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Primal Fear - Unbreakable Award winner

Primal Fear
by Fede "FedeRock" Taich / Tomer "Tommy-Foxx" Darmon / Rebecca Miller at 26 December 2011, 8:42 PM

Federock (9/10)

Germany is well known for its great Metal scene. Great bands such as ACCEPT and HELLOWEEN created a well defined sound that had been brought up to be unique. More or less, from the first guitar riff you will acknowledge that you are listening to a German Metal band. PRIMAL FEAR is not just a mere name in this local scene, it is one of highly acclaimed names with Mat Sinner, a credited Metal pioneer, and ex GAMMA RAY singer Ralf Scheepers. In my opinion, the band took their local scene to a different level that maybe BLIND GUARDIAN were its engineers, but PRIMAL FEAR made it really heavy, fast and tight as hell.

“Unbreakable” is their new studio effort and as the title name suggests you can’t break this band, but they will kick your behind with their heavier than hell music. The title is also the name of the excellent symphonic intro and the awesome “Part 2” of the song that comes later on the album.

The album is on one hand very diverse with songs that are more epic with interesting lyrics and on the other hand displays great Metal anthems like the single “Bad Guys Wear Black”. Even though the lyrics may sound a little of a cliché, it sounds great and in the end run it is a great Heavy Metal song that is fun to listen. Another one that is going to be a true amazing live anthem for sure is “Metal Nation” that despite the main riff that reminded me a lot of QUEENSRYCHE’s “I Don’t Believe In Love” I liked the arrangements and Scheepers’s vocal production that made it exclusive. As for the music, as I wrote earlier, a totally different level indeed.

The guitar work of KarlssonBeyrodt is excellent, they seem to complete each-other perfectly as every solo or guitar harmony was neatly written, played and placed. The rhythm section of SinnerBlack sounds tight as hell as it inspires a good vibe to the guitars. Production wise, this time around, SinnerKohler made a great job.

In conclusion, this is nothing more than a great album. This is what good Heavy Metal should sound like. PRIMAL FEAR isn’t a band that has been attempting to reinvent the steel, they play true and honest Metal in their own exceptional way with catchy choruses, great riffs, attacking drums and powerful vocals. The only thing that bothered me on the album was the fact that it was a rather very long ride with thirteen tracks. Also I would like to mention that the order of the songs wasn’t to my liking, especially when trying to if you try to listen to the album from top to bottom. Sometimes it crossed my mind that the second part of the album is lesser good than the first, not bad just less good. Nonetheless, PRIMAL FEAR knocked me over with an excellent release.

Rebecca Miller (8/10)
There’s one thing for sure that I can say about “Unbreakable”, the ninth studio album from German Heavy Metallers PRIMAL FEAR. It’s most certainly a release from PRIMAL FEAR. This album could have been produced at any time during their career, and to be fair, that may be a bit of a downfall, but there’s a lot of good things about it as well.

Let’s start with the good things then, shall we? When looked at as a whole, this album is a very solid release. Crystal clear sound, brilliant hooks and riffs, and songs that will have you singing them in your head for ages. The guitar work on display here is top notch too as the solos are pretty awesome. There are a few stand out tracks here for me. “Bad Guys Wear Black” – the song the band has also made a video for – has a really great chorus that’ll stay with you for a long while and “Give ‘Em Hell” is a powerful and heavy badass song. Then the beautiful “Born Again” comes round, and I don’t know if it was inspired the death of Scheepers’s father in 2009, but it’s a very emotional and moving song, and definitely one of my favorites from “Unbreakable”.

Unfortunately, despite all these ups, PRIMAL FEAR haven’t really broken any new ground with this release. Don’t get me wrong, there aren’t any songs on here that are inherently bad, I just feel that the band has kind of played it safe with this album. “Unbreakable” is pretty reminiscent of their earlier material, when they were establishing their sound, and for a band with a discography as extensive as PRIMAL FEAR’s, this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

But I think that the devotees of the band will love this album. And despite what I’ve said, it is a good album, and I do like it quite a lot, which is consequently why I’m giving it quite a high rating. But I just think that if they had decided just to try something a little different, a bit new, they could have made this into a great album.

