Herman Frank
Right in the Guts

1. Roaring Thunder
2. Right In Your Guts
3. Ivory Gate
4. Vengeance
5. Starlight
6. Falling To Pieces
7. Raise Your Hand
8. Waiting
9. Hell Isn't Far
10. Kings Call
11. Lights Are Out
12. Black Star
13. So They Run

Peter Pichl - Bass
Herman Frank - Guitars
Rick Altzi - Vocals
Michael Wolpers - Drums
Mamalitsidis Cristos - Guitars

Loyal to None (2009)


Produced by Herman Frank

Released 22/6-2012
Reviewed 24/7-2012

metal heaven

Herman is back and not being loyal to anyone he is back with and album that is a kick right in the guts, that is if we are to believe the title. The cover art and all about it is frighteningly similar to the debut that arrived three years ago, the figure, the colour and everything reminds me of that album. That in itself is no problem though as I really liked that album, it was an exciting and fresh perspective without really breaking any new ground. But now it is three years later and lots has happened since then so it is with a new and fresh perspective I look into this album hoping that it will be as good as or better than the predecessor.

Musically it is similar to the predecessor, it is heavy metal in its pure form without compromise and sidetracks. The band has a new singer who I would rate as somewhat better than but not really that different from the singer on the first album, he is known from At Vance prior to performing with Herman. He sings with passion and energy and suits the songs really well. Moreover, it is heavy riffing, soaring guitar soloing and overall good heavy metal work with the instruments as well as sound. It feels fresh and well produced while still retaining the roots of where the musical genre once came from. It is an album that would have had people raving on about its greatness for weeks had it come in the day when bands like Iron Maiden or Accept established their greatness. It is also surprisingly fresh considering the fact that Herman has a lot of work with great names to draw inspirations from but what he does is bury those deep down somewhere and just create his own piece of music that sounds just about right when to comes to stating what heavy metal is all about.

Right in the Guts is better in every regard compared to the debut, not much better but enough to give the impression that it is a distinct improvement. It can actually be described as a kick in the guts thanks to the hard pounding heavy metal the band offers, such feel and energy is great to hear in a genre where most of the big names feel tired and uninspired. It is great to hear that at least a few of the veterans still know how to really rock. An impressive album in all regards, bar maybe the playing time which with its fifty four minutes is a bit on the long side but given that it is the only thing one can view as negative it isn’t that much of a problem when viewing the bigger picture.

So, with a punch that lands right in your guts Herman Frank returns with a vengeance. An impressive heavy metal album that should appeal to everyone that enjoys that particular genre, and it will probably appeal to many more than that as well. What I can slightly miss is a real “kickass” hit song that just floors you as a listener, this album has thirteen great tracks but none that really stand out and makes you stop in your stride just to listen. But sure all tracks are good and if you hear any of them you should take notice as they are that good, all of them.

In the end though it still feels a little like there is one more step in there somewhere, some unfulfilled greatness just waiting to get out. This album has much of that but I still cannot shake the feeling that with just a small touch of something it would have been absolutely fantastic. Nonetheless, it may not be the timeless classic it could have been but don’t let that deter you as it is an amazing album and if you are a heavy metal fan you will enjoy this album, a lot.



Label: Metal Heaven/Germusica
Three similar bands: Accept/Helloween/Running Wild
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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