I’m an old fart, so when I was in junior high and high school, it was prime time for bands like Judas Priest, and I was barely out of high school when the classic Dio albums came out. Back then, those bands were considered heavy metal, and when you think about what they were up against, they made some pretty heavy music at the time.
The current label for this type of music is traditional metal, and the new album from Primal Fear is a great example of the genre. I put this thing on and it took me back in time, and that is a very good thing. There are a lot of bands that try their hand at the traditional stuff but they don’t always nail it. “Unbreakable” by Primal Fear knocks it out of the park.
First off, as a drummer myself, I’ve gotta give mad props to the drums on this album. Dude is all over it with some very tasty playing, never going over the top, but always playing exactly what the song calls for. I really dig the drums on this. The other thing I really appreciate about these “traditional” releases is that the production values are high and you can hear each instrument. It’s a nice touch that makes the album better to listen to.
There are some very good tracks on this release. Do you like the high energy, high powered stuff? No worries, you can check out “Strike”, “Give ‘Em Hell”, or “And Then There Was Silence”. I personally guarantee that any of those 3 numbers will get your blood pumping. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for something a little more on the prog rock side of things. Then take a listen to “Where Angels Die”. It’s a great example of some solid rock with some prog leanings. It won’t make you a Yes or King Crimson fan, but it provides some really good balance and variety to the album.
Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but you’re just a fool for the power ballad. Well there’s one of those, too, and it’s actually quite good. “Born Again” is the track you’ll want to listen to. Honestly, though, there’s not a band song on the album and this is one I’ll be listening to many times over. I have to share chuckle I had. There is a song called “Blaze Of Glory”, which made me cringe momentarily in fear that it might be a cover of the Bon Jovi song of the same name, but fear not, it is an original and only shares the name.
For those of you really into your metal, you may remember a band called Sinner, with Mat Sinner as the main man. He is the bass player and seems to be the primary song writer in Primal Fear, so if you enjoyed his previous output you’re gonna love this.
This is a release well worth checking out, especially if you’ve ever been a fan of 70’s and 80’s metal. Not the hair metal stuff, just the traditional metal, formerly known as heavy metal.