Genre: HEAVY METAL
Released by: AFM Records
Release date: 18th November 2016
Rick Altzi – Vocals
Herman Frank – Guitar
Michael Muller – Bass
Andre Hilgers – Drums
1. Running Back
3. Can’t Take It
4. No Tears in Heaven
5. Ballhog Zone
6. Run Boy Run
7. Thunder of Madness
8. License to Kill
9. Stone Cold
10. Dead Or Alive
11. Run For Cover
12. I Want It All
With a career spanning 30+ years, German metal guitarist Herman Frank needs no introduction, however, it was only within the last few days that I had a listen to his two previous solo offerings. Loyal to None (2009) and Right in the Guts (2012) which were both re-released on 9th September 2016 and feature bonus tracks had me hooked straight away and I had a few replays of them before proceeding to the latest album, due for release on 18th November 2016.
Kicking off the heavy metal roller coaster that is THE DEVIL RIDES OUT is “Running Back”. This track is an instant, high energy attack on the eardrums with characteristically ear-splitting drums, blistering guitar riffs and raspy vocals. This is heavy metal at full throttle and sets the pace of things to come.
Up next is “Shout” which features menacing vocals from the dark side yet is very slightly lighter in sound instrumentally. Still… there isn’t much let up in tempo for this hard working, talented quartet as they gallop on through the album with thunderous ferocity and rhythm.
“Ballhog Zone” is an instantly memorable, catchy tune – possibly the reason it was chosen by the band for single and video release. I loved this one straight off and with the repetition of the phrase You Suck throughout the song, I found it very nostalgic of 80’s metal and vaguely reminiscent of something by W.A.S.P.
The guitar playing from start to finish on this album is of an exceptional standard but perhaps the definitive example of this is demonstrated on “Thunder of Madness” which is jammed packed with mind blowing high pitched twists and turns.
Vocalist Rick Altzi excels in “Stone Cold” which is undoubtedly my favorite track on this release. This melodic hard rock/metal song has quite a subtle difference in style to the rest of the material on the album. Herman was quoted as saying he felt the vocalist should contribute to the lyrics and this tune is lyrically and vocally superb. Dark, brooding and poignant, this is a real metal masterpiece.
Produced by Herman Frank himself, the album thunders along at breakneck speed barely stopping for breath. An excellent release all round, it does sound samey in places – as metal can generally but this detracts nothing from the quality of the music.
If you loved the last two solo albums from Herman, this fantastic third release will not disappoint. THE DEVIL RIDES OUT is likely to appeal to fans of Accept, Victory or indeed anyone who is in the mood for metal!
Review: Karen Hetherington