale now via ticketmaster.com, the Penn’s Peak box office, and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.
When the German kingpins of heavy metal first launched at the end of the ’70s, the metal genre didn’t even exist yet – at first, Accept could only be labeled with the (quality) seal “crazy loud and crazy wild.” Today, music fans know that this was (and is) metal par excellence that opened the door to thrash metal, inspiring giants such as Metallica. Guitarist Kirk Hammett stated in the German magazine “Gitarre & Bass” that “Wolf Hoffmann has a huge influence on me.”
The band, who once had their origins in the city of Solingen, a city of sound, has been a worldwide music phenomenon for more than 40 years. They still impress with iconic guitar licks and a steel-hard sound that created all-time metal classics like “Balls to the Wall,” “Metal Heart,” and many more.
Countless world tours and headlining slots at the biggest cutting-edge festivals cemented the band’s reputation as one of the best, hottest, and loudest live acts ever. In addition, they have sold millions of records, achieved gold status in the United States, Top 10 chart positions worldwide, and a No. 1 album (Germany, Finland) with “Blind Rage” (2014).
Released in 2021, “Too Mean to Die” is the fifth album that American singer and frontman Mark Tornillo has put his incomparable vocal stamp on.
Recorded in the world music capital of Nashville, the songs were once again produced by British master producer Andy Sneap (Judas Priest, Megadeth), who has been responsible for all Accept productions since 2010.
“From the very beginning, it was clear to us that we would start working with Andy again,” Hoffman noted. No sooner said than done, they met in March of 2020 for their first studio recordings in Nashville. What they couldn’t guess at the time was that a certain virus would suddenly turn the world upside down.
After only two weeks in the studio – and facing the threat of a lockdown – the band and Sneap decided to interrupt the recording session abruptly. “The risk that none of us would be able to return home at that time was simply too great,” Hoffman recalled.
But Accept has overcome many different challenges throughout their four-decade career, so they gathered again in Nashville in July to continue working on the album. Only one person was missing.
“Andy couldn’t come from England, so we had to find an alternative way, which went like this – Andy was sitting at his PC in England, and we recorded the songs and communicated with him online. He produced from a distance, so to speak. Amazingly, it worked better than we thought it would,” Hoffman continued.
“Fortunately, we had already recorded a large part of the songs before the break, so the experiment with Andy Sneap working as remote producer worked well.”
Special circumstances often lead to very special albums. This is certainly true for “Too Mean to Die” which, of course, alludes to the COVID period, although in a different way than one might assume.
“It’s to be expected that many musicians will address the corona situation in their songs. There will certainly be slogans for cohesion, through which positive vibes should be spread, which is also good. But we have decided to not let ourselves be influenced by it. The fans will get a hard, direct, and uncompromising metal album, but of course accompanied with a wink – we are too mean to die! Weeds do not go away! Accept do not let themselves get down!”
He isn’t wrong – the title track is a classic Accept cracker, dynamic and unwavering, turned up to 11.
“Zombie Apocalypse,” also relentless and hard, strikes the same note in the band’s signature style. The first single is different. Titled “The Undertaker,” it’s a terrific mid tempo number with great vocals and built-in character that chugs along, certain to deliver some memorable live moments. According to Hoffmann, it’s one of the most catchy, pleasing pieces of the album.
New to the band, and thus heard for the first time on an Accept album, is Philip Shouse (Gene Simmons Band, among others). The American guitarist fights hot duels with Hoffmann while Uwe Lulis makes the guitar trio perfect by providing the right rhythm.
“Phil was part of our orchestra project and was also completely convincing live. We recognized his great talent immediately and simply didn’t let him go,” Hoffmann explained.
Just how varied the guitar trio performs on the new album is proven by one of the secret highlights, “The Best Is Yet to Come,” a beguiling ballad in which Tornillo is at his best. The metal world knows that he can scream like no other, but here it shows once again that the frontman can also sing magnificently.
“Mark sang this, for us, rather unusual song stunningly well. The fantastic thing about Mark is that he not only masters the typical metal screams but can also sing melodically and beautifully. He proves this impressively in this song,” Hoffmann raved.
The string virtuoso approved of the singer right at the beginning of their 2010 collaboration, the milestone “Blood of the Nations,” and that feeling is still going strong today. On “Too Mean to Die,” the congenial duo Hoffmann and Tornillo present the highlight of their work so far.
In addition, Accept has strengthened their team even further with newcomers Martin Motnik (bass) and Philip Shouse (guitar), thus forming an unbeatable team together with “drum god” Christopher Williams and “rhythm master” Uwe Lulis. There’s no doubt that, with “Too Mean to Die,” the group is once again playing at the top of their genre.
This post was compiled by the staff of NEPA Scene.