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Primal Fear/ Havok/ DesDemon

Date: 5/20/10
Venue: Gramercy Theater, Manhattan, New York
Reviewed by: Rich Catino

New York based goth/power/prog metallers DesDemon are really just at the infant stages of existence, and their debut release, "The Awakening" 5-song E.P., is only a little over a year old. So they have a lot of growing to do. Opening for Primal Fear is one of the five-piece’s first major shows in front of a decent size audience, and it shows. Not a bad bunch of players, the music is alright, combining the elements of the Euro metal with gothic keyboards, but as far as stage presence…aside from Tina the rest of the guys were statues. And they really have no look either.

Havok…a three piece…really?? You would never know it given what comes out of the speakers. Now these youngsters had their shit together, looking and sounding like the spawn of German legends Destruction. I liked these guys a lot. They hit the stage like a thrash ball of fire. Check out their debut "Burn".

After what must have been a successful string of dates in September of last year, Primal Fear returned to the U.S. for some more shows in support of their latest album "16.6". Now, I’m a big fan of the German Metal Commandos and really wish they would get the respect they deserve here in the States (because as we all know NOBODY plays their music (or any Euro style metal) on major market hard rock radio, yes, I’m talking to you WDHA and Q104.3 on the east coast. And rightfully, if anyone is looking for the next band to succeed Judas Priest (at least in style and spirit, people, don’t read too into it) it would be Primal Fear because as we all know Priest can’t tour much longer. Someone has to take over the reins. Unfortunately, if tonight’s crowd is any indication of their American audience (number wise), it may never happen.

Minus ‘Battalions Of Hate’, ‘Chainbreaker’, and ‘Hands Of Time’ (which were cut), this sadly was the same setlist as last years, again, with the album "Black Sun" overlooked. Regardless, great song choice, the band was excellent and really tight (it’s just like listening to the album), and Ralf Scheepers delivers the goods every time when he opens his mouth.

You Rob Halford worshipers should really take notice! And as you can see from my pictures, bassist Mat Sinner with guitarists Henny Wolter and Alex Beyrodt, and drummer Randy Black put forth a ton of energy electrifying the crowd. These guys are clearly having a lot of fun playing with each other on stage.

Like last year, Pamela Moore (Queensryche's Sister Mary) made an appearance singing a stirring duet with Ralf for 'Seven Seals' and 'Fighting The Darkness' (dedicated to Ronnie James Dio), and Halford guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak joining the boys for a rendition of Judas Priest’s ‘Metal Gods’ to close the night.

Aside from my issues with the repeat setlist, Primal Fear is a force to be reckoned with and North America needs to wake up and smell the Germans (that goes for Edguy, too)!


Primal Fear Setlist
Final Embrace
Nuclear Fire
Six Times Dead
Angel In Black
Seven Seals
Sign of Fear
Fighting the Darkness
Riding the Eagle
Running in the Dust
Metal is Forever
Metal Gods

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