Sunday, October 5, 2014

Metal Is Forever!

Primal Fear – Delivering The Black

Frontiers Records – 2014

Muthas, the ever prolific Primal Fear has unleashed their tenth studio album in just sixteen years and it’s sehr gut!  Delivering The Black features a bumper crop of memorable, anthemic cuts that herald a great return to form.  The band hasn't had any terrible albums, but their material has become a bit formulaic and forgettable in the past several years.  Thankfully, the new album proves that Primal Fear can still (ahem) deliver the goods.      

The album kicks off with “King For A Day” and it’s immediately clear that Primal Fear has stepped up their game on the new record.  The song is speedy, beefy Power Metal that they have specialized in since their debut way back in 1998.  Check out the video for “King For A Day” below for confirmation:

There are many other excellent songs such as the absolutely killer and epic “When Death Comes Knocking,” the amped-up speedball “Rebel Faction” and the anthemic, mid-paced grinder “Alive & On Fire.”  Frankly, there are virtually no songs on the album that aren't excellent. Check out the video for “When Death Comes Knocking” below:

The centerpiece of the album is the amazing and emotional “One Night In December.”  This song will certainly rank among the best tracks in their catalog. I was lucky enough to see the band live on the tour for this album and this song went over great.  The crowd absolutely ate it up and didn't notice that the track was over nine minutes long.  
As an aside, this record is a great example of how important sequencing is when it comes to the flow of an album.  Delivering The Black offers up two speedy tracks, then a mid-paced song, followed by three more fast cuts and then they hit you with the nine minute epic.  This is how you do it people!  Grab the listener’s attention right off the bat and then take them on a journey.  If you don’t hook a listener early on, you are probably never going to get them back.  I know I harp on sequencing, but so many albums are ruined by the lack of flow in the modern day. Vinyl at least forced bands to think about how to place tracks for maximum impact, and that’s sorely missing in our benighted digital age. 

The only real clunker on the album is the ballad “Born With a Broken Heart.”  It’s not terrible, but feels like a perfunctory bit of filler. Another minor issue is the song title “Inseminoid” which is cringe-inducing and reminds me of a couple of Roger Corman movies. Egads! I’ll just chalk it up to English being a second language for the band.  The song itself is good though, so that will help you not focus on the absurd song title. 

As mentioned previously, I had the good fortune to see Primal Fear live and the band ripped the roof off the venue.  They sounded great live and gave it their all, even for the paltry crowd of 100 or so that turned out to see them.  They played four songs from the new album and they slotted in great with such staples as “Running In The Dust,” “Chainbreaker” and “Nuclear Fire.”  Go see them if you get the chance.  Ralf approves of this sentiment:

Thumbs Up Pittsburgh!

The Bottom Line:

Primal Fear have delivered a great slab of Power Metal that will satisfy any Metal fan.  Go out and grab it and don't fear the Inseminoid! (Unless you happen to be in a Roger Corman film.)  

As always, MAKE MINE METAL!   

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