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Review: Primal Fear - Primal Fear
Primal Fear
Primal Fear

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 1998
Duration: 47:29
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: March 8, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Primal Fear

Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (8 Votes)

Everyone likely knows by now how former Gamma Ray singer Ralf Scheepers narrowly lost out on being Judas Priest's new singer to Tim "Ripper" Owens then decided to form his own band, Primal Fear. On their self-titled debut from 1998, it takes just until the first chorus of opening track "Chainbreaker" to start thinking about what could have been. Scheepers has a great voice and is much more a Halford doppelganger than Owens, to my ears anyway, and "Chainbreaker" sounds like a song that would have fit effortlessly on Painkiller or Ram it Down. It's one of a number of crunchy, power metal songs that make up this album. Squealing solos, racing riffs, and pounding drums are a recipe for headbanging that has served many a band well and Primal Fear is no different. However, like a lot of Priest albums, Primal Fear also has some filler like the overly simplistic "Formula 1" or "Dollar" which is trying to sound edgy and dark but comes out dull and uninspiring. Despite any weakness in the songwriting, the performances are excellent, led by the vocal acrobatics of Scheepers, who is a pleasure to listen to as he's got the right attitude and skills to take any song to the next level. Primal Fear (the band) has released better albums, but their debut has enough quality to make it a welcome addition to the power metal fan's collection.

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