Coming out of the shadow of Accept and Victory, guitarist and producer Herman Frank has brought forth his first solo project 'Loyal To None.' He's joined in his pursuit by Jiotis Parachidis (Human Fortress, Victory) on vocals, Peter Pichl (Running Wild) on bass and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann (Helloween, Krokus). The result is a disc of generally and genuinely satisfying guitar driven classic heavy metal.
Herman Frank being the principal of this work, I'm happy to say that his song composition and guitar playing is much better than average, better than recent offerings by notable peers. I'm thinking of the latest by Malmsteem here. Certainly, Frank can shred, but his fret design is a more muscular metal style than the often wiggly-squiggly of the neoclassical shredders. This style is evident from the outset on Moon II, but also Hero and Down To The Valley. Vocalist Parachidis is a perfect match to Frank sounding as a combination Dio and Lemmy after being pressed through a meat grinder.
While most of 'Loyal To None' is intense metal mayhem, I found Frank to be most impressive when things slow down (only a bit) and turn more towards melodic metal as on Heal Me and, possibly, Bastard Legions. Generally, however, this disc is all go and no stop pedal to the metal music, and this may be it's inherent conundrum. Songs like Welcome To Hell, Father Buries Son, or Kill The King, though good in their own right, bred more familiarity, than creativity as the sound like warmed over power or speed metal. Still, 'Loyal To None' is quite impressive if only for Herman Frank's guitar slinging intensity and sheer enthusiasm. Die hard fans of classic guitar driven heavy metal should eat this up, and ask for a second helping.
'Loyal To None' is quite impressive if only for Herman Frank's guitar slinging intensity and sheer enthusiasm. Die hard fans of classic guitar driven heavy metal should eat this up, and ask for a second helping.
So, once more we have to wait five years for another album from Pride Of Lions, the creation of singer, composer, and producer Jim Peterik with vocalist Toby Hitchcock. I'm sure Peterik has been busy these last ... [ Read More ]