Reviews roundup – FM vs. Herman Frank vs. Ciervoblanco
I bought my original copy of ‘Indiscreet’ on cassette from Strutton Ground market back in the days when I was young and the days were long and full of promise. Turns out neither of those things have lasted. But here come UK AOR legends FM revisiting their best loved album 30 years on.
Which filled me with trepidation and regret. The former because the original was a moment in time and the latter. Well, because. Thankfully the former was wiped away within the first couple of minutes as it became apparent that this was an absolute delight.
To be fair they have largely replicated the original album but with a much fuller production, the one thing that let ‘Indiscreet’ down first time out. The songs were always great but it was a bit too poppy for my young ears. That’s gone, along with some of my hearing, but what remains is a melodic rock treat.
It still remains a surprise to me that with songs these good and a voice as splendid as that of Steve Overland that they never made a breakthrough. But then I thought that about Mr Overland back when he was with Simon Kirke in Wildlife. Musically the rest of the band are bang on form and songs like “The Other Side Of Midnight” and “American Girls” just leap out at you. I’m not a fan of bonus tracks but I suppose they had to give people another reason for buying this so it comes with seven bonus tracks including a storming version of “Let Love Be The Leader”.
It may not win them new fans this far down the line but it will be treasured by those from back in the day.
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The Devil Rides Out
Time to get metal thrashing mad with former Accept / Victory guitarist Herman Frank. He’s just had his two earlier solo album rereleased on his new label AFM and now, following up from ‘Loyal To None’ and ‘Right In The Guts’, is a brand spanking new one.
And it’s good. Because barring the underachieving Moon Doc years Herr Frank doesn’t make rubbish records. Granted, he has largely abandoned the melodic rock of Victory but fans of his Accept days will find a lot to love here.Swedish vocalist Rick Altzi (Masterplan, At Vance), drummer Andre Hilgers (ex-Rage) and bass player Michael Müller (Jaded Heart).
Songs like “Running Back”, “Run Boy Run”, “Thunder Of Madness” and “Stone Cold” will endear themselves to metalheads old and new on an excellent release. It’s available as CD, ltd. digipak (incl. bonus track). ltd. silver vinyl and ltd. box set.
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Spain now to catch up with the debut album from Spanish musician Borja Barrueco who plys his trade as Ciervoblanco.
It’s a proper solo album with Borja Barrueco responsible for all the songs and instruments on a highly accomplished instrumental album. He’s ranged far and wide for his sound as he touches on classic seventies rock, progressive rock and even touches of heavy metal.
He never staggers over into the world of out and out shred and manages to stay tuned into the melody even when he turns the amp up and rocks out. There’s certainly plenty here for fans of instrumental guitar to enjoy on tunes like “Ragnarök”, “Lobo Infinito” and “Djellaba” on what is a very accomplished release.