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Poison Sun: Virtual Sin

When I first read about Poison Sun, I have to admit to being more than a little cynically sceptical. The driving force behind the debut album from these German metallers is Accept guitarist Hermann Frank. However when I subsequently realised that it was his wife Martina who was handling vocals, I assumed that this would be a case of Herman putting together a project especially for his wife as it was the only way she would be able to release an album. Now having lived with the album for a couple of weeks, not only am I way wide of the mark, but it is actually Martina Frank and not her husband Hermann who stars throughout the ten songs on Virtual Sin.

Musically you really get exactly what you would expect from someone at the helm of the recently resurgent metal legends Accept, with strident riffs and thunderous rhythms being the order of the day and not surprisingly the end result sits somewhere between Hermann's day job and the likes of Victory. The pairing of Silent Decay members Florian Schonweitz (drums) and Stefan Hammer (bass), are trusted to create the rock solid base from which Hermann fires his hard hitting guitar bursts, however as I said, the real focal point of this album is the amazingly earthy and powerful vocals from Martina. I had expected a reasonably weak, high registered vocal performance that struggled to live with this intentionally masculine metal, but the deep resonant tones that Martina belts out are a revelation. Coming across as a mixture of Doro, Jutta Weinhold (Zed Yago), a more aggressive Bonnie Tyler and Ann Wilson (along with touches of a smoother Udo Dirkschneider and Brian Johnson) , Martina has one of the best female metal voices I've heard. There are no histrionics, no relying on a sultry delivery to make the teen boys dribble as they frantically widdle with their air guitars (although there's no doubt that while Martina may be described as a mature metal maiden, she is rather striking in her all leather outfit!) and no cheesy "take me to bed" lyrics. Instead this is gritty, well written, well played heavy metal with a great voice fronting the band.

Opening track "Voodoo" is a strutting, forceful rocker, while "Hitman" is the sort of fist clenching, air punching metal that Accept revel in and the sort of stuff that many a male singer would struggle to deliver convincingly, so it really is to Martina's credit just how at home she sounds in these surroundings. The gallop of the title track is irresistible, the guitars spin, the drums pound with intent and the bass confidently holds it all together. Martina mixes things up with a deep growl and full throated howl and it is this up tempo metal mayhem that Poison Sun do best. Things dip slightly with the rather obvious slower number "Princess" and the cover version of the Pointer Sister hit "Excited", while being good fun, could have been replaced with a much more worthy original song. That said this is a more than solid start for Poison Sun that leaves you in no doubt of the talent of all involved.

Track Listing
1. Voodoo
2. Red Necks
3. Hitman
4. Rider In The Storm
5. Killer
6. Virtual Sin
7. Princess
8. Phobia
9. Excited
10. Forever

Added: November 20th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Officail Poison Sun Site
Hits: 2359
Language: english

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