During his second run with Accept (reunion era), German guitarist Herman Frank managed to also carve himself a successful little solo career, releasing two albums under his own name. Both of those albums, 2009’s LOYAL TO NONE and 2012’s RIGHT IN THE GUTS, were critically acclaimed and loved by his Teutonic metal fans. Now that he’s once again left Accept (as of 2014), Frank has rededicated himself to his solo work, charging back into the fray with album #3, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT.
Featuring vocal powerhouse Rick Altzi, drummer Andre Hilgers (ex-Rage and many others), and hard rock bassist Michael Muller (Jaded Heart), Frank has assembled quite the band. Good thing too, because THE DEVIL RIDES out is slam-packed full of the Teutonic, Accept-like heavy metal that fans want and expect from him. Altzi, who is most known for power metal acts At Vance (where they hell have they disappeared to?) and Masterplan, sounds perfectly at home singing the heavier, meatier music penned by Frank. Yeah, some of the lyrics are goofy, but Altzi delivers a strong performance. As for Frank, of course his guitar is the star of the show, pushed right to the front of the mix to allow his riffs to take centre stage. Wolf Hoffman is deservedly the most well known guitarist of Accept, but Frank is every bit his equal in talent, proven by the metal riffs he carves out and his acrobatic solos.
I’ve said the music on this album is Accept-like, and that’s not just a lazy comparison; there’s a reason Frank was a strong contributor to that band and he obviously loves that same type of sound. That said, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT is its own beast, perhaps a bit more American-metalized in tone and lyric. And it is the fast songs that strike hardest, cuts like “Thunder of Madness”, “Dead or Alive”, and blood-pumping opener “Running Back” making lasting impressions. Conversely, the slower, brooding songs tend to drag just a little bit, making me want to skip ahead to the next speedster. No complaints with the stomping “Ballhog Zone” though.
It’s been four years since Frank last released a solo album and THE DEVIL RIDES OUT is the perfect album to reintroduce him to metal fans. Fans of his previous work will love this and anyone who enjoys a good Teutonic metal attack should consider this as their next purchase.
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