2/20/2004 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Primal Fear Devil’s Ground 2004 Nuclear Blast reviewed by: IcedMojo
The journey into hell is the concept of the greatest Primal Fear album-- Devil’s Ground. Soaring with angels refers to the absolute greatest vocalist in metal today. I am of course referring to Ralf Scheepers.
Formed in 1998 by Ralf Scheepers (Gamma Ray), Mat Sinner (Sinner), and Tom Naumann (Sinner), this marks the group’s 7th release (5 albums, a 5 song disc, and a box that includes a live bootleg cd packaged with a DVD) on Nuclear Blast. However, this marks the first release which includes Randy Black (Annihilator) on drums (replacing Klaus Sperling who split with the band in 2003, before their first US tour. Randy fit like a glove.)
From the first note to the last word (since the last track is spoken) of “Devil’s Ground”, hang on tight because this is one heavy metal joyride that surely won’t be forgotten. Really, how can an album that opens up with the screams of Scheepers shouting Metal Is Forever ever be a bad thing.
Primal Fear is a group that keeps in mind that the band has 5 members. Take “Visions of Fate” for example, exploding with a perfect drum solo, and adding other instruments, finishing with guitar riffs meant for the gods before Scheepers chimes in. Those who are familiar with me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love a great ballad. Yes, there is one on “Devil’s Ground”, entitled “The Healer”, but the heaviness does not ware thin. They prove that a ballad can still be heavy and powerful at the same time. Speaking of heavy, check out tracks like “Soulchaser”, “Sea of Flames”, and “Suicide and Mania” (I just got that, seeing it in black and white helps. Suicide, that’s a surefire way to get to hell.) Turning our attention to “Wings of Desire” which has a menacing feel to it, leading to one of the heaviest songs, “Heart of a Brave”, which then takes us to the appropriately titled “Devil’s Ground”. Just speaking but cold and demonic, what a great way to end you trip to hell!
If you are looking for an album that is extremely heavy, power metal in it’s truest form, has a powerful vocalist with spine tingling (in a good way) screams, equally as powerful guitar squeals and solos, and just all around a perfect balance of vocals and instrumentation. Then get off that short bus going nowhere, and hop aboard the Primal Fear bus as it goes to hell!
Rating: If you haven’t gathered by now, this is a 10/10; destined to be a timeless masterpiece. I was going to recommend another Primal Fear album to check out, but screw that, if you pass up on anything that has Primal Fear’s name on it, either you own it, or you need to seek professional help!
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