|Review: Primal Fear - Apocalypse|
Label: Frontiers Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: August 12, 2018
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 4/5 (80%) (23 Votes)
Apocalypse is album number 12 in Primal Fear's long career, and yet another quality release from the masters of Teutonic Heavy/Power Metal. After the symphonic and...well, apocalyptic intro – already a registered mark of the band – the album kicks in with the mind-blowing "New Rise", right about the same time my fears of this being a shitty album because of how horrible was the single released, "Hounds of Justice", crumbled and I wet my pants in enjoyment. The sense of urgency, the double pedals destroying everything, Scheeper's masterful high screams...it's all here, and it's the best start possible to an album; one of the best songs ever released by Primal Fear.
The terminal velocity and the classic Power Metal song structure, though, are exclusive to the first track, as can clearly be seen with the follow-up "The Ritual", as well as on "The Beast". The band has reached a point where songs like "Formula One", "Chainbreaker", "Angel in Black" and "Black Sun" will become rarer by the day, and tracks such as this one – slower and heavier, even modern at times – are the new game. The distorted guitar du...trio (I'll never get used to this) and a louder bass by Sinner dictate the rhythm of such tracks, which is fine for grabbing some new followers to the Fear ranks.
As it is with every Primal Fear album since Seven Seals (2005), the symphonic elements combined with a semi-ballad songwriting are more present than ever here, as "King of Madness" and "Supernova" show the theatrical and melodic side of Scheepers, which delivers ace performance during both, especially in the choruses; beware of the amount of sugar and cheesiness in the two songs, though, even more so in the latter, where the Germans show their epic side. Songs like "Eye of the Storm" follows the same path, but borrows elements from Scheeper's Tyran Pace era by being more direct and smoother if compared to its peers above.
As a fan since their first album, I'm always hoping to see more speed and power in Primal Fear's songs like they did with "New Rise", but 1/11 just doesn't make the cut for me, so the old-timers will have to grow accustomed to this new Primal Fear. It's a step above Rulebreaker (2015), so it's nice to see the band soaring as high as ever, and the fact that the train-wreck "Hounds of Justice" is an isolated case makes things even better. So, buckle up and fly once more with the eagle towards the beautiful realm of German heavy metal, because it never disappoints.
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