www.firegoat.com » Reviews » Primal Fear
  Guest: Login | Sign up Slovenska verzija - Slovene version
Primal Fear - "Devil\'s Ground"
Nuclear Blast 2004

Fifth album of German heavy metal champions Primal Fear is undoubtedly their finest work so far. They joined together all musical elements superbly. Background vocal harmony layers that surround Ralf's pivotal ripping vocal lines are added on a tastiest way since album's debut. Throughout album crackles from huge atmosphere of giant melodies, diverse caught moods and aggressive bruising riffing drives.

What is remarkable are great contrasts on a record. We got very variable songs that hold great dynamics on a record. Album opens through Ralf's shredding scream and Metal Is Forever starts all guns blazing. A song with lyrics dedicated to fans. It is obviously that band got very enthusiastic and excited over fans huge positive responses over band's presence on a scene through years from all around the world. And band got especially impressed about that when sharing the energy with crowd live on concerts. Otherwise lyrics reflect that band got in a way more mature. Many times they are dealing with "what's on man's mind" things. I especially love lyrics in The Healer, which shines bright light of strong faith that there is always some good in this world for which it is worth fighting for. Very positive song from start to finish. Verses with call for the rebellion and oppression to the power of singular eye are o a very convincible way laid down in fantastic striker and the fastest song on a record Sacred Illusion.

First atmospheric peak on a record is undoubtedly chorus of Visions Of Fate with fantastic back vocal covering and dramatic changes of fluid rhythm and riffing drives that brings fantastic sound and mood contrasts into song. Especially what I like here are fast melodic soloing duels between reborn "Jaws Of Death" guitar twins Stefan Leibing and Tom Nauman (also with Sinner). Later replaced in band Henny Wolter, who plays with Tom in Sinner. One of the most beautiful choruses can be found in The Healer. This is mid-tempo beauty and surely epic-atmospheric highlight of a record, of a Church Of Blood caliber, also ornamented with nice touch of keyboard arrangements. Also fantastic climax has been built in Wings Of Desire, where Randy with his great drumming skills perforates the overall mid-tempo main beat of a song which serves as a great counterpoint in song. Follower Sea Of Flames is fantastic striker with main opening riff penned very much in vein of what songs from latest Sinner's record "There Will Be Execution" (2003) offered as a prove that bassist Mat Sinner no longer fully concentrates on his band Sinner, but contributes majority of his song writing ideas into Primal Fear's musical body. This can be detected also in chorus of Colony 13 and in bridge before chorus of a final speedy hammer attack Heart Of A Brave.

Sharp straight powerful riffing attack, fantastic clean Ralf's blistering shouts with his singing more raw, tight and linear in pre-choruses which turns ultra melodic in choruses are also very expressive in songs like Suicide & Mania, In Metal, Sacred Illusion and Soulchaser which by some harmonized picking over riffs and Ralf's chosen vocal lines reminds on his Gamma Ray years. In all songs fantastic contrasts are achieved. Overall feel is fade to black, but with strong waves of bright light that shines through music like in aforementioned The Healer.

What is of a very special attention and contributes to overall tight integrity of all songs and also band as a unit, is a change in line up on a position of drums. Contributions of a newly recruited drummer Randy Black, who arrived from Annihilator and replaced band's founder member Klaus Sperling, are more diverse, especially his drum rollings are more often in this band's new musical face, and double bass footwork blisters with more power than in terms of his predecessor. Randy offers much more drumming which take us to conclusion that Primal Fear with new album fully breaths, stronger and tighter than ever. Randy is a right man that this band needed and an excellent choice. I am not saying he is better than Klaus, but some things must happen, that band can prosper further. And Randy's integration is therefore best possible move for the band right now. Also what I found is more imaginative work of renewed line-up of both twin guitars. Some bridges sound even "thrashy", what also contributes to huge diversity of everything this record offers.

Well, I am sure you all know who Primal Fear are by now. "Devil's Ground" is their typical record. But this time they mastered all things with supremacy. They joined on a fantastic way aggressive tough face of a band, with always present ultra melodic touches. All uniqueness of their huge alive sound achieved by Mat Sinner's production blisters with exploding dynamite of straight spark sharp shredding riffs, extraordinary guitar soloing duels, tastefully spiced up with double twin harmony fast picking over riffs as one of recognizable band's trademark and of course, unmistakable contribution of charismatic Ralf Scheppers, who proves once again he is one of the finest heavy metal singer of all times. I mean by his technical skills, unique and highly recognizable singing style and always convincible soulful expression. This record proves that Primal Fear reached most shining creative peak of their career. "Devil's Ground" is by no means, along with Exodus's "Tempo Of The Damned" early candidate for heavy metal record of a year. I highly recommend you to purchase limited digipack edition with fantastic cover of Black Sabbath's original Die Young. I hope that Dio heard it. You will find there also two video clips. "Devil's Ground" is most complete album so far and unstoppable force Primal Fear a magic metal flame that never dies.

Author:   Aleš

Content of this page is copyright of www.krokar.net and firegoat team.
All rights reserved. © 2000-2002