|Release Date||8 Feb 2019|
|Record Label||AFM Records|
Even at sixty nine years old, Herman Frank still manages to rock the shit out of everything he’s involved in. He played with Accept through its glory days. He’s been with Victory to see the release of eight albums. He’s even had an impressive solo career. The latter’s latest record, Fight the Fear, stays true to the heavy sound he’s always portrayed.
All that being said, Herman Frank himself is the only real highlight of the album. His old school riffs give each song that familiar, classic heavy metal sound that you’d expect. The solos in Fight the Fear are characteristically long and, even though there’s a solo in the same place in each song, they’re all very likely to melt your face off. This album could easily ride on the coattails of Frank’s playing and still be considered good (which it almost does).
An issue I have with this album is the repetitiveness of the songs. Each of the thirteen tracks follows the exact same formula. Each song is good, and, as mentioned above, the guitars make each one a lot better, but after three solo albums of more or less the same, the album gets a bit boring once you get through the first few tracks. You’d think a seasoned musician such as Frank would like to switch it up at this point in his career, but there’s no pointing in changing what has historically worked so well, I suppose.
Another, and probably my main, problem with the album is the drumming. André Hilgers (Silent Force) lays down straightforward and simplistic grooves, never varying much from the basic rhythm. He keeps the time and pushes the weight of the band, but he doesn’t do much to paint any extra colours.
Vocalist Rick Altzi (Masterplan, At Vance, ex-Thunderstone), on the other hand, is rough, gruff, mean, and tough. His powerful voice, however, is done a slight injustice through the melodies that are very similar, and makes him seem like a one-trick pony. Nonetheless, he sings hard and makes the album all the better for it.
What you see is what you get with Fight the Fear. It’s a good classic metal album. The guitars are fucking awesome, the vocals are solid, and everything else is. . . well, it’s good enough. Herman Frank continues to play as hard as ever, and he has certainly built an established name for himself.
Fight the Fear will be available 8 February 2019.
Originally written for metal-observer.com