"Nuclear Fire" (Nuclear Blast; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Pure rock" is the term that comes to mind when one listens to the music of Primal Fear.

Solid metal in the vein of vintage Judas Priest and Manowar, Primal Fear deliver a devastating dual guitar onslaught that melds perfectly with throbbing, deep-kicking bass and screaming, razor-sharp vocals. This is headbanging music, pure and simple. You'll be pumping your fist, digging out your leather wear and turning up the volume 'til your ears bleed. And it's all good.

The songs range from the usual metal anthems to (the also usual) tales of battle and vengeance. Which works just fine with the band's sound. This music is meant to squarely kick your ass. And it will do just that.

Primal Fear are one of the few bands out there that still relish playing the music they proudly call "heavy metal." And they still do it very, very well. Anyway, how can you dislike any CD that has a track on it called "Living For Metal"?

"Jaws of Death" (Nuclear Blast; 1999)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

If you like power metal and still haven't heard Primal Fear then shame on you. This record deserves to be in your CD collection.

Ralf Scheepers, who gained notoriety during his stint in Gamma Ray, continues the power metal cause by fronting Primal Fear with his comrade in arms Mat Sinner (of Sinner fame). And we should thank our lucky stars, too - Scheepers nearly gave up music. Scheepers was once considered for the vocalist spot in Judas Priest after Rob Halford's departure, but he almost quit the music biz after learning he wasn't chosen to replace Halford.

Primal Fear's dual guitar attack is like a twin barreled bazooka aimed at your sonic heart. Although Primal Fear doesn't sound like other guitar duos (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept), the band makes their distinctive mark quite easily. The music is free of gimmicks and frills - what you get is straight-ahead, unadulterated, play-it-really-loud metal.

There's more life and adrenaline in Primal Fear than most metal acts.  Songs like "Final Embrace," "Into The Future," "Fight To Survive," and "Hatred In My Soul" are prime examples of the band's ability to build relentless momentum without nary a moment's rest. Primal Fear further embrace their connections to previous NWOBHM bands by covering the Rainbow classic "Kill The King."

Primal Fear's vocal melodies are not as immediate or memorable as Gamma Ray; however, Scheeper's vocals are succinct and fit the compact nature of the songs. One general theme of the lyrics is lingering doubt of the purpose of organized religion ("Under Your Spell," "Save A Prayer," and "Church Of Blood").

Like a cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae, the great packaging of "Jaws Of Death" makes this a satisfying purchase.

Primal Fear is Ralf Scheepers on vocals, Tom Naumann and Stefan Leibing on guitars, Mat Sinner on bass and background vocals, and Klaus Sperling on drums and background vocals. Mat Sinner handled the production with mixing by The Hollywood Blasers.

For more information go to Nuclear Blasts index of bands at and find out more about this powerful outfit.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Aug 2022 15:32:20 -0400 .