"The wave of legacy bands striking new gold in their twilight years continues unabated." Almost 50 years in, German heavy metal legends Accept have found a new career peak with Humanoid

Accept have put together an absolute banger with their brilliant new album, Humanoid

(Image: © Christoph Vohler)

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The recent wave of legacy bands striking new gold in their twilight years continues unabated. From cult 80s metal foot-soldiers such as Heavy Load and Overlorde to household names like Judas Priest and Saxon, the killer comeback from rejuvenated boomers is a fully fledged phenomenon of the post-Covid era. Although now retaining only one original member – axeman Wolf Hoffmann – these wildly influential progenitors of the Teutonic metal sound have maintained a strong path since stabilising in the 2010s.

US singer Mark Tornillo is a textbook exemplar of how to replace a legendary frontman, up there with Dio/Ozzy, Brian/ Bon and Dickinson/Di’anno. Equally at home with a husky croon, perfectly deployed on Ravages Of Time’s moving, bittersweet meditation on ageing, as with his predominating vituperative bark (oddly reminiscent of ex-Sabbat/ Skyclad growler Martin Walkyier crossed with Sesame Street optimist Elmo), Mark’s gravelly pipes now define the band’s sound as powerfully as Udo Dirkschneider’s did in their 80s heyday.

2021’s Too Mean To Die was no slouch, but perhaps betrayed the faintest element of going through motions. On Humanoid, however, everything feels just right: the assimilation of quirky, versatile musical ideas into the heads-down, blunt- force riffing, the perfect balance of sound levels, the extra oomph that turns a decent foot-tapper into a compulsive headbanger. Among the doozies to savour here are Eastern-tinged power metal monster Diving Into Sin, Wacken-baiting fist-raiser Unbreakable, whisky-soaked rock’n’roller Straight Up Jack and propulsive, razor- sharp closer Southside Of Hell. Parallels with Priest’s Invincible Shield are inevitable; both bands trace their roots as far back as the 60s, both exemplify the undying traditions of classic heavy metal, and both have returned with spectacularly energised and commanding records to show the whippersnappers who’s boss.

Humanoid is out this Friday, April 26, via Napalm

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.