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Wolf Hoffmann - Headbanger's Symphony Award winner

Wolf Hoffmann
Headbanger's Symphony
by Craig “Thrashing” Rider at 03 September 2016, 6:38 AM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! The Thrasher returns to present to you: the legendary WOLF HOFFMANN; hailing from the glory of Germany, on his 2nd solo album entitled: “Headbanger's Symphony”. Signed via Nuclear Blast Records.

Wolf Hoffmann needs no introduction; I should bloody hope so anyway! The legendary co-founding guitarist for the almighty ACCEPT returns with yet another masterful piece of art. Fusing Heavy Metal with Classical music has been done time and again; I think METALLICA's “S&M” live album takes the cake, however… MANOWAR have also merged “The Crown And The Ring” and the entirety of the “Gods Of War” album into orchestral classics. RHAPSODY and others, too - with “Headbanger's Symphony”, there's a whole deal of unique implementations including essences of ACCEPT classics fused within the mixing of the orchestral elements while adding the well-known riffs of ACCEPT's discography. If you are curious as a fan of said quintet and legend in question…it's suffice to say that this record is certainly distinctive in its own merit; though I don't think it'll conflict with Heavy Metal fans, but it certainly will collide with veterans.

There is no lyrical immersion in “Headbanger's Symphony”; it's an instrumental album with an orchestra and Wolf Hoffmann's prowess. As a big ACCEPT fan; I was able to keep an open mind about this union, and just enjoy it for what it is. Whether you agree or disagree; classical music has a tendency to infiltrate the Metal realm, see RHAPSODY OF FIRE for instance. It's an amalgamate balance and undoubtedly transpires here and there…however, it's irrefutable that it's an acquired taste - especially for certain Metal Heads. Balancing a nice mixture of atmospheric integrity has its moments in this here record…but also infusing an exquisite value of epic instrumental musicianship from the man himself, and had me in awe at his riffery full of dexterity and professionalism. This guy has no ego; he just loves forging Metal in his own way, and he does it with creative passion and relenting skill that you just have to admire it with pride.

11 tracks totaling up to about 45 minutes is about enough to relish some unprecedented music. “Scherzo” opens up the album faultlessly and the incomparable Wolf Hoffmann evidently showcases his riffing skill in fruition; evidently there is a lot of “Teutonic Terror” from ACCEPT's “Blood Of The Nation” record as well as including a piece from Beethoven as well as some original intended riffery built in. All songs are basically a soul touching blend of great masters such as Melo Mafali (where “Night On Bald Mountain” was composed from) and merged with the produced riffery of the artist in question. “Je Crois Entendre Encore” is a very laid-back example but Wolf adds and elegant edge of bluesm in the mix; from the Bizet piece unites epic riffery and expertise in the mixing. I personally have yet to scrutinize these ancient composers; however, everything sounds stellar and solid that “Headbanger's Symphony” almost feels masterful.

Double Cello Concerto In G Minor” is another momentum…the infused Vivaldi classic is a relentless track; that united with Metal, is a spectacle in epic composing. “Adagio” brilliantly combines the ACCEPT classic: “Shadow Soldiers” from the “Stalingrad” record; which is evidently prodigious in the mixing of this Albinoni epic, I'm not sure if it's an officially confirmed fusion…but I certainly heard it undoubtedly, while it wasn't as fast as the original – it added a dramatic take on the song, which pleasingly reduced the riffery for that atmospheric element. “Symphony No. 40” comprised this Mozart piece with distinctive results and riffery, enjoyable melodies are heartfelt in this one. “Swan Lake” is a renowned piece of Tchaikovsky; elegantly conducting poise and drama. “Madame Butterfly” brilliantly assembles the Puccini epic with his graceful of intentions to not upset the purists without the female vocalist.

Keeping in mind that there are no vocals as originally intended; “Headbanger's Symphony” is an expertly crafted piece of art that intrigues the listener for an enjoyably unprecedented discovery. “Pathétique” of the Beethovan piece was composed for piano and compiled an open interpretation of what the composer wrote down as a guide for musicians. The Massenet piece “Mediation” is an elegant ballad; while “Air On The G String” by the Bach piece is full of melody and passion.

In conclusion…I wouldn't recommend “Headbanger's Symphony” to you if you are looking for another ACCEPT album; I would however though recommend it if you're looking for an unusual discovery that might or might not tickle your fancy. Wolf Hoffmann does his best to convince the consumer between the strong link of Classical Music and Heavy Metal Music; furthermore, it's up to you if you want to agree with that opinion or not.

All in all; I enjoyed myself, take the plunge…take the leap, you'll most certainly enjoy “Headbanger's Symphony”. Take it with a grain of salt, and open your mind for some enjoyable musicianship and instrumentation embittered within.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Originality: 9
Sound Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Scherzo
2. Night On Bald Mountain
3. Je Crois Entendre Encore
4. Double Cello Concerto In G Minor
5. Adagio
6. Symphony No. 40
7. Swan Lake
8. Madame Butterfly
9. Pathétique
10. Meditation
11. Air On The G String
Wolf Hoffmann - Guitars, Everything
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 27 June 2019

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