Tommy-Foxx (10/10)

As a big fan of JUDAS PRIEST, to review the new album of PRIMAL FEAR is an honor. From my knowledge of other folks I know, the admiration of PRIMAL FEAR is split. Some like them and others dislike them. For me, PRIMAL FEAR represent a different thing in the Heavy Metal genre. They represent the real thing, the truest Metal, the type of Metal that would never follow the musical modernity or force itself in order to be liked by everyone. They represent a band that follows its beliefs, its truth – the truth to create uncompromised music no matter if we are living in decadence and turmoil that make everything to change rapidly. Here I found the power that I get when I listen to ACCEPT, especially in the song "Metal Nation",and the HELLOWEEN imagery through their Speed Metal, not to mention the big influence of JUDAS PRIEST. All those great Metal legends have been gathering, like always, in this holy piece in PRIMAL FEAR’s new album.

"Strike" is their first track, Scheepers’s singing is godly consisting of a crystal clear voice added by roughness on the right spots of the song. You can actually feel how he flows with the song while enriching each note without any kind of effort. "Give ‘Em Hell" has a stellar opening, very powerful one. There is a feeling that the guitars saw through your soul while the rhythm is being played.  The solo section attack shows that you can’t really ask for me. PRIMAL FEAR gives you the hell you have been asking for. "Bad guys wear Black" is their first single that also has a video clip. I promise you that the line "Bang your head until you reach the end…" will stick to your head for many years to come. This is an anthem by itself. Here you can feel the strong bass line of the great Sinner, along with the amazing melodic guitars work that shares a more of a marching vibe. The gang or quire type of singing in the chorus adds extra volume, which is enormous and powerful just like the song. "And There Was Silence" is the meaning of speed straight to your face, a very fast song with no compromise bearing a melodic chorus. The lead solo here is not impressive as I expected because it's shadows the chorus over and over repeatedly until the coming of an additional, yet short, faster solo. Too bad, I was expecting that from a good song like this the guitar solo will instigate it to a higher level like on almost every song.

Honestly, I really can't put my finger on a single track that I can nominate as the best of the them all due to the reason that I think that the entire collection of tracks is the masterpiece of the year. Nonetheless, "Metal Nation" provides the best formula for a good song: a tensor opening which integrates to a straight heavy verse that provide Scheepers a lot of place to express himself. The guitar diverts from the opening riff to a tight main riff that keep the heavy spirit of the song. It had a little bit reminiscent of ACCEPT but with a Glamish melodic chorus. Through the album there is a sensation of victories anthems but I am not talking about the kind that has been characterized by the European Power Metal bands, where it is too cheesy compared to the American version, I'm talking about anthems that enter straight to your head, whether you want it or not, and rush loads of adrenaline inside your body like. This is pretty much what happened also on "Unbreakable" (part 2).

Did someone mention World War Three? I believe that "Marching Again" will summon up that sort of excitement. The double bass beats and the speeding guitar riffs will give you that sense alongside the military marching parade when the orchestra joins in. Everything gathers up to a one piece of war song. Aside from aggression, PRIMAL FEAR has also been known for supplying an emotional side with their ballads. In the past, you probably tasted one of their great achievements in the image of "Tears Of Rage" and "Fighting The Darkness", here "Born Again" is at your service. It is a ballad that also represents the softer and emotional side of Scheepers’s voice, as well as a powerful chorus that is its stage. The song was arranged very well with a touch of acoustic guitar that integrated perfectly as well as the electric guitar that raise the suspense rate prior to the strong chorus. Because the song is so touching it will probably some negative emotions behind. However, if that is the case, it means that PRIMAL FEAR accomplished their mission. “Blaze of Glory" is the ultimate Heavy Metal song, starting with a focus on the inflated drums like a strong thunders with a crossing towards a strong rhythm of great guitar riffs. Though there is nothing new here, nothing that a veteran Metalhead hasn’t heard before, it's the strength of the song that would make one to follow and keep on banging that head.

PRIMAL FEAR did a great job here on this album. I think it's one of the greatest albums of 2012, and I haven’t really listened to everything of the new year. I didn't find a weak link on the album. Each song throws me back to the 80s but with a powerful sound while keeping it traditional, yet interesting.

4 Star Rating

1. Unbreakable (part1)
2. Strike
3. Give ‘Em Hell
4. Bad Guys Wear Black
5. And There Was Silence
6 .Metal Nation
7. Where Angels Die
8. Unbreakable (part2)
9. Marching Again
10. Born Again
11. Blaze Of Glory
12. Convictions
13. Night Of The Jumps 
Ralf Scheepers- Vocals
Mat Sinner- bass
Randy Black- Drums
Magnus Karlsson- Lead Guitar
Alexander Beyrodt- Lead Guitar 
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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