Album review: PRIMAL FEAR – Rulebreaker

PRIMAL FEAR – Rulebreaker

Frontiers Records [Release date 22.11.15]

Teutonic metal merchants Primal Fear return with their 11th studio album “Rulebreaker” which follows a similar path to 2014’s well received “Delivering The Black” opus.

Primal Fear were founded way back in 1997 when bassist Matt Sinner joined forces with ex-Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers and guitarist Tom Naumann. For “Rulebreaker” Primal Fear have welcomed Tom Naumann back into the fold who along with Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson completes the triumvirate of guitarists present. The recent revolving membership of drummers continues with new guy Francesco Jovino taking up the post.

“Rulebreaker” is classic Primal Fear from opener Angels Of Mercy with its ominous orchestral opening before breaking glass signals the start of the riffs through to speedy closer Raving Mad.

The Judas Priest comparisons cannot be hidden…The End Is Near, Bullets & Tears, Constant Heart and In Metal We Trust to name but four. Any of these would fit nicely into the Priest back catalogue…but somehow Primal Fear make them sound more urgent and improved somehow.

We Walk Without Fear is the centrepiece to “Rulebreaker”…it is epic in every sense of the word from its ten minute plus run length, musical box intro, orchestration and full blown choir. There is definitely a touch of classic Avantasia on display here.

The Devil In Me is slower and darker and brings Accept to mind whilst acoustic flavoured The Sky Is Burning is an effective power ballad in the vein of the Scorpions.

To my ears the one song that lets proceeding down a little is the very average title track itself…it is missing something…

Production on “Rulebreaker” is superb…everything is crystal clear.

Primal Fear are back with a winner here…it is possibly their best release to date. Congratulations guys!  ****½

Review by Phil Berisford


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