Beat Street Records

Primal Fear - Metal Commando LP

Nuclear Blast America

One thing becomes instantly apparent, even without reptilian allegories: Primal Fear's crushing new record Metal Commando is yet another level in the life and times of these soaring metal eagles. Primal Fear delivered a jolt to German heavy metal as early as 1998 with their eponymous, ferocious debut, fortifying their well-earned status with a following onslaught of rapid successors. They have now achieved a rebirth of epic proportions, even outperforming their viciously strong last release Apocalypse (2018), an album that deservedly yielded their highest-ever chart entries around the world.

Those who hailed Primal Fear before will surely kneel before Metal Commando, and those who aren't already addicted to the southern German's sound, simply now have no reason to not fall for it. The songs are too strong, the hooks too merciless, the refrains too huge - their trademark phalanx of three guitars is too insurmountable and the riffs too unerring to be resisted.

Highlights? Good luck choosing: Final act "Infinity" maybe, the 13+ minute epic that's not only the longest, but also certainly the most flamboyant piece of music Primal Fear have ever written. Or perhaps "I Am Alive," the spectacularly galloping opener. Lurking in-between is the greatest range of songs that this band has ever delivered: "Halo" is a godsend for fans of their early days, "Along Came the Devil" is a trademark groove monster with surprisingly aggressive vocals. "Hear Me Calling" unites atmosphere with gargantuan hooks while "Lost and Forgotten" is fast, mean and downright heavy. Even faster, even heavier is the vicious "My Name is Fear" while the fragile ballad "I Will Be Gone" is the exact antithesis.

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