Primal Fear – Delivering The Black
Reviewed by Arno Callens
Primal Fear has gone through a fair few stages in its career. From the early days of Priest-worship through the ever increasing epic scope culminating in Seven Seals to an inevitable decline in quality. By all means it appeared they had peaked. Then came Unbreakable and the band found a second (or third or fourth) breath, which continues well into Delivering The Black.
I for one nominate Magnus Karlsson as the catalyst. His vibrant and soulful guitar play has provided Primal Fear with new forms of energy and when Ralf Scheepers howls “We are alive!” you can’t but believe him. Be it German metal commando attacks or Teutonic power metal bursts, it all sounds fresh if also familiar.
Similar to its predecessor, Delivering The Black has plenty of both. “King For A Day”, the title track, and “Pray For Justice” are among the best balls-to-the-wall anthems this side of Accept, with Scheepers still auditioning to throw Rob Halford off the throne. On the other side, “Rebel Faction”, “Road To Asylum”, and “Inseminoid” are that perfect blend of Helloween melodicism and furious Teutonic riffs.
But Primal Fear has a softer touch as well. “When Death Comes Knocking” is a remarkably more reserved single than “Bad Guys Wear Black” and “One Night In December” rivals “Where Angels Die” for its mix of epic feel and intimacy. Even the ballad “Born With A Broken Heart” is a tasty slice of cheese, just like “Born Again” was before.
Primal Fear is eight albums in now, and while there will probably never be another Seven Seals, the band lives on, and is enjoying one hell of a later life. Such is not the way of many acts – but not everyone has Magnus Karlsson in its ranks, or Ralf Scheepers, or stalwart Mat Sinner himself. Delivering The Black delivers, but not the black, just a whole lot of power.
4.0 // 5