Herman Frank – “Fight The Fear” (AFM Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Holy crap – Herman Frank may have just turned 60 years old, but judging by this searing album he still has plenty of fire!! Renowned for over 3 decades for his work in Accept, Sinner, Victory and more recently Panzer, Frank has also issued 3 prior albums as a solo artist with “Fight The Fear” being his latest high octane hard rock metal release. With an equally regarded band backing him in vocalist Rick Altzi (Masterplan), guitarist Heiko Schröder, former Rage drummer André Hilgers and bassist Michael Müller from Jaded Heart, this album is as musclebound as it is melodic, attesting to Frank’s talent in both the composing as well as his searing guitar work. Behind the obvious heaviness of “Fight The Fear”, there’s also a real attitude here, swaggering across in the monster chugging grooves that bask confidently knowing that you’re just gonna go ga ga over the 13 tracks here! I mean, just feel the heat from the steaming riffs and evil teasing licks on the aptly named ‘Terror’, made even heavier by Müller’s massive, pulsating bass and Hilgers hammer down drumming, with only Altzi’s raw vocals offering some respite until the beauty of the melodic soloing brilliantly captures your heart. For anyone doubting how integral Frank was to Accept, then check out ‘Stay Down’ and ask yourself where that twin chainsaw guitar came from, brought even more to life by Altzi’s brooding vocals nodding at you know who, before the almighty singalong chorus hits home and then the twin solos take off, one wailing like a metal cat while the other is more sultry mixed with blues – excellent! If you’re looking for something more anthemic then ‘Wings Of Destiny’ amply suffices with its double bass drumming propelling the epic riffs and melodies, before the guitars wailing in unison to Altzi’s screams and soulful highs send you into an intense high through their uplifting energy, making this incredible song a non stop burner from start to thundering climax. An amazing release from Herman Frank by all accounts, “Fight The Fear” has got it all – in bunches.