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Primal Fear

Venue: Blender Theater, Manhattan, New York
Date: 9/12/09
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Why are Primal Fear still only playing to a couple hundred people in the States, not on any major summer festivals or opening for the likes of Maiden, Priest, or Metallica? It amazes how Primal Fear, Hammerfall, and Edguy remain under the radar (no pun intended) and have yet to become as popular as they are in other parts of the world. How much longer will American hard rockers and headbangers turn a blind ear to these great European bands?? Hughh??

If you are a fan of Judas Priest and Accept (which I’m sure any real metalhead would be), then there is no reason why you are not listening to Primal Fear and seeing them live. It’s just unacceptable. And why major market hard rock and metal radio continues not to play Primal Fear is even more confusing.

Primal Fear are out supporting an excellent new album (their 8th) entitled “16.6 Before The Devil Knows Your Dead”, playing ‘Under The Radar’, ‘Riding the Eagle’ and the bone crunching title track. Primal’s meaty backbone is held down by Randy Black on the drums, founding member bassist Mat Sinner with guitarist Henny Wolter joined by Magnus Karlsson’s temporary replacement Alex Beyrodt on second guitar. Frontman Ralf Scheepers is everything you’d ever want in a metal singer; power, range, a classic tone, a singer that has balls yet can be tender (I use that word loosely and in reference to the ballads). As you can see from my pictures all five members have a great look and stage presence. Ralf’s chest and arms are as huge as his voice and screams and Alex adds just enough of Yngwie Malmsteen’s style and flash without going overboard. Songs played tonight often in their set include ‘Battalions Of Hate’, ‘Angel in Black’, ‘Final Embrace’, and ‘Nuclear Fire’, though I was rather disappointed we didn’t hear anything from the excellent “Black Sun” album like ‘Armageddon’.

Pamela Moore (who you may know from her contributions to Queensryche’s "Operation Mindcrime") was a special guest singing a duet with Ralf on the epic ballad 'Fighting The Darkness' which was a highlight of the night. Really it was a show stopper but then again the whole show was just great. After the anthem ‘Metal Is Forever’, as an encore the guys came back with acoustic guitars to play the stripped down ‘Hands Of Time’ spotlighting all members voices as each takes a verse. Nicely done, guys! Come back soon!


Under the Radar
Battalions of Hate
Nuclear Fire
16.6 (Six Times Dead)
Angel In Black
Sign of Fear
Fighting the Darkness
Riding the Eagle
Final Embrace
Metal Is Forever
Hands of Time
Seven Seals

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