Acceptance - 'Colliding By Design' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/35/d6/33/acceptance-colliding-by-design-87-1497815978.jpg

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 18, 2017    
 
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An illustration that being brave and moving forward can pay huge dividends.

It's been twelve years since the revered 'Phantoms' ushered in what looked like the beginning of success for Acceptance. Touted as the next big thing, the band's demise came after several factors combined to create the perfect storm. The album was continually delayed and then it leaked nine months prior to the actual release. The final nail in the coffin was the spyware (part of the Sony rootkit scandal) that was added to the album and the associated legal wrangles that ensued led to the it being permanently recalled. The band split up in 2006 and it was a case of what might have been.

Fast forward to 2016 and the band are back with a brand new album after a reunion of all the original members. It would have been easy for Acceptance to record 'Phantoms II' and carry on where they left off with their melody-infused Pop Punk tendencies, but the band members have grown up.

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They not only harbour their own life experiences but no doubt they've been exposed to the changing music climate. Ploughing the same furrow may have been the way to go to please a few diehard fans, but it's clear from 'Colliding By Design' that Acceptance are looking at a longer term plan.

Jason Vena still has that distinctive vocal tone – if anything he's got better with age – only here he applies his talents to a far more Pop Rock-orientated album. Chiming opener 'Diagram Of A Simple Man' has echoes of Coldplay, whilst there's a smoothness to other songs like the title track that hint at The 1975. Tangible links to 'Phantoms' crop up in the up-tempo 'Fire And Rain' and Christian McAlhaney's influence is clear from the Anberlin-esque songs 'We Can Escape' and 'Haunted'.

Aaron Sprinkle has reunited with the band to produce the whole affair, but this group is a very different beast to one that recorded the debut, and yet 'Colliding By Design' is not only relevant in today's music scene but also an illustration that being brave and moving forward can pay huge dividends. Once you get over the fact that this isn't the Acceptance of twelve years ago, only then will you be able to truly appreciate what's on offer.

Mike Newdeck

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