HUMANOID - April 26, 2024
ACCEPT, the long standing German Titans of Heavy Metal, are back, with a fiercely awaited and highly acclaimed new studio album, via Napalm Records, to be released on the 26th of April, 2024! Once again produced by Andy Sneap (Judas Priest, Amon Amarth, Testament, Saxon, etc.), at his Backstage Recording Studios Ltd., in Derbyshire, UK, HUMANOID is a towering musical achievement, another world class entry in the ACCEPT catalog, certain to rally fans from around the world. It joins the likes of Balls To The Wall, certificed GOLD in USA and Canada, which spawned a video for the title track, their best known hit. Successive albums regularly place in national Top 10 sales charts, with global sales in excess of 17 million!
Since their founding, in Solingen, back in 1976, the band has been a pillar of heavy metal, releasing unquestioned classics and influenced generations of bands, in all metallic subgenres. However, the level of success they‘re experiencing in the digital age is insurmountable. Fans can‘t get enough ACCEPT. The catalog of classic metal anthems, like Metal Heart and Restless & Wild has totaled more than a billion online streams. When It comes to heavy metal, ACCEPT register one of the largest presence in social media account and YouTube play-throughs of official videos is in the multi-millions. The previous album, Too Mean to Die, culminated in Sold Out tours, headline slots on the biggest Metal and Rock festivals, solidified the band’s reputation as a hot ticket, and one of the most outstanding live acts around.
The band has never shied away from hot button issues and this album is no exception!
Social media, cellphones and AI: our reliance on technology is gradually stripping away our individuality. Leading tech industrialists have stated they want to implant computer chips directly in the brain, which may further eradicate our humanity. Is it too late? Have we gone too far? ACCEPT offers a warning in this new album and title track single Humanoid.
„I‘m a little afraid that humanity gets lost and pushed aside in all this stuff,“ says Wolf Hoffmann.“ People are concerned that pretty soon real artistry will become obsolete as technology is getting extremely good. The days have passed when you thought, ‚Maybe one day in the future...‘ It‘s already here man! It‘s a scary thought how the world will look in a few years. Are people even going to care about songwriters, or the depth and complexity of human emotions and man made creations? Are the days numbered for real artists?“ The guitarist sees both sides of the coin. „I guess in a way it‘s also quite exciting. This Digital Revolution is having a monumental impact, probably bigger than anything humankind has ever gone through. The Industrial Revolution was huge, but this might be bigger, and we‘re just at the beginning of it!“
ACCEPT’s 17th studio album is certainly not a concept album.
Since ACCEPT’s singer Mark Tornillo (nicknamed Analog Man) will never be an advocate for the digital age, he counterbalances the title track with raw emotions, frailties, significant Rites of Passage we encounter on the path of life and characteristics that make us uniquely human: feeling uncomfortable, getting older, dealing with hurt, disappointment, and the final stop for everyone: death.
Neither preachy, nor heavy handed, HUMANOID is a ferociously electrifying, dynamic and subtly nuanced platter with tongue in cheek humor, biblical references to The Reckoning, an ode to concert audiences, a thrilling new spin on the “Frankenstein” story and what surely would have been a Bon Scott approved drinking song.
The opening track Diving into Sin gives listeners a hair-raising energetic jolt with its Middle Eastern influenced intro, and an almost aggressive, screaming vocal from Tornillo setting the rest of the album up for a most bountiful feast! „I liked how the lyrics sounded and started spinning around in my head. In society, we‘re supposed to be respectful of each other and you can do this, but not do that and sometimes we don‘t want to live by the rules and just say, ‚Fuck it! I‘m not supposed to do it, but I‘m going to.‘“ With a word of caution, Wolf offers, „I‘m just reflecting on myself, but we all have that urge, from time to time (even if we don‘t act on it).“
Unbreakable is as much about the band, as it is the bond between ACCEPT and their fans, in the concert arena. „That‘s an easy going, „Hey, let‘s do this,‘ kind of rock song.“
Mind Games, on the other hand, has a vintage feel, circa Metal Heart. „It has an earlier vibe,“ Wolf concurs. He expounds on the lyrics. „I think the best songs reflect on your own life, or someone else‘s and you just tell the truth. I‘ve been thinking about dreams a lot lately. I never have these beautiful dreams. I have lots of fucked up dreams. They‘re either quirky and weird or they‘re downright nasty, where I have weird things going through my head. Sitting on an island, the sun is shining and it‘s all peaceful? I never have those kinds of dreams. I wish I did! Mind Games are certainly part of my life.“
No One Gets Out Alive seems tailor made for live shows. It says that regardless of life‘s circumstances, rich, famous, or not, death is the great equalizer. Wolf agrees. „That‘s the gist of the song, We‘re all here just once, so might as well enjoy the ride.”
A good ole’ drinking song, Straight Up Jack utilizes many euphemisms for ordering at the bar.
Upbeat and aggressive, with guitar interplay, Southside Of Hell ends the disc with a wonderful bit of wordplay, courtesy of Tornillo. „I wrote the music to the lyrics. Mark had written the lyrics and handed them to me.“
Asked about the singer, Hoffmann gushes “He‘s been in the band for 14 years and this is the sixth album in a row. We feel a lot of continuity there. It feels good, knowing he can sing anything we write.“
It comes as no surprise that UK based Metal Producer extraordinaire, Andy Sneap, who has collaborated with ACCEPT since their return in 2009, has reprised his role for HUMANOID . „We always go through the music with Andy. He‘s sort of the referee, the mastermind who picks the songs he thinks are worthy of recording and developing. We are always grateful for his input and expertise. He’s absolutely the best Metal producer around.
HUMANOID is an album that targets the head, heart, gut and... balls!
Listen for yourself!