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Primal Fear - Devil's Ground (Remastered) Award winner

Primal Fear
Devil's Ground (Remastered)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 31 March 2011, 12:42 PM

For me, PRIMAL FEAR's fifth album, "Devil's Ground", was the last really amazing album that the band released to date. Afterwards there were three more albums that showed the band in a different kind of light that was not as pleasing as their proud past.
"Devil's Ground" sent out a message, that although quite obvious, it was still good to hear it once again – "Metal Is Forever". It wasn't about massing an army; it was about keeping the trust in Heavy Metal.

The Polish label, Metal Mind Productions, re-issued almost all of PRIMAL FEAR's earlier albums and made a find tribute to this exciting German group. "Devil's Ground" was the last of that series. Alongside the original list of twelve tracks, Metal Mind inserted four bonus tracks that consisted of two alternate mixes of the album's tracks and two covers, one for BLACK SABBATH and one for LED ZEPPELLIN. Remixes are fine and all but it was more interesting to listen to PRIMAL FEAR covering classics. It was a true hell of work on "Die Young" as it was almost identical to the original version. However, I can't say that about the "The Rover" track as it was less exciting, yet, it was made quite heavy in comparison to its original.

With or without the bonuses or this album's fine overall aura in particular, PRIMAL FEAR has the edge on many other bands in their caliber. Throughout their career they always knew how to pick the right members. Although besides banshee Scheepers and the charging Sinner, that were the founding members and never been replaced, the chosen guitarists and drummers were top talented individuals. "Devil's Ground" paved the official return of Tom Naumann to the band's lineup as guitarist and also made a new start at the drummer's role with coming of ex-ANNIHILATOR's Randy Black. Part of the reason why this album was made to be great was due to those guys' performances besides the ultimate players that were already on.

In overall, the "Devil's Ground" tracklist consists of hard to the core PRIMAL FEAR tunes in the veins of the 80s. Most of the tracks have the German anthem and catchy like choruses, something very similar to ACCEPT & SINNER, and rooted heaviness that is tightly bounded to German Heavy Metal. Another fine aspect, and that is something that I always liked in PRIMAL FEAR, is the lead guitar lines. Craziness is maybe one of the many adjectives that I can give this style of playing. Besides the melodies, that have also been one of the band's prime features, there have been those crushing solos, demonic like pitches and gruesome licks of wild playing. Under heavy guitar rhythms, it was a certified mayhem when a solo started burning.

More or less every track on this release has its memorable sharp fangs that will cut through your heart. Some of the most exciting ones were anthems like "Metal Is Forever", that although may sound as another metallic banal call to arms, this is what Metal is all about – free will. "Colony 13" & "Sea Of Flames", two of the most melodic fillers, take their lead with a series of addictive riffs. "Soulchaser" and "Suicide And Mania", were two additional samples of how PRIMAL FEAR were a diverse Metal being. Those two killers were the showcase of how this band's style is closer to everything that is connected to Classic Metal, and this time it was with two thrashy masterpieces.

If haven't bought this album yet, try to tap into the label's website to see if there are more around. This is an important memoir of German Heavy Metal and of PRIMAL FEAR. Take a ride to the "Devil's Ground" and you might feel what hell is… or not.

4 Star Rating

1. Metal Is Forever
2. Suicide And Mania
3. Visions Of Fate
4. Sea Of Flames
5. The Healer
6. Sacred Illusion
7. In Metal
8. Soulchaser
9. Colony 13
10. Wings Of Desire
11. Heart Of A Brave
12. Devil’s Ground
13. Die Young (Black Sabbath Cover)
14. Metal Is Forever (5.1 Mix)
15. The Healer (5.1 Mix)
16. The Rover (Led Zeppelin Cover) 
Ralph Scheepers – Vocals
Mat Sinner – Bass / Vocals
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Stefan Leibing – Guitars
Randy Black - Drums
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions


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