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Frank; Herman; Right In The Guts

A CV that includes time with Sinner and forming Victory is in itself enough reason to be impressed. However factor in that guitarist Herman Frank also performed on the classic Accept effort Balls To The Wall and is an integral part of the band's return to form through 2010's Blood Of Nations and the mighty Stalingrad from earlier this year and there can be no denying that any release featuring this fret-burner is a reason to prick up your ears. Releasing his first solo album Loyal To None to great acclaim back in 2009, it would have now been reasonable to expect all of Herman's efforts to be going into the rejuvenated Accept. However a quick blast through solo effort number two, Right In The Guts, blasts any of those thoughts right out of the water, with an album brimming over with killer riffs and pummelling drums careening through thirteen killer cuts.

The main change since Loyal To None comes in the shape of the replacement of vocalist (due to scheduling conflicts) Jioti Parcharidis with Sweden's Rick Altzi. There's no denying that Parcharidis put in a mighty shift on LTN, however there's also no getting away from the fact that he is completely outdone by Thunderstone/Sandalinas frontman Altzi on Right In The Guts. 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 in a way that the debut effort just didn't quite achieve. 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 Accept attack of "Ivory Gates", the vocals match the threatening, intense riffs and atmospheres, both in terms of aggressive power and pin-point precision.

Backed by the expert work of bassist for hire Peter Pichl (Running Wild/UFO to name but 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. The gallop of "Vengeance", or the groove of "Hell Isn't Far" being perfect examples of how to execute bristling metal, with an eye for a meaty hook.

Considering just how convincing the aptly named Right In The Guts undoubtedly is, it is quite amazing to think that it isn't actually the best album that Herman Frank has contributed to this year - that honour goes to Accept's Stalingrad. However for any fan of Euro power metal, this is one blow to the midriff that you'll want to strike home regularly.

Track Listing
1. Roaring Thunder
2. Right In Your Guts
3. Ivory Gate
4. Vengeance
5. Starlight
6. Falling To Pieces
7. Raise Your Hand
8. Waiting
9. Hell Isn't Far
10. King's Call
11. Lights Are Out
12. Black Star
13. So They Run

Added: June 23rd 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Herman Frank Online
Hits: 1899
Language: english

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