|Review: Primal Fear - Metal Commando|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2020
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: August 17, 2020
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 4/5 (80%) (17 Votes)
German heavy metal has always been one of my favorite subgenres. The crunchy riffs and badass attitude that comes with it is energizing and simple enough to keep every metalhead company for a long time. Veterans in the scene, Primal Fear have a consolidated career in making sweet, quality heavy/power metal, and Metal Commando further solidifies that. Tracks like "I Am Alive", "Hear Me Calling" and "I Will Be Gone" show the more melodic, catchy side of the band, while strong, no-frills power metal anthems such as "Along Came the Devil" and "My Name Is Fear" pick up the pace and reminisce the older days of Primal Fear, mainly Nuclear Fire (2001) and Black Sun (2002).
Ralf Scheepers, as always, steals the show with his high-pitched notes and thunderous vocals. From traditional metal moments like in "Raise Your Fists" to "Howl of the Banshee"—where his voice needs to be more soothing and honeyed—the guy proves time and time again why he's one of the best metal singers of all time.
Since there are always pre-existent parameters to Primal Fear's sound, it's nice to see them leave from the comfort zone like in "Afterlife" and "Infinity". Even if the song structures remain the same, the riffs have a more modern feel to it and "Infinity" is as epic as it comes, clocking in at 13 minutes, something that the band hadn't done in a while.
The energy here ranges from laid-back, mid-tempo tunes to something slightly faster, similarly to albums like Unbreakable (2012) and Delivering the Black (2014). Production-wise it's something we would expect from a Primal Fear album, as Mat Sinner is meticulous and perfectionist when it comes to sounding as good as a record can.
All in all, Metal Commando sees Primal Fear trying to touch base with some of its roots, without losing the more modern approach used in most recent albums. It's another great release from the Teutonic group and, despite being safe throughout its course, definitely has memorable moments. Primal Fear can do no wrong, and here they are proving it once again.
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