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Primal Fear - Delivering The Black Award winner

Primal Fear
Delivering The Black
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein / Damian J. Cousins at 09 January 2014, 1:55 PM

STEINMETAL (9/10)

The molten steel winged eagle, just like clockwork, descends for another swing, with a quashing iron fist, infesting the Teutonic reign to power; this is the true face of Heavy Metal at its finest hour. The 80’s might have been the honest legacy of the genre, but since its emergence, the German fire breathing PRIMAL FEAR, even in their darkest hours (and they had those throughout their career, has been proving the bursting lust, intensity, burning determination, utmost respect and sense of musical professionalism to refurbish that classic era in their own special way, a kind of way that will make you wished you were there yet it will also make you pride that you alive and listening in the present. Following the previous destructor, “Unbreakable”, the beast came back with deliverance called “Delivering The Black”, still under the hatch of Frontiers Records. As if taking point from where they left off, PRIMAL FEAR maintained their tradition of offering the Metalhead an opportunity to take pleasure of everything that Heavy Metal has to offer, and with this here number, they literally bombarded the area and the inner depths of my skull.

Before touching the skin of the material, I must mention the importance of the production factor, the pairing of Jacob Hansen at the mixing with Achim Köhler mastering along with the watchful of Mat Sinner overseeing the entire process as producer, made “Delivering The Black”, somewhat similar to previous of PRIMAL FEAR’s outputs but in overall mightier than ever before, a decisive bombastic Metal cuisine at the highest levels, eventually sending off with a pure taste for more. Generally, it sounded to me like an 80’s kind of mix, as it has always been for this band and here it was magnificently maintained by Jacob Hansen, though the contemporary direction of the instruments. I especially enjoyed the guitars’ sound, like a modernized version of mid 80’s ACCEPT with a minor setting of JUDAS PRIEST. Quite common for PRIMAL FEAR, though evidently on “Delivering The Black” the guitars felt even vaster, larger than life.

As aforementioned earlier, PRIMAL FEAR provided the ultimate Metal experience, letting the listener devour traditional tunes that the band has been wrecking walls with, like “King for a Day”, headbanging fury of the self-titled track, or the revolution calling of “Rebel Faction” snapping with a bit of Speed /Thrash massacre riffery and pace, finding their way to the top with a melodic HELLOWEEN oriented memorable cruncher, “Inseminoid”, which virtually made my day. After eating and breathing hardcore vigorous Metal, I setback and tuned to the dramatic Gothic pattern experience of “One Night in December”, which its length didn’t startle me, it was like a journey through everything that PRIMAL FEAR has been doing throughout their discography. For some reason it even sent me back to their earlier debut album ballad, “Tears Of Rage”, however, this here song took a diversified turn, kicking it with the band’s awesome heaviness while attributing with beautiful classic orchestration, meticulous lines and an inspiring chorus that blazed my ears. The somewhat sorrowful “When Death Comes Knocking” revealed a sort of melodic Metal hymn, less Gothic than the previous number, consisting of an enthralling classic Metal main riff, so simple yet so effective, that had me making a fist of its maximum power bestowed within it in conjunction with the entire the slow tempo marsh. Finally, Mat Sinner let his own SINNER band’s signature on this album as well with “Alive and on Fire”, a pictorial of Hard N’ Heavy Metal piece of steel, yet with Ralf Scheepers leading the charge with elegance and his usually vocal deadliness. In a nutshell, PRIMAL FEAR showed me, and should also to you guys, time and time again that simplified songwriting, along with a sense for old spirited melodic Metal, has within it to conquer all, reaching to higher magnitude.

DAMIAN J. COUSINS (10/10)

I don’t know how or why I had no idea who PRIMAL FEAR were. I can’t believe they are on album number ten, and I just discovered them a month ago. I really have no excuse, none. That being said, man am I one happy camper right now! I spent most of last month rocking out to some of this German Juggernaut’s older albums, 2012’s “Unbreakable” in particular, which I couldn’t get enough of, and then along comes the advance copy of new record “Delivering the Black”. Are you kidding me with this?!? It’s not due out till January 28 here in the States via Frontiers Records. I almost tripped and broke my head open running up the stairs to get to my office and press PLAY. Mind you, if I had broken my head open I sure as hell wouldn’t go to the hospital till I got through at least one go-round with this album, I’ll tell ya that much!

Right out of the gate “King For a Day” sets the classic/speed/power metal tone that resonates throughout all ten tracks. Riffs galore and a rather Halford-like delivery from vocalist Ralf Scheepers? Sign me up! I won’t apologize for all the screaming I’m doing because this album has me all revved up and I can’t help myself. Think “Painkiller” meets “Screaming For Vengeance”-era JUDAS PRIEST and you’ll see why I’m so friggin’ excited, OK? The intro to “Rebel Faction” will have you thinking that something mellow and moody is a-comin’ but instead it turns into one of the fastest and heaviest tracks on the disc, drummer Randy Black and bassist Mat Sinner punishing their instruments in brutalizing fashion while guitarists Magnus Karlsson (who also plays keyboards) and Alex Beyrodt lay waste to the Metal landscape above, below, and in front of them.

First single “When Death Comes Knocking” has Scheepers utilizing his aggressive voice on the verses and then soaring high on the choruses, and “Alive & On Fire” once again brings us back to PRIEST territory; by no means is this a bad thing,  mind you. Considering they’re my second favorite band in the world, I have no qualms with PRIMAL FEAR paying homage musically. The fluid solos on this one also stood out on my first listen, making it a favorite. Guitar aficionados will also love the riffage on title track “Delivering the Black”. Beyrodt and Karlsson are a formidable duo and they play off of each other flawlessly, especially on the dual harmonized solos.

The drums anchor “Road to Asylum” and let me tell you something… that Mr. Black hits hard! I wonder how many snare drum heads he goes through. This track is pretty damn heavy, ‘nuff said. Now we come to the song that is so mind-blowing and atmospheric I can’t even do it justice: “One Night In December” is nearly ten minutes of songwriting perfection. You guys know how much I dig the big epic numbers and this one does not disappoint. It’s safe to say that this one is my runaway favorite! I hope and pray they do it live when they’re here in Dallas on May 18. Then again, if they do I may explode!

The chainsaw at the beginning of “Never Pray For Justice” is only fitting because the track slices through the air like the proverbial saw blades, cutting through everything and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. After eight pummeling metal masterpieces, it’s time for a change of pace, which comes in the form of the album’s lone ballad “Born With a Broken Heart” featuring Liv Kristine from LEAVES’ EYES on backing vocals. As slower songs go, it’s anything but typical or boring and still packs more of a bite than some of what today’s sissified bands are putting out, and the guitar solo is very emotional in its simplicity.

The album closes with “Inseminoid”, a song in which everyone swings for the fences and leaves it all on the floor of the studio. A sonic full-court press, if you will, and just a killer way to end things. So let’s review: I love PRIMAL FEAR and I love this record! If you aren’t getting “Delivering the Black” on January 28 people, then check yourself into a “home” because you’ve clearly gone mad.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. King for a Day
2. Rebel Faction
3. When Death Comes Knocking
4. Alive and on Fire
5. Delivering the Black
6. Road to Asylum
7. One Night in December
8. Never Pray for Justice
9. Born with a Broken Heart
10. Inseminoid
Lineup:
Ralf Scheepers - Vocals
Magnus Karlsson - Guitars
Alex Beyrodt - Guitars
Randy Black - Drums
Mat Sinner - Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Records
     


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