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Review: Primal Fear - 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)
Primal Fear
16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 61:14
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 2.75/5

Review online: July 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)

Rated 3.54/5 (70.86%) (35 Votes)

After the mostly awful New Religion, I was prepared for Primal Fear to descend completely into suck, but here we have another album that while not bad, is still no match for the likes of Nuclear Fire or Black Sun. Ever since Seven Seals Primal Fear seem to have been foundering, flailing around in new directions on every song, as if trying to figure out what to do. It seems plain that matt Sinner is dedicated to trying for a more commercial sound, and equally plain that he has no idea how to do that, so he keeps trying little experiments from the modern-metal idiocy of some of the tracks on the last two albums, to the goth-rock of "Everytime It Rains". The good news is this album has some stuff that is better than the last two, but it's still not good.

Now things get going well with "Riding The Eagle", which is almost like a real Primal Fear song, and then they plumb the depths of music's anus with the horrible "Six Times Dead". These first two songs (I'm not counting the pointless intro track) pretty much encapsulate everything there is to know about this album. "Riding The Eagle" has genuine metallic riffs, even if the guitar tone is crap. "Six Times Dead" is just a bunch of stupid groove riffs with the worst chorus PF have ever produced. I really, actively hate that song. The album continues in this vein, with decent tunes like "Black Rain", and "Under The Radar", and then there are the crap tracks like "Soar", "Killbound", and the wretched "No Smoke Without Fire". Oh, and let's not forget the gut-churning ballad that closes the album out, because we know what all PF fans want is a limp-wristed ballad that makes Ralf Scheepers sound like he's had his nuts surgically removed. Oh yeah.

There's some decent stuff on here, but this is frigging Primal Fear – I have a right to expect better than ‘decent'. And when an album is less than half decent and more than half passive-aggressive bullshit, then that's not nearly good enough. Matt, I know you want to sell more records, but this shit you're making just sounds like ass, and all it's going to do is drive away all the fans you used to have. I can't really recommend that anyone spend money on this half-assed album.

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