The Rise of Chaos is German outfit Accept’s fifteenth studio long-player. It’s also the first album recorded by their ‘Mark XVI’ Lineup, featuring new guitarist Uwe Lulis (known best for his time with fellow Teutons Grave Digger) and drummer Christopher Williams (War Within). But is it any good?

You know it is. This is Accept we’re talking about, and things like quality of performance and sheer riff power are a given. However, as the band delve deeper into the ‘Tornillo’ era of the band, one or two little quibbles raise their heads along the way of what overall is a very enjoyable journey.

The first is the overall ‘safeness’ of the album. Just as singer Mark Tornillo now has four albums under his Accept belt, so does producer Andy Sneap. And, to these ears at least, the partnership is starting to sound a little stale, maybe a little safe even. For instance would a new producer coming on board and keen to set their stamp on proceedings allow the pre-chorus of Analog Man – which is basically a note-for-note rewrite of Balls to the Wall – to get out of the studio and into the wider world? I don’t think they would.

Still, the actual song itself is a hoot, one of those old-style Accept singalongs that’s more Young and Young than Tipton and Downing. It’s a wry paean to getting old and not staying in touch, so there’s no harm done I guess… Elsewhere No Regrets is probably the best track on offer. It’s a storming heads down metal assault that proves there is still a bit o’ fire in the belly. Those trademark stentorian backing vocals chime in on the chorus to back up Tornillo in corny yet totally effective fashion, and the same formula repeats with success at lower speed on the excellent Koolaid.

Opener Die by the Sword is classic Accept in every way, a great way to start the album. But at the other end the material peters out a little, leaving Worlds Colliding as perhaps the last really strong note on the album despite there being two songs on the playlist after it.

Sentinel Daily editor Scott Adams maintains that this is Accept’s best work since their return. However I’d still back 2010’s reintroduction opus Blood of the Nations for that particular gong. But this is strong stuff, no doubt about it, from a band for whom consistency is worn like a band of honour; A few dodgy lyrics and the already-voiced moans aside, it’s a winner.

The Rise of Chaos will be released by Nuclear Blast on August 4th.