Herman Frank – Two For A Lie (Album Review)

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The Teutonic storm has commenced.

With nearly 40 years of heavy metal history at his back, veteran trustee of old school Teutonic fury Herman Frank has definitely not slowed down with the passage of time. Indeed, if his solo output since the close of the 2000s has been any indication, like a fine wine his work just seems to get better with age. Having recently ushered in his 60s with a colossal hour and 9 minute tutorial in how to lay down the metallic thunder with the best of them dubbed “Fight The Fear,” not to mention the brilliant one-two-three punch he delivered earlier in the 2010s with the then newly reformed Accept, it could be argued that this elite master of the riff had some high expectations to meet when entering the studio to begin crafting his fifth solo effort. True to form, the resulting shorter yet equally ferocious follow up “Two For A Lie” leaves little doubt that Frank’s days of dropping might metallic anvils on the masses are far from finished.

Though a few noteworthy lineup changes have taken place since Herman’s grand 2019 studio spectacle, all of the key elements that made it a certified new classic are still in place. Drummer and newcomer Kevin Kott, who has been rocking the kit for such noted acts as At Vance, Almanac and Masterplan turns in an equally thunderous performance to predecessor Andre Hilgers, excelling particularly on the speedier numbers. Likewise, newly recruited second guitarist Michael Pesin, who would later assist Frank in restarting his hard rock-tinged flagship project Victory, proves a perfect collaborator and occasional foil in filling out the arrangement. However, the primary player in giving this project its signature sound and forceful demeanor is the power-infused, gravely swagger vocalist Rick Altzi, whom in addition to resembling the signature smoky voice of David Coverdale, proves about as apt as Rob Halford in delivering those glass-shattering banshee wails on demand.

“Two For A Lie” Album Artwork

The approach taken here, in much the same respect as every album that has flown under the Herman Frank banner is a straight shot of raw, bottom-heavy metal glory, distilled down to ten utterly infectious anthems. At times the tempo lands on a mellow, down-tempo rocking groove as on the heavy hitter “Danger” and the slightly more mid-paced fist to the face “Just A Second To Lose”, coming off fairly close to mirroring Frank’s handiwork with Accept a few years back. Then again, slightly busier yet still controlled bangers like the blues-rock infused “Liar” and the Sabbath-tinged march of “Open Your Mind” are a more novel variant on his signature style. But when push comes to shove, this album shines the brightest when the tempo is pushed to the max and things go full Judas Priest mode, with the speed metal triumph of “Teutonic Order” and the blistering fury of “Hail To The Kings” being the standouts of a group of cruisers that claim the lion’s share of the album.

It’s stipulated that any red blooded metal head who wants their metal served right out of the can will like any of the several albums that Herman Frank has thrown their way over the past 12 years, but “Two For A Lie” proves to be the most accessible of the bunch for those looking to begin sampling his craft for the first time. Every song found on here is a certified banger with a fair degree of precedent in the annals of heavy metal, though the massive production boost that it receives relative to Frank’s earlier exploits is what will sell this to the younger crowd who need something loud enough to challenge the modern metal titans of late. It’s not the most complex thing to ever come down the pike, and the songwriting could even be qualified as fairly formulaic, but the level of energy and enthusiasm that Herman’s guitar peppers on top of this barrage of pure sonic power is a force to be reckoned with, and existing fans of Accept, Judas Priest and Primal Fear who haven’t heard his handiwork yet would do well to remedy that fact.

Released By: AFM Records
Release Date: May 21st, 2021
Genre: Heavy Metal

Musicians:

  • Rick Altzi / Vocals
  • Herman Frank / Guitars
  • Mike Pesin / Guitars
  • Michael Müller / Bass
  • Kevin Kott / Drums

“Two For A Lie” track-listing:

  1. Two For A Lie
  2. Venom
  3. Hate
  4. Eye Of The Storm
  5. Liar
  6. Hail The New Kings
  7. Just A Second To Lose
  8. Danger
  9. Stand Up And Fight
  10. Open Your Mind

8.9 Excellent

German heavy metal veteran and axe-slinging icon Herman Frank opts to not mess with a winning formula, unleashing yet another high octane, metallic freight train of an album in keeping with the implications of his 2012 classic of hitting the listener right in the guts

  • Songwriting 9
  • Musicianship 9.5
  • Originality 8.5
  • Production 8.5
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