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Primal Fear: Devil's Ground

After the relentless assault of 2002's Black Sun, Primal Fear's fourth studio album, the German headbangers must have realized that they don't need to pulverize listeners with faster-than-thou songs. There wasn't a lot of variety on Black Sun, which is why Devil's Ground sounds so refreshing. Packed with plenty of anthems ("Metal Is Forever," "In Metal" and "Colony 13"), a couple of slow-burning hymns ("The Healer" and "Wings of Desire") and enough traditional metal ("Sea of Flames," "Sacred Illusion," "Suicide and Mania"), Devil's Ground swells with class.

Granted, the classic Judas Priest influences are still here — right down to including the word "metal" in the song titles — and Primal Fear's brand of screeching melodic power metal is nothing new. In fact, I heard something similar from another European band yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that …

But ex-Gamma Ray singer Ralf Scheepers, bassist Mat Sinner (Sinner), dual guitarists Stefan Leibing and Tom Naumann (Sinner), and drummer Randy Black (ex-Annihilator) forge their own collective identity here more than on any other Primal Fear disc, making Devil's Ground the group's best album — discounting, that is, the spoken-word title track about going to hell and being stuck there forever. If you're new to the band, this is the perfect place to start. If you're a longtime fan, I daresay this is the record you've been waiting for…

Track Listing

1) Metal Is Forever (4:46)
2) Suicide and Mania (4:03)
3) Visions of Fate (4:49)
4) Sea of Flames (4:00)
5) The Healer (6:40)
6) Sacred Illusion (4:02)
7) In Metal (5:14)
8) Soulchaser (4:52)
9) Colony 13 (3:55)
10) Wings of Desire (6:45)
11) Heart of a Brave (4:54)
12) Devil's Ground (2:07)
Total Running Time (56:15)

Added: February 16th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Primal Fear Web Site
Hits: 3697
Language: english

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