Fireworks

Primal Fear - 'Apocalypse' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     November 23, 2018    
 
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Primal Fear have once again left all comers trailing in their wake.

For a band originally put together as a Mat Sinner side project, with the primary aim of convincing erstwhile Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers not to turn his back on the scene after being pipped at the post to the then-vacant Judas Priest front-man role, it has to be said that Primal Fear haven't done too badly for themselves!

Long since taking over as the primary focus for all those involved, after more than twenty years and eleven studio albums to their name, the band are as stoically defiant, confident and strong as ever. If you need proof that it's business as usual, just check out studio album number twelve 'Apocalypse' and if you're still unconvinced after a single spin, then you're either dead, deaf or deluded! Yes, as soon as the malevolent strains of intro 'Apocalypse' give way to the rapid-fire rifferama of opener proper 'New Rise', you just know that the sextet are going to kick your ass to hell and back again!

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'The Ritual' takes the pace down just a notch and could've quite easily slotted onto the recent Priest opus 'Firepower', whilst the mid-paced, yet uncompromising groove of 'King Of Madness' is just classic Primal Fear! Then there's the soaring majesty of 'Supernova', a powerful and emotionally-charged mini-epic that simply dazzles before heading straight for the stratosphere on the back of some amazing vocal histrionics and shimmering guitars. When I first spun 'Apocalypse' I was convinced it would prove to be the standout cut on what was already shaping up to be a bit of a monster album, but then the brooding 'Eye Of The Storm' made landfall like a category five hurricane and blew my senses away! Dark, dramatic, orchestrated and all-consuming, its tasty Progressive Power Metal delivery and constantly twisting time signatures make it one of the best things they've ever written, period – it's majestic!

With Tom Naumann, Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson (who also doubles up on keys), they have three of the best axemen in modern-day Power Metal right now; their crunching riffs, rabid licks and searing solos vying for domination of the emotional high ground with the kerosene-fuelled vocal roar of Scheepers.

Bristling with energy and delivered with all the precision one has come to expect from German engineering, Primal Fear have once again left all comers trailing in their wake.

Dave Cockett

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