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- Release Date 01 July 2016
- In Stock
- CD Album
- Nuclear Blast
Wolf Hoffmann has a passion. His life-long love and dedication to heavy metal music is documented in dozens of albums spanning four decades with his long time heavy metal band Accept. But beyond heavy metal, Wolf has an incessant craving for the classics, yes, the ones written decades and centuries ago. Classical music has always been an influence – albeit limited - on Accept’s Teutonic approach to rock and heavy metal. However, it wasn’t until 1997 during a extended hiatus from Accept, that Wolf Hoffmann finally had the chance to fully explore and fulfill this interest by recording his first astounding solo album Classical.Fast-forward to 2016… he has once again taken time out from Accept to complete the long awaited follow-up to Classical: Headbanger’s Symphony.
But why now? “It’s truly coincidental, after we completed the last Accept tour, I finally had the time to finish it.I worked with a good friend of mine on this album, Melo Mafali,” Wolf explains. “He is this great Italian musician and arranger, and we share similar musical passions.” Wolf took the main pieces, and then wrote riffs that fit them. Lastly, in the grand hard rock tradition, he layered a guitar solo over it. The first volume had a focus on the better known pieces; the second – Headbanger’s Symphony - takes a similar approach. “In general, it does follow the same path,” admits Wolf, “but this time I did try to add a couple lesser known compositions.” He also included a full orchestra this time. “The first album was based solely around the guitar, but having an orchestra, I was hoping to make it so much more bombastic!” Accept’s Peter Baltes also added several impressive bass lines.
Many listeners might recognize the opening riff from the ACCEPT song “Teutonic Terror” in Beethoven’s ‘Scherzo’. “Back in 2009,” Wolf explains, “when we started working on the songs for the Blood Of the Nations album, I played the classical demos to our producer Andy Sneap. He liked that riff a lot and insisted on using it for the album. So we wrote “Teutonic Terror” using this ‘borrowed‘ riff.” Highlights include “Night On Bald Mountain” by Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, a very dramatic dark song on the theme of a witches’ Sabbath, a perfect fit for Wolf’s “metal treatment” while “Symphony No. 40” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be immediately recognizable. “Additional highpoints include Wolf’s interpretations of such masterworks as Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, “Pathétique” from Ludwig v. Beethoven, “Méditation” from the opera Thais by French composer Jules Massenet, and of course the aforementioned “Madam Butterfly”.
Wolf then offers his final thoughts: “I have always incorporated classical music in my songwriting with Accept, especially with Metal Heart, but I constantly felt there was so much more that I could do and I did not want to overload Accept or force it in any way. This is my baby, my labour of love, ready for me to set it free.”
2. Night On Bald Mountain
3. Je Crois Entendre Encore
4. Double Cello Concerto In G Minor
6. Symphony No. 40
7. Swan Lake
8. Madame Butterfly
11. Air On The G String
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