Herman Frank – “The Devil Rides Out” (AFM Records)
At one time the second half of Accept’s lethal dual chainsaw attack, Herman Frank has long been a mainstay of what many regard as that band’s classic line up. Despite being part of Accept’s recent reunion and playing on all 3 comeback albums, he left once again after not being allowed to contribute as a song writer. Whatever the case, Frank’s talents both as a guitarist and song writer have been long established during Accept’s double hiatus, firstly playing in Victory and Moon’Doc, his own solo work releasing 2 prior albums and more recently being involved in the Panzer collaboration with Stefan Schwarzmann (ex Accept) and Schmier (Destruction). Backed by vocalist Rick Altzi (Masterplan) and now complemented by Rage drummer André Hilgers and Jaded Heart bassist Michael Müller, “The Devil Rides Out” is made up of what many consider to be band’s first permanent line up – and it rocks! With plenty of energy, needless to say its Herman Frank’s guitar that propels the material, with plenty of crunching hard rock and metallised riffs, fluid lead breaks and of course, trademarked Accept style solos like on ‘Ballhog Zone’ – its meaning and witty title probably directed at his former band mates heh heh! With Hilgers now complementing the up tempo material with his own driving, intense beat, Altzi tops it off with his own rock god vocals that easily take in the soulful alongside a slighter rawer edge as heard on ‘I Want It All’. Certainly heavy on many of the numbers, there’s also lots of macho melody and plenty of kick ass rock n roll like on the very 80s sounding ‘Dead Or Alive’, and that’s essentially where Frank’s ethos probably differed to that of Accept, in that this is more of a collaboration taking the contribution of all the members of the band to produce a certainly lean, if not as mean sound.