Ice Vajal :: Music Land :: Metal World
 
editorial :: feedback :: newsletter ::  
   Bands :: A-Z / P / Primal Fear /

On disc: Primal Fear



Primal Fear - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Nuclear Fire - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Black Sun - Volker Raabe - 9 stars
The History Of Fear (DVD) - Jörg Petersen -  
Devil's Ground - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Live In The USA - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Live In The USA - Mike Thompson - 9 stars
16.6 All Over The World (DVD) - Mike Thompson - 10 stars
Unbreakable - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Delivering The Black - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


www.primalfear.de







Delivering The Black

Delivering The Black
(Frontiers Records - 2014)


Germany's Primal Fear present their 10th studio album since their formation in 1997. And with Delivering The Black the band of Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner is delivering! If you liked 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) and Unbreakable, then go and get this one!

The op-tempo track King Of A Day is opening up, and right from the start it's obvious that the fivesome haven't forget how to write catchy power metal tunes. At When Death Comes Knocking they add a slow passage with an Oriental touch, but you can check out the video to get an idea.





Actually Primal Fear not just present straight forward up-tempo rockers, they also add mid-paced parts and balladesque passages. After the mid-tempo rocker Alive & On Fire they storm of into Delivering The Black. The title track has some reminiscences to old Helloween / Gamma Ray, but who cares? There always been similarities, but Primal Fear created their own sound - including some elements. One of my favorites is Road To Asylum which in my opinion sums up what Primal Fear is about musically.

Even if most songs are powerful Primal Fear also show their soft side, this time it's the power ballad Born With A Broken Heart. The closer is one of the fast tracks, it's called Inseminoid and here they added a dash of thrash.

So, Primal Fear stick to their guns and so they don't really surprise the listener, but at the other hand they deliver albums at a high quality level and manage not to sound like they recycle their own tunes. Well done!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up








Unbreakable

Unbreakable
(Frontiers Records - 2012)


Primal Fear is presenting their 9th studio album, simply called Unbreakable. Mainmen Mat Sinner and Ralf Scheepers stay on track and so fans of Primal Fear can expect another true Primal Fear album.

The intro Unbreakable (Part 1) is leading into the new album and with Strike they head into their 9th adventure. But it isn't a real adventure, they continue their journey and even seem to get closer to their early sound. The riff-based Strike is catchy and shows that 80's heavy metal is still alive. With Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt they have a dynamic duo handling the guitars, their guitar play adds aggression, heaviness as well as emotions to the songs. A memorable guitar riff is opening up Give 'em Hell, a tune which shows some similarities to Gamma Ray and old Helloween. Marching drums and a galloping riff kicks off Bad Guys Wear Black, but check out the song yourself! Watch the official video:





A fast one is And There Was Silence, fast drumming is accompanied by heavy riffs, but again they add a catchy melody line and a refrain which you'll soon sing along. With Metal Nation they recorded another metal hymn! I love the opening guitar passage which leads you into a mid-paced heavy rocker. Another Primal Fear anthem, even if a bit different! This one is obviously based on 80's heavy metal but also quite melodic. Not as heavy as some other Primal Fear songs. A heavy, balladesque rocker is Where Angels Die, it sounds somehow familiar... But at the end of the day it doesn't matter, coz it's very enjoyable. With 8+ minutes it's a quite long track and so the song changes on it's way incl. a symphonic part as well as offering a stripped down, guitar-based passage. Time to speed up for Unbreakable (Part 2), a track spiced up with some Priest citations. Marching Again reminds me a lot of Helloween's Kiske era, at least parts of the vocals. With Born Again they have a power ballad on this disk, a tune which gives Ralf Scheepers the chance to show a different facet. Before they finish this chapter they give you the heavy Blaze Of Glory and the closer Conviction, another Priest-ish one.

Fans of Primal Fear won't be disappointed and everybody who is in powerful 80's heavy metal should give it a try!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up








16.6 All Over The World (DVD)

16.6 All Over The World (DVD)
(Frontiers Records - 2010)


A short while ago I was fortunate enough to review Primal Fear's outstanding live album Live In The USA. More recently I picked up the accompanying DVD, 16.6 All Over The World, and now I feel compelled to write about this too!
Recorded in Switzerland, this DVD is the perfect accompaniment to the CD. It contains all the great songs that were on the Live In The USA CD but the extra element of actually seeing the performance just raises this show above the US one!
As a non-musician sometimes it can be difficult to understand quite how good a particular musician is and seeing them play, as opposed to only hearing an album, really helps me appreciate the expertise behind the songs. Nowhere has this been more true for me than on this DVD. Randy Black is such a phenomenal drummer who really seems to love what he is doing. I gazed in awe at his playing from the opening moments to the closing scenes of this DVD! Likewise the two guitarists, Henny Wolter and Alex Beyrodt, are quite simply breathtaking and the scene 'Guitars From Hell' was a real eye-opener in realizing just how awesome these players are... apologies to Henny though, I think Alex won that round! The talent and stage presence of the remaining two members, Mat Sinner and Ralf Scheepers, is now beyond question!
There are some nice touches on the live performances that the CD didn't have. The first is the passionate duet with Pamela Moore on Fighting The Darkness. The second is the part on the CD that I didn't like... the rendition of Hands Of Time. On CD I felt this song ruined the flow of the concert. However, on DVD the performance, so full of heartfelt passion by every member of Primal Fear, is an absolute joy to watch and listen to! I guess you could say I made a bit of a hasty judgement in labeling this a bloody awful ballad! Finally, there is an extra song on the DVD – Seven Seals. A decent track and more is always better on live DVDs!
The whole show is fantastic with the audience really getting into it (well, apart from one or two people but there's always a handful of boring bastards isn't there!). On top of that the DVD is replete with extras, including the making of 16.6 Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, five Primal Fear video clips (including Killbound and Metal Is Forever) and a bootleg section featuring other live clips etc.
The only negative points I could make are that the camera seems a bit shaky in the first couple of songs – enough to make me feel slightly ill – and the booklet maybe could have had a few extra photos or something. However, this is really minor nitpicking at what is otherwise a fantastic package overall from Primal Fear and Frontiers Records.


10 stars

Mike Thompson
 








Live In The USA

Live In The USA
(Frontiers Records - 2010)


Ralf Scheepers' post-Gamma Ray band Primal Fear should be known to all fans of power metal by now as the German's attempt to out-Priest Priest has gained much popularity since its formation in the late nineties. With Live In The USA Primal Fear try to capture their rocking live energy in a live album recorded in, well, the USA.
Ok, so the title isn't that original, but it tells you exactly what you're gonna get over the course of the next 70 minutes; Fist-pumping, head-banging, METAAAAAAAAALLL!!! Primal Fear have recorded 14 songs, recorded in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles during the 16.6 tour.
I must admit that I'm not overly familiar with Primal Fear's back catalogue. The only album I've heard in full is Black Sun. therefore, I can't really comment on whether the track list is full of classics or whatnot. What I can tell you is that this album is enjoyable almost from start to finish. As with all good live albums it has made me wish I was at a Primal Fear concert!
The whole album is full of mid-to-fast paced songs in true Primal Fear style, allowing you to bang your head and dance about like a fool (in the comfort of your own living room) and this whole vibe comes to a head when the brilliant Metal Is Forever is announced. The album could and probably should have ended there but the band add two more songs. Hands Of Time and, finally, Chainbreaker. Chainbreaker is good, but Hands Of Time ruined the mood too much. If it had been in the middle of the set then there is a good chance that the album would have recovered but as it is there is no time to get over the sheer mind-numbing boredom of this bloody awful ballad! Its just such a big mood-breaker, sticks out like a sore thumb and serves only to show one more similarity between Judas Priest and Primal Fear; they both suck at ballads!
Despite this one drawback the album is still a great showcase of Primal Fear's live energy. The sound is superb and the audience seem to have lapped up every moment of the gig(s). this has certainly convinced me to hunt down Primal Fear's other albums and to catch them next time they tour.


Track list:

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
Under The Radar
Battalions Of Hate
Killbound
Nuclear Fire
Six Times Dead (16.6)
Angel In Black
Sign Of Fear
Fighting The Darkness
Riding The Eagle
Final Embrace
Metal Is Forever
Hands Of Time
Chainbreaker


9 stars

Mike Thompson
 








Live In The USA

Live In The USA
(Frontiers Records - 2010)


Primal Fear started back in the late 90's, they released so far 8 studio albums and now it's time for their first live album. Live In The USA was recorded during their 16.6 over North America tour and offers you about 70 minutes of metal. They kick off with Before The Devil Knows You're Dead and leads you into Under The Radar, not like the album where Riding The Eagle follows the intro. The set list combines old and new tracks, but Black Sun and Seven Seals aren't represented with a song. Most songs are mid-paced rockers, but with Nuclear Fire and Angel In Black you'll find some fast ones, too. One of the highlights is Six Times Dead (16.6) where Ralf Scheepers animates the fans to sing along. Primal Fear's balladesque side is represented by Fighting The Darkness and Hands Of Time. Personally I love Hands Of Time and hope it stays on the set list, but I guess some would wish it would be the last song... But hey, you can skip it. ;)
Mat Sinner and his mates put together a cool collection of songs which cover their whole career. Even if fans will always miss some songs, but at least they documented their live qualities now on CD and on DVD. The DVD is called 16.6 - All Over The World which offers some video clips, footage from their tour and more. Or you pick up the box set which includes the live album and the DVD... Whatever you choose, it will shorten the time til they play your area!


Track list:

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
Under The Radar
Battalions Of Hate
Killbound
Nuclear Fire
Six Times Dead (16.6)
Angel In Black
Sign Of Fear
Fighting The Darkness
Riding The Eagle
Final Embrace
Metal Is Forever
Hands Of Time
Chainbreaker


9 stars

 








16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)

16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)
(Frontiers - 2009)


This is the first Primal Fear album without founding member Stefan Leibing and the first time Magnus Karlsson recorded with Primal Fear. Usually this kind of changes also effect a bands sound...
They open up with Before The Devil Knows You're Dead is an instrumental intro and leads over into Riding The Eagle. With Riding The Eagle the multi-national band presents a fast riff-based track with a catchy hook. The refrain is soon haunting you! Six Times Dead is based on a heavy groove and has an anthem-like refrain. The melody line of the refrain reminds me a bit of a hit by the Bloodhound Gang... But it will hook you up right away! At Black Rain they use some Oriental sound elements, but the tune also sticks out due to its balladesque passage. A mid-tempo track with an unusual drum pattern and very emotional vocals. Some might miss the high screams, but you'll get them later on the disc! After a mid-paced intro part they speed up and Under The Radar becomes another fast, catchy rocker. Guitar leads into 5.0 / Torn... But then the band kicks off another heavy riff-based tune where Ralf Scheepers vocals seems to float on the riffing. Some symphonic keyboard part accompany the guitars and the catchy refrain. A short spoken word part and then a guitar solo before they return to the bridge. The song ends with a short acoustic guitar part. Soar has an industrial edge and might surprise some, but the rocker can also surprise with tempi changes. After the riff-based Killbound - which reminds me a bit of old Accept - they start slowly into the symphonic mid-tempo rocker No Smoke Without Fire. After the quite typical Primal Fear tune Smith & Wesson they speed up for The Exorcist, here Ralf Scheepers vocals are a bit more Halford-esque. Last, but not least Hands Of Time, the closer shows the band quite different. A balladesque tune where almost everybody takes over the microphone for a moment which is doing the song good. The vocals are accompanied by acoustic guitars first, but then the band joins in and it becomes a balladesque rocker. They go back and forth and so the track gets a special dynamic. Very intense and touching are the acoustic passages. Well done!
The new Primal Fear album is offering songs which vary in speed, but some really catchy ones. Others might need a few spins to sneak into your brain. To me it seems that adding Magnus Karlsson was a good move, coz he adds something different to the bands sound, he and Henny fit together very well and build a strong team on the six strings. In my opinion the strongest line-up Primal Fear ever had! Hope this will last and that they will deliver a few more gems like this one!


9 stars

 








Devil's Ground

Devil's Ground
(Nuclear Blast - 2004)


The Swabian five-piece starts with a Judas Priest-kinda - Painkiller era - track called Metal Is Forever. Also the first video clip for Devil's Ground. But don't expect that the whole album sounds like Judas Priest, even if singer Ralf Scheepers' vocals are close to Rob Halford's here and there. Track No. 2 is Suicide And Mania which starts with fast guitar riffing and a screaming guitar solo. Another up-tempo track. The bridge and the hook isn't in the vain of the British heroes. A neckbreaker with a catchy hook. Live the fans will sing along. On Visions Of Fate the presents fast and mid-tempo parts. Especially the slower parts - chorus - they sound heavy and groovy. Interesting are the guitars of Tom Naumann - he's back! - and Stefan Leibing. Slowly starts The Healer. Acoustic guitar, then some whispered words. The band joins in. Even if former Annihilator drummer Randy Black adds some fast drumming the song is based in mid-tempo range. Partly this one is balladesque. A good example for the range of the Primal Fear sound. A fast rocker is Sacred Illusion. A metal hymn.
A heavy rocker is In Metal. Staccato guitar riffing and pounding bass, additional some screaming guitar lines. This one grooves. Colony remind me a little of Accept... At least partly. Even if the melody line remind me of Helloween's Future World... But well... A very intense up-tempo one is Heart Of A Brave. Another metal hymn. The title track Devil's Ground is interesting. Starting with spoken words. Then some thunder. And it's over.... Interesting... Actually I expected a heavy metal hurricane afterwards...
I don't want to talk about every song, so I can just recommend this one to metal fans of all genres. One of my favorites is Soulchaser. Here the quintet presents a song which shows best Primal Fear's nowadays sound.
On the digi-pack are 3 bonus tracks. Of Metal is Forever and The Healer are special 5.1 mixes on the digi-pack. Additionally there is the up-tempo rocker Die Young. This one has a different vibe and so it doesn't fit to the other tracks. A good track.
The album is produced by Mat Sinner at the House Of Music Studio. Co-produced by the band and Achim Köhler who was also the engineer and responsible for the mix.


