Primal Fear – “Metal Commando” (Nuclear Blast)
Battle Helm Rating
Openly consistent since their self-titled debut in 1998, Primal Fear are a well-recognised fan favourite, both in the studio and on the live front, with “Metal Commando”, their 13th album proving no less across its fiery and passionate 11 tracks! That said, while the sound of Judas Priest was certainly evident in their early work, this has since been extrapolated into a sound of their own although the traces of their inspiration are still there. Always maintaining high standards throughout with the emphasis on sticking together as a team even if that meant parting ways with some members, has garnered a healthy respect for Primal Fear from its fanbase and even critics knowing that the music is the most important aspect for this band. Indeed, as the heavy riffs laced with beautiful melodies chug in on ‘Along Came The Devil’, the performance is thick and tight, with a guitar sound that is so dense you cannot fail to air punch and headbang in this made for the live setting track, especially when Ralf Scheepers’ classy soul and soaring screams take it into a high of their own – wow. Resounding with power metal melody and double bass drumming on ‘Halo’, the guitars chunder out another maelstrom over which Scheepers’ screams compete with the squealing guitars until the bountifully soulful chorus in stark contrast holds you utterly captivated – unless you’re understandably singing along in utter bliss of course! Upping the heart beat with speed on ‘My Name Is Fear’ with its superbly catchy mix of chainsaw guitars, pounding drums and beautiful Germanic guitar melodies, Scheepers’ singing brilliantly takes the song through emotional twists and moody turns in building to the epic chorus of ‘…I am your evil..destroyer of Eden..’, culminating with wailing guitars to the song’s sharp dramatic ending. Closing with the 13 minutes of ‘Infinity’, the melancholic atmosphere of quiet guitars, sad vocals and somber choirs soon gives way to another powering mix of heavy riffs, deep melodies and moving acoustic work, varying in combination and style to keep the pulse racing throughout, yet ever mindful to maintain the emotional pulse in its unescapable, culminating effect on the soul – truly brilliant. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find fault in this release, ‘consistent’ as it may be, but undeniable in its labour of love.