My dear metalheads, at this stage does Herman Frank really need an introduction? The man played guitar on some of the finest ACCEPT albums ever, and since 2009 has become quite the solo artist in his own right with Loyal to None and Right In the Guts. In fact, his newest effort The Devil Rides Out is available as we speak on AFM Records. Fans of traditional foot-stompin’, chord-driven metal will surely get more than their share of enjoyment from this one. Handling the gritty-as-hell vocals is Rick Altzi (MASTERPLAN), while drum and bass duties fall to André Hilgers (ex-RAGE) and JADED HEART’S Michael Müller respectively.
As far as the music goes the band doesn’t really deviate from the traditional metal formula. But hey, I’m certainly not complaining. Tunes like the title track and opener “Running Back” are the ones that can propel you through a tedious work day or get you geared up for your Friday night festivities, while “Ballhog Zone” marches along on a bridge built from riffs. “Can’t Take It” is a legitimate speedster and definitely one of my favorites. The double-bass fury of “No Tears In Heaven” calls to mind “Hell Patrol” from JUDAS PRIEST, and is another winner.
We hit the gas again for “Run Boy Run” which has one of the record’s fiercest riffs, and “Thunder of Madness”, two tracks that won’t stop for anything, much less the noise and the cherries in their rearview. “License to Kill” caught me way off guard, and it’s a nice change of pace, opting to let the riff wrap itself around your head as the music sways back and forth in a seductive tempo. Hilgers makes his drums bleed for “Dead or Alive”, yet another stellar track, and once again Frank’s guitar work is masterful. This guy writes such killer metal riffs it’s a shame the ACCEPT boys wouldn’t let him put any together while he was in the band. Oh, and this solo RULES!!
The disc concludes with a pair of ballsy rockers in “Run For Cover” and “I Want It All”, both of which showcase the band members’ collective abilities as well as their individual talents. Look, the bottom line is this: if you’re looking for a band that does old school metal right without sounding dated and also maintains a modern edge, then look no further than Herman Frank and the boys. Driving riffage, loud, sing-along choruses, and definite drinkin’ anthems are in abundance here, so grab your copy of The Devil Rides Out today!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Dead or Alive”, “Run Boy Run”, “Can’t Take It”, “Thunder of Madness”, “No Tears In Heaven”