Primal Fear: 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)
German metal band Primal Fear are one popular group that have powered forward since forming in the late nineties and releasing their debut self titled album in 1998. Founded by singer Ralf Scheepers and bass player/vocalist Mat Sinner, these two are the only original members in the present lineup. Primal Fear have consistently released rock solid albums, crammed with blistering heavy metal and more hooks than your local fishing store.
So, following on from 2007's New Religion, we have the latest blazing CD from Primal Fear titled 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead), and as per usual their new album comes complete with very cool, attention seizing artwork. It's all on here, from the commanding/distinctive voice of Ralf Scheepers, the pumping bass of Mat Sinner, Randy Black's explosive drumming and the scorching guitars of Magnus Karlsson and Henny Wolter. The ltd edition digi pack version, has two bonus tracks "Cry Havoc" and "Scream", and a video clip for the heavy crusher "Six Times Dead(16.6)", all worth that bit extra.
Opening with the short instrumental "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead", next the restraints are off as "Riding The Eagle" bursts to life, with its catchy sing-along chorus. "Six Times Dead (16.6)" has a great Rammstein like guitar vibe, and next the band shows their diversity with "Black Rain" which has a Middle Eastern meets metal feel. Track six "5.0 / Torn" is a fine metal groover with one of the many catchy choruses on this CD. There are your head banging tracks like the rocking "Killbound", to the much lighter moments with CD closer "Hands Of Time".
So come on Power Metal fans, seek out 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) and support the guys from Primal Fear, a band that hasn't ventured down commercial road, and are still releasing the music we love.
1. Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
2. Riding The Eagle
3. Six Times Dead (16.6)
4. Black Rain
5. Under The Radar
6. 5.0 / Torn
9. No Smoke Without Fire
10. Night After Night
11. Smith & Wesson
12. The Exorcist
13. Hands Of Time
14. Cry Havoc-bonus track
15. Scream-bonus track
Added: June 26th 2009
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
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|Primal Fear: 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-06-26 13:35:59
The new one from Primal Fear was, quite frankly, something I'd really been looking forward to for some time. For many years, I'd practically written these German power metal tyrants off as a mere Judas Priest clone, but in recent times have grown quite fond of their potent metal attack, which, after repeated listens, is not really all that similar to the mighty Priest, save for Ralf Scheepers' somewhat Halford-ish delivery.
After two listens of 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead), I was starting to feel a little let down, that all the anticipation was leading to a major disappointment. Well, I'm glad I gave this one a few more chances to impress, and it certainly has. These days, so many CDs just contain so much music, which makes it harder for an album to make an immediate impact, something that surely happened with this release. As of this writing, I'm still not convinced that this is Primal Fear's finest hour (some of their earlier material is so strong I'm not sure they can ever top it, and their last release, New Religion, was stellar in my opinion), but it's damn sure a fine collection of heavy metal in its own right. Bashers like "Riding the Eagle", "Black Rain", the fun "Six Times Dead (16.6)", the crushing, mini-epic "5.0/Torn", the grinding rocker "Soar", and the blisering, almost progressive metal stomp of "Night After Night" are just some of the many highlights.
Scheepers is in fine form as always, once again proving to be one of the finest singers in metal. The musicianship of the band is also stellar, however, I was hoping for some added crunch considering that the guitar team is now Henny Wolter & Magnus Karlsson. Sure, there's plenty of virtuoso solos throughout the CD, but I was expecting this to be a tad heavier in the riff department (something like they hit with "Smith & Wesson"), and it's not. Otherwise, at 15 songs and well over an hour's worth of music, you certainly get your money's worth with this latest Primal Fear, and hopefully this will help this band gain the recognition they sorely need here in the US.
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