IRON ALLIES, the new band featuring former ACCEPT members Herman Frank and David Reece, has released its first single, “Full Of Surprises”. The song is taken from IRON ALLIES‘ debut album, “Blood In Blood Out”, which will arrive on October 21 via AFM Records.
Frank states about the track: “The unusual triplet beat, the guitar work I can put my soul into, combined with David‘s distinctive voice that is always full of melody and never just screaming — this surprising mix serves as the perfect appetizer for our album.”
The “Blood In Blood Out” title track will also released as a single, accompanied by a lyric video. A third single/video, “Destroyers Of The Night”, will also be made available.
Frank comments: “This record cannot be compared to anything David or I have produced in our past. It’s at the same time standing on its own, while sounding like it came from the one and the same mold. You could say: the two of us have sought and found each other.”
Although these two exceptional musicians had known each other for a very long time, sparks really started to fly during Frank‘s visit to Piacenza, Italy, where the American-born Reece has been living after marrying an Italian woman.
“We hit it off right away because David — like me — is not only an old warhorse, but a total music lover,” Herman says. “It’s only with this unswerving passion for music that you can last as long as we have in this shark tank.
“I love David‘s voice, that unique blend of metal, rock and blues. Also, he’s an awesome lyricist and as a U.S.-American he obviously has a much greater range of vocabulary than non-English-speaking singers.”
“In a way, ‘Blood In Blood Out’ is the motto of IRON ALLIES,” Herman explains. “This band was formed as a blood brotherhood, and no one gets out of here without shedding blood.
“Blood In Blood Out” was recorded at Horus Sound Studio in Hannover, Germany with co-producer Arne Neurand. Joining Frank and Reece on the IRON ALLIES album, which was mixed and mastered by Dennis Ward, are drummer Francesco Jovino (U.D.O., PRIMAL FEAR, VOODOO CIRCLE, JORN),bassist Malte Burkert and rhythm guitarist Mike Pesin.
Frank says: “We left nothing to chance. All positions were perfectly cast.”
IRON ALLIES are more than sure that this concept will also convince concert organizers, tour promoters and especially their fans. Because, as Frank puts it, “People love strong characters. They want to see real men, not little boys. IRON ALLIES is made up of old-school knights and ‘Blood In Blood Out’ provides the perfect soundtrack for that.”
Last October, Reece discussed his collaboration with Frank in an interview with the “Heavy Metal Mayhem” radio show. He said: “The ironic thing about Herman and I, we played festivals many times and not even met each other. And here we are, part of the same band and their history. And we would miss each other by, like, two minutes. We always wanted to see each other, but something came up [and] we never really got to meet. So Herman and I started talking, and we said, ‘Yeah, let’s put a band together. Who do you wanna get?’ We talked to [drummer] Mike Heller from FEAR FACTORY a few times, and that didn’t really work out. And then I said, ‘I’ve got Francesco Jovino, dude, on my [solo] album. This guy is a beast.’ So then we got the band together.”
Regarding the musical direction of IRON ALLIES, Reece said: “It’s got some of those elements of old [ACCEPT circa] ‘Restless And Wild’. It’s got Dave‘s voice — [as heard on my solo albums] ‘Cacophony [Of Souls]’ and ‘Blacklist [Utopia]’. It’s ripping shit, man. I’m really excited about it.”
According to Reece, part of the motivation for putting IRON ALLIES together is the negative publicity surrounding their respective departures from ACCEPT. “They badmouth him, they badmouth me, there was this back-and-forth all the time, and then [Herman] said, ‘You know what? Screw it. I’m gonna call David Reece,'” David explained. “And I’d never really talked to him. He just came down to Italy about two weeks ago, and we got to actually meet face to face. We went out to a great dinner, hung out for about six hours. He was just driving around Europe, relaxing, ’cause he had just finished another VICTORY album and his solo album, so he needed a break.”
David said that he was excited about the prospect of hitting the road with a seasoned veteran like Herman.
“This is a band of guys who have been around and done it all,” he said. “So we’re not gonna have that, ‘Oh, I don’t wanna go there. Do we have to get up so early?’ We know what we’ve gotta do. We’ve gotta travel and we’ve gotta rock.”
“Blood In Blood Out” track listing:
01. Full Of Surprises
02. Blood In Blood Out
03. Destroyers Of The Night
04. Fear No Evil
05. Evil The Gun
06. Martyrs Burn
07. Blood On The Land
08. Nightmares In My Mind
09. Selling Out
11. Truth Never Mattered
12. We Are Legend (You And I)
Herman joined ACCEPT in 1982 shortly before the release of the band’s “Restless And Wild” album and exited the group for the first time after the arrival of 1983’s “Balls To The Wall” LP.
When ACCEPT reunited for festival appearances in 2005, Herman handled second-guitar duties alongside founding axeman Wolf Hoffmann, with Stefan Schwarzmann sitting behind the kit.
Frank and Schwarzmann were involved in ACCEPT‘s comeback with singer Mark Tornillo and appeared on the reunited group’s first three studio albums: 2010’s “Blood Of The Nations”, 2012’s “Stalingrad” and 2014’s “Blind Rage”.
Two years ago, Herman told All That Shreds about his decision to exit ACCEPT in December 2014: “It was just time to leave the band. Let’s put it this way: I wanted to do music the way I started to. I wanted to have my own band. I wanted my own music and just wanted to just play my own leads. Not to follow somebody’s guitar. I was getting too old for it. It’s fine to be a backup, but after a couple of years, it’s time for a different thing.”
Reece was recruited for ACCEPT‘s “Eat The Heat” LP in 1989 following the departure of Udo Dirkschneider. Reece‘s higher-pitched delivery was in sharp contrast to Dirkschneider‘s distinctive style, and overall, the album was a critical and commercial disappointment. Midway through the “Eat The Heat” tour, differences between the band and Reece had come to a head, leading to the altercation between the singer and bassist Peter Baltes in Chicago. By the end of 1989, ACCEPT had hung it up.
David spoke about the circumstances that led to his dispute with the bassist during an interview with Metalliluola. He explained: “Peter had told my girlfriend I was having an affair. And I asked him, ‘Did you tell her?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ So I slapped him. That ended it. It was bad before that, the communication. Ticket sales weren’t good. We were opening for W.A.S.P.“
He continued: “I think they really thought that getting the American [singer] in, they were gonna break the United States. But ACCEPT aren’t really huge in America, like [in Europe]. That’s why they hired me — they wanted a change. And the tour was going kind of slow. We did a headline tour first in the States, [playing in the] clubs. That was good. And then we went out with W.A.S.P. and METAL CHURCH, and it was half[-filled] rooms. So they were feeling the stress of that, and the communication was bad. So it was building.”
David went on to say that he is sorry for assaulting his former bandmate. “Peter and I are friends now,” he said, adding that “it was a bad decision” that was made while he and the rest of the group were under “a lot of stress. Being in a band, it can be a lot of drama. He had no right to tell her, and I had no right to slap him. So, I regret it.”