Sunday, August 21, 2016

CD Review: ANDI THE WICKED Freak On Frets

Freak On Frets
Following a long standing tradition, Andi The Wicked is yet another instrumentalist to showcase his abilities on an album with potential to eventually join the ranks of Malmsteen, Michael Schenker and even The Great Kat. The dark, heavy motif of Freak On Frets leans to thrash and melodic death metal, with the self-indulgent in your face attitude of those guitarists, remembering the mid-80s when more of their ilk were around. Being that Andi is from Germany his compositions mostly stray from U.S. mainstream appeal, favoring a classical feel and a desire to rewrite at least a portion of the rulebook. The biting, sabulous production of this recording helps to emphasize Andi’s potency as a soloist, an approach I found more convincing when the solos were more in sync with the compositions they were set to. Choosing That Rocks as the first track allowed Andi to demonstrate his soloing through several tempo changes without missing a cue, as his playing flows through each velocity shift, fitting each new tempo without becoming too gratuitouss. Threat goes from a biker rock to a heavier theme reminding me of Mercyful Fate and Iron Maiden. Switching to a somber, reflective theme and back again leaves an impression not unlike the territory Fate and Maiden pursue, showing how Andi channels thought into his work rather than simply showing off. Classic 5 doesn’t trifle time as it aggresses the listener with unflinching, almost inhuman speed metal arrangements. Damn Lick slightly hints at commercial appeal without losing touch of the heaviness, then subtly shifting to relentless speed that resonates as if Andi has suddenly and unexpectedly become possessed. These songs were the standouts of this album, and made me want to see how Andi expands on them on his next full length. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. that rocks
2. the shark song
3. threat
4. anti the wicked – porn
5. classic
6. heavy funk
7. damn lick
8. bad in bed

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