Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Review: Primal Fear - Unbreakable

  It's already been an overall strenuous day for me. Preliminary exams have just started at my school so the past few days have been and will continue to be stressful days filled with endless amounts of studying, with music reviews taking place in between so I have have a short break and not completely lose my mind to constant notes and quotes that I must learn. A lot of people around me are taking a "Fuck it! They're only prelims. They don't count for anything!" approach to the prelims, but I want to make more of an effort. This is supposedly the last year where prelims are going to allowed to be used as an appeal in Scotland in case people mess up really badly in their final exam, so I would quite like to take advantage of that before prelims simply become a way to just scare kids into learning more for the finals. And scare tactics are no way to make kids learn My god, this talk is so Rock N' Roll!!!!
 Anyway, I've come back home following a strenuous Advanced Higher English prelim, so I've been writing furiously about the works of Evelyn Waugh and have had the lovely task of writing a textual analysis on a piece of writing I've never seen before. So now that I'm home, clearly there is no better way for me to relax and unwind than by listening to some German power metal from Primal Fear.

 Primal Fear have had an illustrious history in the pages of European metal. Formed by ex-Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers following his failure to replace Rob Halford as Judas Priest frontman in 1997, Scheepers took his influence and vocal talent elsewhere, starting up his own group and succeeding in delivering controversy, extra thrash elements and even a greater appreciation for hooks to the world of German power metal and on ninth album, Unbreakable, it's business as usual.
 Without trying to sound to overwhelmed and fixated, "Epic" is very much a keyword for this album. The grand scale of this album in it's orchestral backdrops and brash array of jagged riff-fests and widdly solos, which is seen from the very beginning with the maelstrom orchestral intro Unbreakable (Part 1) followed by the shredding Strike where the viscous guitar skills of Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt and the sonic battlecry vocals of Scheepers and bassist Mat Sinner give the song the same amount of power and ferocity as the orchestral opener but with more element on the kick-ass metal rather than the sophisticated classical ideals.
 And this powerful metallic performance is displayed across this album with greater emphasis on crafting an engaging melody and powerful display of hooks across their songs. It's seen in the extreme control that takes place on the atmospherically tragic And There Was Silence even though a powerhouse riff array is in action, as well as in the pouncing hooks that appear on Bad Guys Wear Black.
 But this mixture of melodically crafted songs with power metal, a genre that is characteristically off-the-wall is  nothing to fret about. It actually gives the song a very beautiful nature, seen best in the gripping Where Angels Die, which in it's emotional choruses and epic guitar solos is effortless in leaving a lasting impact.
 This combination of big choruses and supersonic-ally widdly guitar solos is also the perfect recipe for pure ecstasy on Unbreakable, with the intensity and uplifting nature of Unbreakable (Part 2) and Conviction  being a pure rush of power metal reaching new extremities.
  So, Unbreakable is an essential place to look if in search of traditional power metal in this modern day and age. Primal Fear are effective in making an album filled with strong heavy metal that contains strong emotion and a strong sense of passion while managing to serve as an intense rush of widdly guitar work sounding it's most hyper and most European. And it's quite obviously albums like that which are required after a hard day of constant writing for prelims. Maybe now I feel pumped up enough to start studying again.

Primal Fear's Unbreakable is out now via Frontiers Records.

1 comment:

  1. Another point of view from Spain