Until I was 13 or 14, I didn’t think much about music. Around that time, that changed dramatically. A lot of music came at me via my friends and class mates. Other than the rock and pop I was exposed to throughout my childhood (Deep Purple and Black Sabbath being the hardest in my childhood home), Manowar, Beastie Boys, Iron Maiden are some of the first bands I remember being exposed to during the intervals at school. I didn’t like it much. At first. It soon started to grow on me, though.
One of the early realisations was that there was a connection between this heavy music and the classical music I was accustomed to via my parents’ quite varied LP collection. I wasn’t aware that Deep Purple had made a team-up with a classical orchestra, but I found out about the connection when I first heard, yes, you guessed it, Accept and later Savatage’s Hall of the Mountrain King. This was a couple of years before I discovered that Malmsteen guy.
Wolf Hoffmann could lean back and do his thing with Accept. The band’s been on a roll for a long time now, the masters of teutonic metal being, I sense, more popular than they’ve been since forever. Hoffmann is not resting on those laurels, and hooray for that.
‘Headbangers Symphony’ is a wonderful collection of Hoffmann’s interpretations of classical pieces. You might not know the names of those pieces, but I bet that, if you listen, you will have heard most of them at some point, even if you are the most ardent metal fan and nay-sayer to all other kinds of music. Mind you, these are not direct covers. Hoffmann has cleverly reworked, you could say eleborated on, the pieces. He turned them into heavy metal, and beautiful, yet powerful heavy metal. All instrumental, of course.
‘Headbangers Symphony’ is for me one of those albums that can simply go on repeat. It doesn’t happen very often to me, but this time it has. This music is suited for driving, for the headphones at work, for background music in your house, anywhere. Bloody brilliant, that is.
01. Scherzo (L. v. Beethoven)
02. Night On Bald Mountain (M. Mussorgsky)
03. Je Crois Entendre Encore (G. Bizet)
04. Double Cello Concerto In G Minor (A. Vivaldi)
05. Adagio (T. Albinoni)
06. Symphony No. 40 (W. A. Mozart )
07. Swan Lake (P. Tchaikovsky)
08. Madame Butterfly (G. Puccini)
09. Pathétique (L. v. Beethoven)
10. Meditation (J. Massenet)
11. Air On The G String (J. S. Bach)
Playing time: 48 minutes
Release date: 1st of July, 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast