NOT FRAGILE - SHOUT TO THE MASTER (Hellion Records)
(Review by Sloof)
Hamburg, officially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, is the second largest city of Germany and if you ever been to Wacken Open Air Festival, you have to pass through it. Each time, I was impressed about the port of Hamburg, which is the second largest port of Europe, and tenth largest worldwide. All this industry results in a diversity of fine metals and of course Heavy Metal! Bands that dwell the Hamburg scene are Helloween, Dark Age, Running Wild, Mob Rules, Stormwarrior, Paragon, Gamma Ray, Zed Yago, just to name a few… You can add Not Fragile as well, although they exist already since 1980, but nowadays only original member Torsten survived the hectic years. Torsten Buczko started the band at the age of 13 with his local friends Matthias Belter and Arnd Stronkowski. The only remaining member has a very unique voice that fits perfectly to the Heavy Metal that Not Fragile delivers!
It all starts with the opener ‘Years On The Run’, which is a track that contains all good elements that are necessary to write and compose a Heavy Metal Hymn! Flashing solos, up-speed tempo, and a chorus line that lingers on for hours. This is material that will convince people that aren’t familiar with the band at live gigs. You will get into the vibe, you will be sucked into the melody and after one minute, you will get as wild as everybody else in the crowd. The next song is the title track of this 7th. (!) album and has a very good pace as well. The chorus is again persuasiveness and the guitars of Torsten and Marc Trinkhaus (ex-Vice Versa) are present all the time. Together with the bass parts of Didy Mackel (ex-Mad Alien and ex-Mania) combined with the pounding drums of Michael Link (ex-MP) we hear outstanding songs that will appeal to a lot of H.M. adepts!
Not Fragile succeeded in creating a perfect blend of traditional Heavy Metal with legendary Speed Metal influences, all in an atmosphere of natural and ageless bygone eras! There are 12 own compositions that all contain a good vibe and enough variety to entertain you for 45 minutes. The final track on this album is called ‘Stand Up and Fight’, which is a legendary Exciter track. This coverversion doesn’t have the impact of the original, but it would be a very hard task to fulfill, as Exciter their album Heavy Metal Maniac is one of the best Speed Metal albums ever made! You just can’t renew it or improve it, as this is legendary and fabulous material; bands that can top this composition or album currently don’t exist…
‘Shout to The Master’ is an album with a very honest and pure impression and indicates that Not Fragile is able and capable to keep their metal scene alive. Fans of traditional German Metal will be surprised about the majority of the songs, and I’m sure that this band is at its best on a stage! Being around for about 33 years indicates enough, this is a band that breathes metal, that is passionate and dedicated and all that reflects in their songs! Horns Up Hamburg, you added another must-have to the long list of quality bands and releases!
My rating: 85 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish