Primal Fear may not be a particularly household name over here in North America, but the German power metal outfit has issued 10 albums since formation in 1997, most charting well in countries like their home of Germany but also in Japan and Sweden. Molded in the vein of other such great German power metal bands as the internationally successful Helloween, Primal Fear was founded by former Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers and Sinner bassist Mat Sinner. A few lineup changes have taken place over the existence of the band and we now find drummer Randy Black and guitarists Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt joining the founders. Karlsson has previously worked with Sinner on projects such as Kiske/Sommerville in 2010, a collaboration between former Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske and American singer Amanda Sommerville as well as Primal Fear vocalist Ralf Scheepers‘ first solo effort simply titled Scheepers in 2011. Alex Beyrodt and Mat Sinner have been involved in many collaborations including Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle‘s More Than One Way Home in 2013 Beyrodt‘s Silent Force‘s Rising From Ashes 2013 and Sinner‘s namesake band Sinner‘s Touch of Sin 2 2013…..a busy year for those two boys! Here’s links to my reviews of VOODOO CIRCLE and SINNER.
Primal Fear is ready to attack the world in 2014 supporting Delivering the Black with a tightly packed world touring schedule throughout Europe and North America. For the upcoming Delivering the Black world tour guitarist Magnus Karlsson announced that he would be unable to participate as he does not want to be away from his young children for an extended period such as that. In his place, original founding member Tom Naumann will be returning to the camp and stepping in for the tour. Primal Fear makes a stop in Toronto in May and is a sure fire target in The Meister‘s cross hairs of concert going.
Delivering the Black starts off with the charging riff of “King for a Day” which has a forthcoming video as well. Right from that opening riff of “King for a Day” I was hooked! “Rebel Faction”, a power metal gem with thrashy overtones is next up. Considered the lead single as it has already received the video treatment and been unleashed prior to the album’s official release, “When Death Comes Knocking”, a brooding, grinding, epic sounding composition at over seven minutes runtime sits in the third slot. The album really opens up here with “Alive & On Fire”, a little more old school metal sounding and may well be my choice for top of the heap. The title track, “Delivering the Black”, delivers another fine cut, matching and maintaining the pace leading into another thrashy style composition with “Road to Asylum”. “One Night in December”, a pure power metal opus of epic proportions, clocks in at over 9 and a half minutes before “Never Pray for Justice” resumes the assault. “Born With a Broken Heart” slows the pace down showcasing Scheepers‘ vocal abilities and featuring the assistance of Leaves’ Eyes vocalist, Liv Kristine. The high speed, balls to the wall “Inseminoid” closes out the offering on a fast and furious note. All in all a fast paced album playing well from start to finish and growing on me steadily with each spin.
As with all the Primal Fear album covers, the bird of prey is prominently featured in the artwork and any fan of their past work will surely enjoy the progression and direction of Primal Fear’s latest effort Delivering the Black, out on January 28th from Frontiers Records.