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Primal Fear - "Black Sun"
Nuclear Blast 2002

Something new? As it was foretold, so it was done by the band. If "Nuclear Fire" goes straight into ears to blow your bollocks off, we can't say the same thing for "Black Sun". O.K. lets go step by step. First four songs (attention: including intro!) are a complete legacy of previous release. Fantastic alive voltage. Yes!

"Revolution" is untypical Primal Fear song with broken riffing and strange vocal lines that are put together with riffs. "This song is totally fucked up and nothing fits together as it should!" I thought to myself, when listening to it for the first time. And I still think the same after tenth listening.

The band is improvising too much in sound. We can find out that vocals and riffing don't fit together well, mostly in refrains. Riff is played and than added vocal line goes time to time even into half tuned endings in refrains. Well composed songs are killed one by one. Production is forcing Ralf's vocals to the limits and even some well done breaks are massacred because of that.

Even melodic cliché "Mind Control" can't help much. So you must stay calm and patient until "We Came Down". This is a hellish striker. A 100% Primal Fear at least. High screams are well balanced with venomous alive riffing. So what is wrong with the new release?

Choruses of certain songs. A perfect riff strikes the beginning and in pre-chorus of a song also, but than comes chorus with Ralf's strange decisions in choosing his vocal lines. To kill the songs in refrains for sure, Ralf's vocals are tastelessly backgrounded, that can drive you really mad when listening to it, because they are completely not in complement with riffs. So a great and very alive guitar work becomes unexpressive. Vocal is overforced (a lack of balance) and sometimes not tuned in refrains as it should be.

And guitars are the only thing that we can be satisfied with. Double team work of Wolter/Leibing is magnificent. We can hear great changes in lead breaks, hellish alive sound that is produced by active pick-ups, so you can hear every single lick. A great use of tremolo in well composed melodies in solos and all sort of different passages. A fantastic drive in every single point of a new release. Because of that, all songs, even those with mainly "fucked up" refrains ("Mind Machine", "Silence", "Cold Day In Hell", "Fear", "Controlled", "Magic Eye") are worth of listening. So guitar work is so well done and that saves Primal Fear's fourth release from being a product that doesn't achieve criteria expected from the band.

After all, this is not a bad release. It is just a problem that we have to deal with a great fight between Ralf on vocals and guitar riffing. A new release is very hard for listening.

Author:   Ale¹

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