WOLF HOFFMANN - Headbanger's Symphony
August 5, 2016, 2 years ago
The Accept guitarist is no stranger to classical music. See “Metal Heart” and “Final Journey” for proof on that. Hoffmann has taken a break from his main band for a heavy metal take on classical songs. This is all instrumental, with the guitar serving as the “singing” on this album. What he got here is 12 tracks of guitar themed stylings of pieces from Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, and others accompanied by an orchestra and it makes for a total winner of an album.
Hoffmann made a clean choice of covers with a dose of variety to prevent the themes from sounding too much alike. There’s some perfect choices that are just natural for the electric guitar like Prokofiev’s marching “Dance Of The Knights”, Mussorgsky’s “Night On Bald Mountain”, and Tchaivkovsky’s “Swan Lake”, famously used by Universal Studios’ classic horror films. Hoffmann shows his melodic chops with a few softer pieces like Bizet’s “Je Crois Entendre Encore”, the more orchestra led “Adagio” by Albinoni, and Bach’s “Air On The G String”, which brings the album to a calming close.
While keeping respect to these classics, the German still lets it rip in appropriate places without losing touch (like Malmsteen sometimes does) with the bouncy “Double Cello Concerto In G Minor” by Vivaldi, the fast-paced, thunderous “Symphony No. 40” by Mozart, and “Pathétique” by the Beethoven.
The one aspect I gained by listening to this is just how “heavy” these classical composers were. While there were no electric guitars back in the day, the rhythms, tempos, note changes written and put together by these guys were pretty metal and it’s fun to speculate how these composers would operate today with all the sounds and instruments that are available. This is a listen great for any setting: rocking in the car, studying for an exam, enjoying a drink, or trying to relax. A highly recommended listen!