9 stars

 






The History Of Fear (DVD)

The History Of Fear (DVD)
(Nuclear Blast - 2003)


The package comes with a bonus CD with 11 tracks - live at Wacken - in a quite good quality. The performance of Primal Fear at Wacken 2001 and some live material from the Black Sun tour in 2002. Details see below. Also the two video clips are on this DVD. Beside that live stuff there is a short documentation which was done at Wacken 1999 from the Australian Metal Warriors. That section includes interviews as well, but the quality can't compete with the live recordings. In a so called Bootleg Section are different live bootlegs offered which been recorded between 1998 and 2002. Here the quality is poor, but these are bootlegs, so you can't expect more.
At least this is a decent documentation of the German power metal flagship. Interesting for fans of power metal in general. About 150 of Primal Fear.

Track list:
  1. Introduction
  2. Angel In Black
  3. Battalions Of Hate
  4. Nuclear Fire
  5. Chainbreaker
  6. Eye Of An Eagle
  7. Fight The Fire
  8. Running In The Dust
  9. Silver & Gold
  10. Final Embrace / Angel In Black
    (all live 2001 at Wacken)
  11. Introduction
  12. Chainbreaker
  13. Black Sun
  14. Church Of Blood
  15. Mind Control
  16. Under Your Spell
  17. Fear
  18. Tears Of Rage
  19. Armageddon
  20. Living For Metal
  21. Medley: One With The World /
    Born To Rock / Metal Gods (all live 2002)
Video clips:
Angel In Black
Armageddon

Interviews


Jörg Petersen
(Translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 






Black Sun

Black Sun
(Nuclear Blast - 2002)


Again Primal Fear released with Black Sun a new true metal masterpiece. The band of singer Ralf Scheepers offer again a Painkiller successor and with his inimitable voice he put his own impress on the album. The album Black Sun has a big, fat production and tracks like Armageddon and Magic Eyes blow you away! But the rest of the material can keep the high quality level we know Primal Fear for. Every headbanger will get what he's looking for while listening to songs like Revolution, We Go Down or the ultra-fast Light-years From Home. Did anyone expect something different from Primal Fear? Not really! The band knew what their fans want and they give the people what they want! Listen, this album is killer and I'm really excited and looking forward to see them on tour with co-headliner Rage in September!


9 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 






Nuclear Fire

Nuclear Fire
(Nuclear Blast - 2001)


Nuclear Fire is the third release of the German quintet. The band of Mat Sinner offers what their fans expect... Melodic power metal!
The line-up change effected the guitar sound, but in my opinion Henny Wolter's guitar sound fits perfect to Primal Fear's sound. Back From Hell is a fast track where Ralf partly sings very high which probably not everybody likes.... But most of the tracks are in the vain of the predecessor albums!
But beside fast and mid-tempo tracks there is also a ballad... Bleed For Me! But in their own tradition even the ballad is powerful and contains some aggressive guitar riffing.
Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove is the bonus track on the limited edition which also contains the video of Angel In Black. Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove is a mid-tempo rocker with anthem type of chorus, a pity that this is just a bonus track!
Resume: Primal Fear fans will love the new album!


8 stars

 






Primal Fear

Primal Fear
(Nuclear Blast - 1998)


You think that you never heard about Primal Fear? You're right, but you know the members! Primal Fear is the band of Mat Sinner (Sinner), Ralph Scheepers (ex-Gamma Ray, ex-Tyrant Pace) and Tom Naumann (Sinner). What to expect from the quartet?
Melodic power metal, opening with an intro called Primal Fear they kick off the album with the fast, heavy track Chainbreaker. Due to the voice and the genre you might think of Gamma Ray, but that is just Mr. Scheepers which let you think of the Hanseatic. The screaming guitar, pounding bass and hammering drums of Klaus Sperling create a sound which is somewhere between Judas Priest and power metal heroes of these days. The debut has 12 tracks which all are power metal, but the band didn't fear to use sounds and elements which are unusual in this genre. On the track Silver & Gold is seems that Mat Sinner took the catchiness of Sinner and added this to the power metal. A good idea, coz the catchiness makes this track to a tune to sing along. Guess this will be a highlight when they play live. A real fast one is the song Formula One which shows the heavy, aggressive side, but on the chorus slow down. The songs will maybe remind you of this or that, but the band is on the way to develop their own sound, but it might take one more album... Anyway, a decent debut from the German quartet.
Due to the experiences the members made in the past during recordings they decided not to involve a producer. The production which is powerful is done by mainman Mat Sinner.
I can recommend that to all power metal fans. Check out: Formula One, Dollars, Tears Of Rage or Battalions Of Hate.


7 stars

 

           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


Bands P