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Primal Fear – New Religion

Label: Locomotive Records
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Following the path started on their last release “Seven Seals”, Primal Fear continue playing as always no frills traditional style heavy metal (Judas Priest) with a touch of the European sound (Gamma Ray), while for a second time incorporating some orchestrations.

 

Oddly enough (ironically, I don’t really know is a word when it comes to the parallels between PF and Priest) opening track “Sign of Fear” begins with pounding drums and sounds a lot like Rob Halford’s project Fight and the song “Nailed to the Gun”. It’s a good song and strong opener but I think they may get more flack again for being too Priestish.

“Everytime it Rains” uses the orchestrations, subtly, as well as Ralf Scheepers trading off verses and dueting with Epica siren Simone Simons. It’s a really good arrangement with a strong chorus and the two voices compliment each other real well but I am so done with the duets, everyone has been doing them in the past couple years. The title track brings the band back to their roots removing the adding instruments relying on good old fashioned crunchy guitar riffs (Henry Wolter returns on second guitar which I was happy to hear) and a stead fast drum beat by Randy Black.

The epic ballad “Fighting the Darkness” (first single/video) is definitely one of Primal Fear’s crowning moments in their career. After the standard verse/chorus it breaks down into a down played orchestral landscape followed by a more up tempo solo section, followed again by the grand chorus. It packs a nice punch and the arrangement changes work very well.

What follows is standard fair for Primal Fear. Rockers that chug along with the focus on those riffs, “Blood on Your Hands” here is a nice follow up to the ballad “Darkness”. The Gamma Ray and the sing a long melodies come into play for “The Curse of Sharon” with an Accept swing of the hammer for “Psycho”. Ralf also belts out some great vocals for the chorus.

Along with Hammerfall, and Edguy, Primal Fear have been fighting the good fight raising the flag keeping Heavy Metal pure for ten years and I think have earned their stripes as second generation successors to the classic metal throne. What do you think? “New Religion” is from start to finish solid, up there with “Black Sun”, ‘Jaws of Death”, and “Seven Seals”.

 
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