WOLF HOFFMANN – Headbangers Symphony
Accept guitarist Wolf Hoffmann has had a long running classical bent to his guitar playing – so naturally deciding to tackle 11 classical compositions and give them a heavy metal bent results in "Headbangers Symphony". Layering the material with a proper orchestra isn’t as easy of a task as imagined, and Wolf also decided to pick compositions that could be more 4/4 oriented even though some of the originals have more of a 3 / 4 waltz tempo to them.
Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky are three of the composers Wolf tackles on here, from opener "Scherzo" to "Symphony No 40" and "Swan Lake" given the treasured treatment, the guitarist placing tasteful solos that make sense and aren’t always these neo-classical shred arpeggio exercises. "Swan Lake" takes on a slower interpretation that is quite infectious in a bluesy manner, the woodwind instruments sweeping in and out while Wolf measures each guitar note carefully. You can also hear where a lot of special Accept runs originate, as "Pathetique" has a lot of qualities that put "Metal Heart" into the lexicon of traditional history.
Instrumental albums are labors of love – often appealing more to the musician crowd. "Headbangers Symphony" to my ears can gain a wider birth of appeal, from Accept fans to classical music mavens, beyond the guitar school followers. Years in the making, Wolf Hoffmann should beam with pride over the final results of this second solo offering – and I for one will be waiting in line assuredly if a third classical instrumental record comes out.