REVIEW: HERMAN FRANK – “The Devil Rides Out”
Herman Frank is not a name unknown in the metal music industry. He has been on-and-off with Accept until he quit it once again soon after the release of ‘Blind Rage’. Although Herman Frank has released more albums with the band Victory and still continues to do so, his contribution in Accept cannot be denied –he was the active member during the release of the band’s 1983 classic ‘Balls to the Wall’. After the release of ‘Blind Rage’, guitarist Herman Frank, and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann quit Accept to focus more on their new band, Panzer, formed in collaboration with the vocalist and bassist Schmier from thrash metal gargantuan, Destruction. Besides Victory, Accept and Panzer, Herman Frank has his solo career too through which he has released two albums, ‘Loyal to None’ (2009) and ‘Right in the Guts’ (2012) till date, both highly appreciated.
Herman Frank will release his third and a long awaited album, ‘The Devil Rides Out’, on 18th November 2016 via AFM Records. Along with him are Rick Altzi (Vocals), Michael Muller (Bass), and Andre Hilgers (2016). Rick Altzi has commented that this is the most stable line-up of Herman Frank’s band and will last long. Unlike other solo albums where most of the creative liberty is in the hands of the person whom the band is named after, Herman Frank believes in giving the creative liberty to everyone in the band so it can work together as one; the resulting music is synergy of four musicians at their best, which makes their music undefeatable. For example, when writing lyrics, Herman gives full freedom to Rick Altzi because it is him who has to sing them, and if Rick doesn’t think he’s fully expressive in them or does not feel satisfied, the music will not be good.
Getting to the album, Herman Frank has released two staunch and intrepid albums, and the third album, ‘The Devil Rides Out’ is no less. What I personally like about metal music currently is the variety of tastes one can get. From complex progressive metal to the 70s heavy metal, it has it all. Metal music has evolved with time, as has everything else, and there are musicians who are still attached to their roots and are still releasing stalwart albums. ‘The Devil Rides Out’ is the heavy metal album with the ferocity of 70s metal and some power metal influences too. There is nothing specific to point out as something exceptionally great or something exceptionally bad that would be a trite remark for the album.
The album, to a great extent, is hit-and-miss. Some can call Herman out for playing the same record for over three decades, but in the end, it comes about what the musician finds himself most expressive in. Especially in metal music, there are rarely any bands who would release a certain type of music only to please the fans or to reach out to a larger audience. Bands like Metallica has experimented with their music and has got intense backlash, but that didn’t stop them from doing what they want. ‘The Devil Rides Out’ is a power packed with 1970s heavy metal and leaves no stone unturned. If you like classic heavy metal, then you cannot afford to miss out on this album. This album comes straight from the heart of all four musicians that are part of it, and it connects to directly to the listener’s heart.