POISON SUN - review added 29th November 2010
Album Review: Virtual Sin (2010)
For fans of: Heavy Metal... and the good, the bad, but not the ugly
Poison Sun - Martina Frank on vocals, Herman Frank on guitar, Florian Schönweitz on drums, and Stefan Hammer on bass - play a right old mixed up quality of music. Want an album with extremes of brilliance and nonsense in one place? This might be the one for you.
Martina has worked as a back up singer for bands like UFO, Jane and Weinhold, though this is seemingly her first foray into fronting a band with an LP released on a proper label. She, along with co-writer (and husband) Herman wrote the songs on 'Virtual Sin'.
The sound is cock-proud heavy metal of the type AC/DC, Accept and so on play. Martina's voice really isn't from the girly end of the scale. She has a rough gritty style that, if anything, gives the songs even more oomph.
The musicianship, especially the guitar playing, is often magnificent. Herman Frank is a fret god and isn't afraid to show it at any given opportunity. If every guitar player in the world could solo, shred and make big-scary-heavy noises like this guy the world would be a more metal place. The vocals...when Martina gets it right she sounds actually pretty good...and then...see below.
Not So Good:
The vocals...when Martina doesn't get it right she sounds like a bag of gravel having a fight with a Tasmanian Devil...so bad in fact it's often tempting to flick to the next track. It's her pronunciation more than anything else - there's no real clarity to the words making it impossible to hear what she's singing. Her actual tone is mostly cool, but that doesn't help if the words don't come out right. I'm not sure the production gets the best from these guys either.
Best moments include the speedy 'Red Necks', the boisterous title track, the slow and steady epic that is 'Princess', the crushingly heavy ballad 'Forever', and the AC/DC-esque 'Phobia'. Thing is, these tracks sound great - vocals and all - so why the others often sound so bad I have no idea. This album is a real lottery of excellence. Check out the cover of The Pointer Sisters' 'I'm So Excited' (here called 'Excited'). It's so close to genius on the musical side, but the vocals are terrible.
This is a true love/hate album. Flashes of bright, flashes of sh*te. Maybe worth checking out on iTunes first...
Check out... 'Excited', just for a laugh.