German axe slinger HERMAN FRANK has without a doubt an impressive career. He founded hard rock wonders Victory back in the eighties, played in Sinner and performed on the classic Accept effort 'Balls To The Wall'.
But Frank also has his own band, and now is releasing the solo effort number two, "Right In The Guts".
Recently Herman has been an integral part of Accept's return to form, contributing not only with his fret-burner riffs but also in the songwriting. Accept is a great band, but too heavy for my tastes.
Although "Right In The Guts" has a pretty heavy style as well, what I like about this album is the combination of heaviness with high doses of melody and hooks, and that's why it's presented here on this blog.
Frank delivers thirteen blasting tracks full of energy, brimming over with killer riffs and pummelling drums, but also enough melodious cadence to please any classic hard rocker out there.
Choosing Swedish singer Rick Altzi (Thunderstone, At Vance, Epysode) as frontman is maybe the main factor of success in this recording. The sheer power and vigour with which he attacks each and every song grabs you immediately, adding to a huge barrage of guitars and throbbing bass and drums.
Whether it is the foot to the floor riff-fest of "Starlight", the almost speed metal rampage of "Waiting", the stomping Whitesnake-like (Altzi does a mighty fine Coverdale impression actually) "Falling To Pieces", or the vintage '80s assault of "Ivory Gates", the vocals match the threatening, intense riffs and atmospheres, both in terms of aggressive power and pin-point precision.
The catchy gallop of "Vengeance" or the groove of "Hell Isn't Far" are perfect examples of how to execute bristling metalized hard rock with an eye for a meaty hook.
Backed by the expert work of bassist for hire Peter Pichl (Running Wild & UFO to name a couple) drummer Michael Wolpers (Soul Doctor) and second guitarist Mamalitsidis Cristos, Herman is given the room to make his guitar work sear and sting, safe in the knowledge that the songs already have a rock solid foundation.
I can't imagine a more aptly title than "Right In The Guts" for this recording.
But don't be fooled, this material is not raw or nonsense metal, it's really melodic and polished, plenty of intelligent breathtaking riffs, melodies and good songwriting.
"Right In The Guts" isn't a ground-breaking album and it doesn't push the boundaries of heavy-rock, but it's extremely effective and rocks your socks off. It takes all the best parts of the genre and cranks it up to 11.
Production is excellent for this kind of music, crisp and dynamic.
Do you wanna rock? Herman's Frank "Right In The Guts" delivers in large quantities.
01 - Roaring Thunder
02 - Right In Your Guts
03 - Ivory Gate
04 - Vengeance
05 - Starlight
06 - Falling To Pieces
07 - Raise Your Hand
08 - Waiting
09 - Hell Isn't Far
10 - Kings Call
11 - Lights Are Out
12 - Black Star
13 - So They Run
Rick Altzi - Vocals
Herman Frank - Guitars
Mamalitsidis Cristos - Guitars
Peter Pichl - Bass
Michael Wolpers - Drums & Persussion
BUY IT !