Breforth – Metal in My Heart (Metalapolis Records)Friday, 25th August 2023
Most metal historians probably are aware of the German heavy metal/hard rock unit Mad Max from the 1980’s – who still exist over forty years later cranking out albums. Main member Jürgen Breforth has taken this act into more melodic waters as of late, thus leading to a second band with his namesake Breforth to execute his purer steel influences for the debut album Metal in My Heart. Right away from the awe-inspiring eagle adorning the cover, it’s obvious what you can expect in terms of the songwriting and performances – a mixture of NWOBHM and Teutonic riffs, hooks, grooves, and catchy choruses designed for a headbanging odyssey.
The ten songs contain anthem-oriented hooks, vocals that often reach for the upper echelon screams against some mid-range melodies, plus musical support which takes influences from Judas Priest, Accept, Saxon as well as Hammerfall. The lead guitar work of Erik Blumenthal reaches heroic proportions during the two breaks for “Rest in Peace”, while the band can dial things back in a reflective manner for the bluesy meets acoustic/electric ballad “Wheel of Fortune”. Grandiose, cultural rhythms penetrate the title track, supplementary circular twin harmonies as well as bells/keyboard sequences making this a highlight, another time when vocalist Peter Lenzschau belts out some serious Halford-esque falsetto notes during the chorus. Early Di’anno-period Iron Maiden influences come into focus for “Nighttrain to Paris”, the rhythm section passages fluid while the simplified back and forth main chorus/background support should go down a storm live. What could be a thorn in many sides for long-term appeal is the diverse crooner to screaming approach Peter employs. Much like a lot of those old school singers, it’s a little rough around the edges where sometimes the ascent can jar the listener (“Reset My Sanity” the clearest example) compared to his natural lower to mid-range comfort zone.
Vinyl mavens and the denim/leather brigade who couldn’t get enough of this style during it’s late 70’s to mid-80’s heydays will probably enjoy Breforth the most with Metal in My Heart. It’s a decent start to build upon for the next outing.