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Primal Fear - Apocalypse

Primal Fear
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 09 September 2018, 2:33 PM

PRIMAL FEAR probably doesn’t need introduction but if you late to this German Power Metal outfit’s game, their twelve album “Apocalypse,” is as good of a place to start as any.  Much like a lot of Power Metal bands, they don’t feel a need to fix what isn’t broken. After a creepy and somewhat Gothic intro, “New Rise,” bursts out of the gate.  It is one ripper of a Power Metal track.  The riffs are super fast and beefy, echoing their sentiments to also feel the need to play Teutonic Thrash in their sound.  Unfortunately, the next track, “The Ritual,” is somewhat bland and it doesn’t hurt it comes after “New Rise,” and before the really good “King of Madness.”

The aforementioned track has a well done melodic, clean guitar opening that makes me wish the rest of the album featured more of these dynamics.  Throw in some decent riffs, Ralf's wonderful falsetto, and a blazing guitar then we have one of the band’s best songs in some time. Another song that doesn’t quite work for me is “Hounds of Justice.” It isn’t a bad track per say but, again, I think the pacing of the album is the real issue here because it comes before another really standout song, “The Beast.”  This song is carried by melodic riffs and harmonies plus a chorus that just screams to be played live as I can just imagine the crowd shouting the track’s name as loud as possible during the chorus.

Speaking of riffs, I’m not really sure why the band feels the need to have three guitar players.  It may be needed in a live setting but, as talented as they all three are, I’m not hearing anything in these songs that justify having three axemen.  I could understand it being so if they were some kind of crazy Prog band with thirty minute songs but they are not.  They are good Power Metal but Power Metal nonetheless. Anyway, back to the songs, specifically “Cannonball.”  The songs combines melodic harmonies with thrashy riffs, evoking a super heavy sounding IRON MAIDEN at times mixed with the faster parts of LABYRINTH.  “Fight Against All Evil,” is another nice addition to their collection.  It definitely has an 80’s feel but it is worked very well into the charismatic vocals.  This type of song has been their signature style for awhile and, despite the campy lyrics, it is a nicely done example of what they are about.

The next track, “Into The Fire,” is, however, not a good example of how to keep the 80’s alive and going.  Everything about this track is just wrong and it is easily one of the worst songs this band has ever recorded. In the end, I have to question why the three or so songs on here that don’t work are here in the first place.  This album has 15 tracks which is way too many for any type of album.  Had a few of these tracks been cut, the experience would had been much more even and cohesive. I found this album to be enjoyable but a slight step back from their previous two releases.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Apocalypse
2. New Rise
3. The Ritual
4. King of Madness
5. Blood, Sweat & Fear
6. Supernova
7. Hail To The Fear
8. Hounds of Justice
9. The Beast
10. Eye of the Storm
11. Cannonball
12. Fight Against All Evil
13. Into The Fire
14. My War is Over
15. Supernova (orchestral version)
Mat Sinner – Bass, Vocals
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars, Keyboards
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Francesco Jovino – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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