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Review: Primal Fear - The History Of Fear
Primal Fear
The History Of Fear

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 150 min.

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 5, 2004
Reviewed by: Pierre B├ęgin
Readers Rating
The History Of Fear

Rated 4.22/5 (84.44%) (9 Votes)

"The History Of Fear" is the very first Primal Fear DVD available. I was eager to finally see and hear this Teutonic metal band playing live. This DVD offers me the chance twice with not one, but two live gigs!

The main feature of this DVD is both full gigs (Wacken Open Air 2001 and Black Sun Tour 2002). The Wacken Open Air is a 43 minutes set list with the band playing on a sunny day. The sound is pretty average in Dolby Digital 5.1; it's hard to distinguish the guitars, especially the solos. Having listened to many live performances on DVD, this was the most difficult one to adjust to date; the subwoofer was way too loud in the mix, the voices difficult to distinguish, and the two rear speakers too present. Once the sound is adjusted, it's acceptable though. I didn't really dig their set list either: too many fast-tunes-double-kick and a lack of variety. Nevertheless, it's a great performance and my favourite moment was the opener "Angel In Black", the excellent "Running In The Dust" and "Silver & Gold" with its solid melodic chorus.

I really prefer the second gig, the Black Sun Tour 2002 where the band plays a 55 minutes set list in an indoor venue. The concert is more diversified and the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is a lot better than in the Wacken Open Air show. There is less reverberation into the sound and we can better differentiate the instruments, the vocals and especially the lead guitars. The highlights are "Church Of Blood", "Under Your Spell" and "Tears Of Rage". They finished their set with a very good medley featuring excerpts of "One With The World", a song Ralf Sheepers used to sing in Gamma Ray, and "Metal Gods" from Judas Priest, the renowned band that inspired Primal Fear a lot throughout their albums.

They played a different set list in both gigs which is a good thing; only "Chainbreaker" is present on both set lists. I don't understand why "Dollars" is not played in one of these concerts; this is a very good song and one of my favourites Primal Fear songs. The picture quality of both gigs is very good with various camera angles. The band is very tight on both concerts; Ralf sings extremely well and the lead guitars are especially very well executed by both guitarists. The band members are in top shape. Note that, like I said previously, both concerts can be heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 although they forgot to mention it on the back cover of the DVD (they only wrote the PCM Stereo format).

This DVD also contains two videoclips: "Angel In Black" and "Armageddon". These are two good clips and a brilliant effort from the band since it's so difficult to get airplay with true and excellent music nowadays! There is also a section called "Metal Warrior Report - Wacken 1999", which is about 4 minutes of footage of live performance and shows short interviews with band members, especially Ralf. Finally, the bootleg section is 37 minutes of footage at various gigs around the world. The highlight is a short excerpt of Ralf Sheepers and Joacim Cans from HammerFall, where they sang together during the classic "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" of Judas Priest at Bang Your Head festival 2000.

There is also a CD included in this package which contains the Wacken Open Air gig (the same as on the DVD). I would have preferred to have the Black Sun one, since I like the better sound and set list. However, this is a nice and appreciated addition.

Overall, a good 150 minutes DVD with a lot of materials from this classic power metal band. I was particularly pleased by the two different gigs with different set lists. Both videoclips are also nice additions. Moreover, there is a bonus live audio CD and a nice booklet including many pictures and information. This nice package is recommended to every metalhead who worships true power metal.

Additional Information

Includes bonus audio CD (Wacken Open Air 2001)

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