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Primal Fear: Unbreakable

Back in days when the likes of Judas Priest could bring Metal dominance to not just their own genre, but to the world at large, the likes of Primal Fear would also have been sweeping aside all in their path to fame and fortune. Put simply Primal Fear are that good and Unbreakable, while adding a little more refinement to the band's more basic bludgeoning attack, merely serves to prove that point even further. If you are unaware of the type of pummelling riffs, crashing drums and the powerful, yet fully controlled vocal assault that this band have been making their trademark for nearly fourteen years, then basically Power Metal isn't for you - or you've been negligent in your duty to all things riffage! Either way Primal Fear haven't ever really strayed far from their pure Metal path and when the results are as consistently good as Unbreakable, then who can blame them?

With the twin guitar attack of Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt locking together in inseparable fashion, you can be assured that even by Primal standards this album packs an almighty wallop and when you add to that the unfussy, but pinpoint drumming of Randy Black, then you really do have the recipe for the tastiest Power Metal around. If that wasn't enough though, it is the two remaining original members of Primal Fear who really raise this band above the many hundreds trying to wrestle away their crown. Bassist Mat Sinner is undoubtedly one of the best four-stringers out there, but his ability to add his production skills to this band's sound puts them at a huge advantage, as does having the marvellously evocative vocals of Ralf Scheepers bringing this undoubted array of talent together in grandly cohesive style.

If you are looking for prime time Power Metal with a full quota of searing guitars and double kick mayhem, then the likes of "Unbreakable (part2)" and "Strike" will raise a crazed smile. However as alluded to earlier, the real power behind this Power Metal is that Primal Fear are never too afraid to bend their own blueprint, with the slow stomp of "Metal Nation" being an ultra-melodic, if equally hard hitting highlight, while "Where Angels Die" offers up an unusually Symphonic side to this band. Having said that, we came here to Rock and "Marching Again", "And Then There Was Silence" and "Blaze Of Glory", ensure that no one is going to be unhappy on that score either.

Unbreakable further reinforces the Power Metal legacy of a band who have undoubtedly been at the genre's forefront for quite some time now and on this evidence Primal Fear don't look likely to be relinquishing that spot any time soon.

Track Listing
01. Unbreakable (Part 1)
02. Strike
03. Give 'Em Hell
04. Bad Guys Wear Black
05. And There Was Silence
06. Metal Nation
07. Where Angels Die
08. Unbreakable (Part 2)
09. Marching Again
10. Born Again
11. Blaze Of Glory
12. Conviction
13. Night Of The Jumps (Bonus Track)*
14. Bad Guys Wear Black (Video)*
* Only available in the first pressing in digipak

Added: January 14th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Official Primal Fear Site
Hits: 3467
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Primal Fear: Unbreakable
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-14 07:45:37
My Score:

Though they don't have a reputation as the most revolutionary group in metal, Primal Fear has gained a large following of dedicated heavy metal fans over the years, many of whom will claim that they are one of the most consistently kick-ass bands in the biz. Listening to Unbreakable is proof that these German metalheads are one of the most impressive bands keeping the torch of traditional heavy metal alive, and while they mainly look to the past for their sound, the amount of ass-kicking you'll hear on this album is enough to justify a purchase from any melodic heavy metal fan. The number of anthem-like choruses, killer guitar solos, and soaring vocal melodies on Unbreakable is almost unheard of - from beginning to end, this is some of the most instantly memorable heavy metal out there. What Primal Fear may lack in terms of innovation is made up by their expertly crafted compositions, and although they may not appeal to the more forward-thinking metal crowd, this is some of the best melodic heavy metal out there. If you, like me, enjoy some ass-kicking throwback heavy metal from time to time, it doesn't get much better than Unbreakable!

Like all Primal Fear albums, the killer vocals from Ralf Scheepers are at the forefront of these melodic and heavy compositions. His soaring vocal melodies are complimented by mean riffs and a rock-solid rhythm section, as well as plenty of breathtaking guitar solos from Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt. This is a group of top-notch musicians, and there's not a moment on Unbreakable when I doubt their abilities as players and composers. Though most of the songs are relatively fast-paced, there is enough variation throughout Unbreakable (like the surprisingly awesome ballad "Born Again") to keep things from ever sounding dull. Every song is well-written and memorable, although the lyrics occasionally sound a bit cliched - songs like "Metal Nation" sport lyrics that almost sound like a parody, but for those who are able to look past occasionally silly lyrics, there's plenty of top-notch melodic heavy metal here.

Although the style of melodic heavy metal that Primal Fear offers has been done to death over the years, few bands pull it off with as much success as these German veterans. Unbreakable is filled to the brim with unforgettable songwriting and stunning musicianship, and I'd say it's a perfect way to start 2012 for any melodic heavy metal fan. I do crave a bit more ambition and creativity from Primal Fear's core sound, but doing so may very well jeopardize what makes this band so great - they simply deliver excellent heavy metal as it was originally intended, and it is worth checking out for anyone who thinks that sounds appealing. All in all, Unbreakable is a really great album from Primal Fear that I intend to enjoy through 2012 and beyond. 4 stars are well-deserved.

Primal Fear: Unbreakable
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-04 08:14:18
My Score:

German power metal outfit Primal Fear have certainly busted through the gate here in early 2012 with one of the must hear albums of the New Year. Unbreakable sees the veteran act doing what they do best, and that's deliver hard hitting, melodic heavy metal, long on crunchy riffs, flashy solos, powerful rhythms, anthemic choruses, and fantastic vocals. Leading the charge as always is the commanding presence of Ralf Scheepers, he of the histrionic vocal delivery, bald head, and muscular frame. Scheepers is in fine form throughout, soaring to the heavens on crushing numbers "Strike", "Bad Guys Wear Black", and "Blaze of Glory". His partner in crime, bassist Mat Sinner, provides the formidable thump, solid backing vocals, and stellar production techniques that we've come to expect from him, and the rest of the outfit here is rounded out by veteran drummer Randy Black and the wicked guitar tandem of Magnus Karlsson & Alex Beyrodt, both of whom have now been in the band a few years.

Though some may say the song titles and lyrics are total heavy metal cliche and cheesy, Primal Fear never made any bones from the get go about their intentions, and Unbreakable is no exception. Crushers like "Metal Nation", "Conviction", and "Unbreakable (Part 2)" deliver the goods in a big way, featuring massive riff-o-rama and the unbelievable pipes of Scheepers, prompting the listener to bang their head, crank up the air guitar, and raise their fist in the air. Also look for the catchy power metal ballad "Where Angels Die", a great symphonic rocker that shows another side to the band.

To summarize, Unbreakable is another in a long line of strong releases from Primal Fear. No nonsense, classic heavy metal, just like it should be. Kudos once again to this great band for keeping the spirit alive.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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