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ACCEPT Humanoid

By George Mihalovich, Pittsburgh Contributor
Tuesday, May 7, 2024 @ 4:07 PM


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ACCEPT
Humanoid

Napalm Records




Since their return to form in 2010 with Blood of The Nations, ACCEPT has had a successful run of strong releases in a similar musical vein. Humanoid is the sixth and latest in this era of the band and showcases the two dominant sides of their approach.

The full-bore classic metal assault for which they are most renowned is covered on the first three cuts. Album opener "Diving Into Sin" is bookended with a short haunting sitar intro and outro and is pure aggression in between. Up next is "The Reckoning" a killer straight-ahead banger. It's followed by "Frankenstein" their retelling of the famous story by Mary Shelley. "Humanoid" and "Mind Games" are similar examples.

Second is their hard rock side (think AC/DC through the ACCEPT filter). This kicks in with "Man Up" (Track Four); "Nobody Gets Out Alive" and "Straight Up Jack" follow suit. The latter ode to alcohol shows their tongue-in-cheek side - another element from a certain Australian band's playbook.

The rest of the record is undeniably ACCEPT-style metal. The exception is the ballad "Ravages Of Time" in the seven spot to bring the pace down. It's a poignant song about growing older, and the style and placement are perfect to manage the overall pacing of the disc.

In addition to the themes already mentioned, Humanoid provides commentary on topics ranging from social issues to reflections on the human condition. They specifically address how we interact with, rely on and are ultimately affected by technology. These have been carried over from previous discs, but artificial intelligence is a stronger focus this time (clearly represented in the exceptional artwork). Amongst these serious reflections, they also included an ode to metal brotherhood with "Unbreakable".

The rhythm section of Christopher Williams (drums), Martin Motnik (bass) and Uwe Lulis (guitar) make their presence known, even if the spotlight falls largely on Wolf Hoffman and Mark Tornillo. Speaking of, Tornillo's ability to maintain the sharp edges of Udo Dirkschneider's tone with a broader melodic and dynamic range remain a winning combination; the consistent results have shown that he was undeniably the right choice. Mr. Hoffman sounds invigorated as a writer and lead guitarist, and his solos on Humanoid rival his best.

The pristine production is once again provided by Andy Sneap, who started working with the band when Mark joined for Blood of The Nations. The operative phrase for his work is "near perfect" and it's difficult to find fault with his signature sonic footprint. He has set the gold standard for the sound of modern classic metal with JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON, MASTERPLAN and many others.

ACCEPT may not quite have written the book, but they have earned a place in history for being one of the key bands that helped to shape and refine what heavy metal has become. Humanoid is a mean, smart, accessible and satisfying collection of songs from a legendary band still at the height of their powers.

4.7 Out Of 5.0


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