Herman Frank – Two for a Lie (AFM Records)

Thursday, 27th May 2021
Rating: 9/10

Rolling along in his traditional, old school heavy metal with power wheelhouse, Herman Frank returns for his fifth album Two for a Lie. The core lineup of vocalist Rick Altzi and bassist Michael Müller join Herman again – with two new members fleshing out this edition in drummer Kevin Kott (Almanac, Masterplan) and second guitarist Michael Pesin (Victory). With some artists, you can expect a lot of variation from record to record – in the case of Herman though, this is more like putting your belly up to the buffet table to get a healthy serving of what people have come to know and love from the ex-Accept/Victory guitarist.

Sterling riffs, steady grooves, melodic verses and tasty, easy on the ear/addictive choruses form the basis of these ten tracks – weaving in the bluesy, emotive lead guitar runs that you would expect from an artist with 70’s/80’s heritage in the genre. Kevin’s obvious stellar mannerisms of fluid hits, sharp double kick passages, and versatility from speed to groove parts make songs like “Eye of the Storm” and “Stand Up and Fight” immediate standouts from his side. Herman and Michael as axe masters lay down addictive metal riffs and build upon them with smart melodic runs or entertaining lead parts that aren’t always a million miles an hour – sometimes the groove and retro-bluesy textures win people over, such as the Zeppelin/Deep Purple-esque atmosphere for “Liar” or the down and dirty, driving Accept-like crunch throughout “Just a Second to Lose”. Rick has that gritty, powerful melodic voice that rises to the occasion when needed for the faster, energetic “Hail the New Kings”, while also excelling for a lower gear, sultry number like “Danger” that thirty years previous would have easily been a standard staple on any hard rock/metal radio station worth its weight in gold. Subscribing to as real/organic of a production as possible will be welcomed by all who desire that in-your-face aspect humans playing this style should always keep in mind for their fans.

Two for a Lie continues Herman’s obvious superior street level, heavy metal songwriting and performances that lovers of Accept and his previous work won’t be disappointed in. Why stray off the beaten path when things are in order?

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