Primal Fear - Black Sun

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Nuclear Blast
Catalog Number: NB 0500
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:01:00

Primal Fear are one of the most intense German power metal bands around right now. Along with Metalium, Primal Fear showcase their "German Metal Commandos" power with a packed sound, enormous production, and kick-arse metal. And they're at it again with album number four - Black Sun; a concept album which recounts the history of the famed eagles that have featured on each of their album covers.

Now, let's move on to what is presented on Black Sun. Primal Fear seems to have found a nice balance between their debut self-titled release and their hottest release in Jaws Of Death. This is both old school and contemporary and without the overabundance of Judas Priest influences. I say overabundance because there is still a lot of Judas Priest to be heard in Primal Fear. Ralf Scheepers still holds Halford in his heart, especially on songs like "Fear" and "Mind Machine" (where Ralf duets with Mat Sinner - b) and he excels in nearly every avenue of vocal ability from the melodic heavy harmonies to his vocal strength and emotional control. And he's still built like a brick shithouse too! :-)

Tracks like "Black Sun," "Armageddon," and "Cold Day In Hell" have an old Primal Fear feel that remind me of their historic "Chainbreaker" or "Promised Land" tracks from 1998. And I still can't believe the intensity to their sound, which has not [been] placated over the years. The twin guitar attack of Henny Wolter and Stefan Leibing has upheld a tradition within Primal Fear to deliver fearsome, fresh guitar combinations that outperform almost all other bands and they succeed with a heavy groove filled performance. Traditional and familiar, the sound still administers a hard driving, modern, edgy feel that is hugely engaging and always uplifting in that power metal kind of way. They also manage to silence us with their usual strong power ballads and "Silence" is no exception. When it comes to putting down rambunctious music, just check out tracks like "We Go Down" or "Lightyears From Home" (which sounds like the magnificent "Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove" from Nuclear Fire).

I would consider Black Sun to be Primal Fear's most diverse and experimental album to date; especially as I found Nuclear Fire a little mechanical at times. Its heaviness is assuaged by control and it's a wonderful combination that works extremely well. Brilliant cover art again with PF's imposing eagles marking their territory once again. And they mark it well.

Similar To: Judas Priest, Brainstorm, Helloween

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Countdown To Insanity / Black Sun / Armageddon / Lightyears From Home / Revolution / Fear / Mind Control / Magic Eye / Mind Machine / Silence / We Go Down / Cold Day In Hell / Controlled

Ralf Scheepers - vocals
Stefan Leibing - guitars
Henny Wolter - guitars
Mat Sinner - bass, keyboards
Klaus Sperling - drums

Primal Fear (1998)
Jaws Of Death (1999)
Nuclear Fire (2001)
Black Sun (2002)
Devil's Ground (2004)

Genre: Other

Origin DE

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1053
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]