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'Delivering The Black'
(Frontiers Records)
Release Date: 24th January 2014

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

primal fear

It seems remarkable that the band was formed back in 1997 by two purveyors of solid Heavy Metal, Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner. Yet the band still continues to ravage and rage with their almost primitive display of the Heavy Metal form.

Let's not get bogged down in schematics like whether it's Speed Metal, Power Metal and that sort of thing, we'll just get down to business with this listening experience.

This album celebrates the fact it is their 10th studio album and really goes for the jugular to boot! The title track stands out for being a corker and so does the rather novel ballad 'Born With A Broken Heart' which features the Leaves' Eyes lead vocalist Liv Kristine.

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I use the word novel due to Primal Fear essentially being associated with riff-a-rama and the rallying cry while beating the chest of all that is good about Metal. 'Delivering The Black' chugs along with the best of them crushing some melody within the vocal lines.

The ballad I mentioned above has strings complementing the finger-picking acoustic guitar before some distortion adds a dynamic change. Sweeping along on an accessible melody line throughout, it really has some power and the right amount of cheese to make it a real highlight.

Almost the Primal Fear answer to 'Kashmir', 'One Night In December' wades in just over nine and a half minutes long mixing up some epic riff-a-rama in conjunction with some dramatic atmosphere subtly provided by the keyboards. Around five minutes in to the song you get some light-industrial sounding percussion and some delicate keys as the whole arrangement builds the tension finding a balance between guitar and pace.

As an additional epic moment, the song 'When Death Comes Knocking' also does the business passing through the seven minute barrier without breaking sweat.

Prepare for a bruisin' as your ears tackle 'Road To Asylum' with its no-nonsense parade of thundering drums and that relentless riff. Incidentally, the guitar solo is quite something as it dances along to the barrage of Heavy Metal instrumentation. 'Never Pray For Justice' surprises with an introduction consisting of the buzzing of a chainsaw!

Once the shock has worn off, the band is firing on all cylinders with their brutish intent. Lyrics dwell in the city of the clichéd during this performance but that is expected to a certain degree when confronted with this sort of style and sound.

'Inseminoid' is riding some sort of galloping beast that has no way of slowing down as the rapid drumming dictate the pace. These guys aren't going to end this album with a ballad, they're here to reiterate their 'Metal credentials! The chorus is hook-laden with steel spikes probing the flesh and once it is done, you can't help but let out an exhausted sigh.

At times they're reminiscent of Judas Priest (chorus of 'Alive And On Fire' or during 'King For A Day'), then you get hints of Helloween (at points during 'Rebel Faction' or occasionally throughout 'Road To Asylum'), but ultimately you're not likely to forget that they're Primal Fear.

Watch those razor sharp riffs don't cut open your ears as they very rarely compromise, and they deliver their interpretation of black with a nonchalant penchant for authentic and pure Heavy Metal.

King For A Day
Rebel Faction
When Death Comes Knocking
Alive And On Fire
Delivering The Black
Road To Asylum
One Night In December
Never Pray For Justice
Born With A Broken Heart

Ralf Scheepers - Vocals
Mat Sinner - Bass, Vocals
Magnus Karlsson - Guitars, Keyboards
Alex Beyrodt - Guitars
Randy Black - Drums

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