Album Review By Iron Mathew
Primal Fear are a power metal band from Germany formed in 1997 releasing their self titled debut album in 1998. Formed by Mat Sinner (Sinner) and Ralf Scheepers (ex Gamma Ray), Primal Fear continue the heavy metal standard set by their fellow countrymen Helloween, Grave Digger and Accept. Heading for a historic twentieth year anniversary, Primal Fear have just released their eleventh studio album and have announced a number of festival dates for 2017, including appearances at Sweden Rock Festival and Wacken Open Air.
“are you awake, are you alive, are you ready for a fight, gonna raise some hell tonight” screams Ralf Scheepers as the new Primal Fear album gets underway in truly bombastic style with ‘Angels Of Mercy’. Galloping fast and rocking very hard, ‘Angels Of Mercy’ is a magnificent opening salvo of thunderous power metal. The power continues apace as ‘The End Is Near’ romps into sight. With a pulsating rhythm that will have you foot stomping hard, ‘The End Is Near’ is very heavy, melodic hard rock. Upping the tempo, ‘Bullets & Tears’ takes on the baton set by ‘The End Is Near’ and rocks along at a foot stomping mid pace. Adding a sing a long style chorus too, ‘Bullets & Tears’ is an accessible song for both the metal and rock genres. Title song off the album ‘Rule Breaker’ keeps the mid tempo pace, yet heavies things up. Epic and majestic, ‘Rule Breaker’ is anthemic and lyrically, is also prophetic. The song chugs along relentlessly with is catchy rhythm and infectious grooves. Primal Fear may be twenty years old but boy oh boy do they still rock!
One of the highlights off the album is the fast paced and anthemic ‘In Metal We Trust’. I think the title of the song speaks for itself as far as lyrical content is concerned, but it is the blistering pace of the song that is just awesome. Head bangers get ready to head bang, this is gonna be a wild ride…galloping faster than a herd of stampeding rhino. ‘We Walk Without Fear’ is an epic song that clocks in at over eleven minutes in length, meandering its way through riff after riff with a colossus of a mid section instrumental. Many bands attempt these long epic songs but unfortunately lose the listener midway, but not Primal Fear, the listener is glued to their speakers or indeed head phones, intently listening to every second of the song such is its quality. To have lasted twenty years is a fantastic achievement and Primal Fear have made it this far with quality song writing and brilliant musicians. ‘At War With The World’ is a metal romp that embodies everything that European power metal stands for…chugging guitar riffs and galloping rhythms with clean and clear vocals. ‘At War With The World’ is an infectious gallop with another sing a long style chorus that will have their legions of fans smiling from ear to ear.
Bordering on doom style riffing ‘The Devil In Me’ stomps majestically into view and will pummel and pound the senses with its heavy guitars, maybe even nodding its head a little in the direction of the Black Sabbath sound of the late seventies/early eighties. What an opening riff to ‘Constant Heart’…followed by a “scream”…echoing the traits associated with the great NWOBHM sound. Rampant and raging, ‘Constant Heart’ is a high velocity romp of relentlessness. Time to raise your fists high and punch the air in delight in recognition of true heavy metal. Primal Fear have always had the imagery and reputation of everything metal and are proud to fly the heavy metal flag. I was very much beginning to believe that we were gonna get through a modern day power metal album with no ballad…but no, the slow, acoustic fuelled ‘The Sky Is Burning’ flows in and suddenly all pace and power is lost and lighters replace fists in the air. ‘The Sky Is Burning’ is delivered with passion and emotion and the guitar solo will leave you drooling…leaving the album to close in a flurry of frenetic riffs as ‘Raving Mad’ blasts off like a rocket. ‘Raving Mad’ is a furious storm of chugging guitars and galloping rhythms that rounds off a superb metal album in glorious style.
Overall, top drawer power metal from one of the best bands to emerge from Germany during the nineties, ‘Rule Breaker’ hits the spot, and hits it very hard.
Angels Of Mercy
The End Is Near
Bullets & Tears
In Metal We Trust
We Walk Without Fear
At War With The World
The Devil In Me
The Sky Is Burning
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