You want fast power metal? Arachnes will give you fast power metal. These four Italians will pummel your auditory senses with galloping riffs, dancing keyboards and accent-tinged vocals. In fact, the 15 tracks on Primary Fear, Arachnes' fourth full-length studio album, are over and done with in less than 51 minutes. That's not to say there's little of substance here. Although the band's previous album, Apocalypse, boasted the same approach but with a bit more diversity, Primary Fear still marks a new phase in the band's career, placing greater emphasis on group vocals, choirs and a majestic church organ.
After a brief instrumental opening and three voracious tracks, the band changes the pace with a couple more instrumentals, the atmospheric "Still Waters" and the aptly titled "Thriller," before launching into a series of darker and slower tracks that manage to impress more than the previous ones thanks to memorable melodies, better song structures and less-intense tempos. In fact, the ballad "My Son and I" may be one of the prettiest songs this band has ever recorded.
The lyrics on Primary Fear are still whacked — "And we are here/With our shocking pains/A weak market, a black day/We are still like silly things/With a little smile," from "The Warning" — but at least the music offers solid power-speed metal with symphonic and progressive flourishes that should satisfy some cravings.