Time flies by and it’s really a wonder how 3 ½ years have passed since the release of “The Rise of Chaos”; an album that truly was the least favorite of the latter era Accept offerings. Since then, the German legends have gone through significant changes with Baltes’ departure being of course the most striking one as it came absolutely out of nowhere. Naturally, Hoffmann had a lot to prove…or not! It depends on your outlook of things as the emblematic guitarist needed to prove that he could proudly carry the Accept flag and on the other hand he has proven almost 40 years ago his status on heavy metal music. So, the sole question of interest should only be this: “is Too Mean To Die a good album, an album worthy of the band’s illustrious career?”
For starters, let’s just say that it’s far better than its predecessor although this wasn’t really difficult, wasn’t it? In addition Baltes’ absence –although devastating- is not felt from a compositional standpoint. Hoffmann comes up with some of his most inspired guitar solos (you know…a perfect mixture of classical music with pure heavy metal) but I must point out here that the presence of 3 (!) guitarists is really unnecessary as Accept had always a full bombastic sound. As for the songs themselves, there are 6 classic cuts here –packed really in the middle of the tracklist- with “Overnight Sensation” (Accept meets Quiet Riot), the criminally underrated first single “The Undertaker” and the Tornillo-characteristic “No One’s Master” being the standout ones.
All in all, “Too Mean To Die” is bound to please every Accept fan. I must say, though, that we really miss Peter Baltes…I am sure Hoffmann shares the same feeling with us.
Highlight: The title track and “Zombie Apocalypse” that were released as second and third respectively do not paint an accurate picture of the album’s overall mood.