BY: TJ FOWLER
Available: January 22nd, 2016
Label: Frontiers Music srl
Ok, I’ll admit it. I never have purchased, collected or followed Primal Fear. I would hear songs and think…man these guys rock or hear Ralf Scheepers sings and think, ‘MAN! This dude has got some massive vocals!’ But…for some strange reason, I never went out and picked up any Primal Fear. I know, I know, I should be stripped of my man card and turned into the president of the Justin Bieber fan club for such an offense against metal. I have to say after listening to ‘Rulebreaker’ I should totally be sentenced to 25 to life and community service for my neglect. I think ‘Rulebreaker’ will rehabilitate me.
Power metal has or used to be my favorite genre of metal but as years went by I noticed many bands in this genre started sounding really bland one note-ish which was disappointing as I feel this is the one genre of metal that should be able to take all elements of a band and give the listener a total package so to speak. Primal Fear is one of the bands, despite my limited experience with them that really seem to break the one dimensional mold. You have Ralf the singer that has a fantastic voice that helps drive home the emotional impact of the songs, a three guitar attack by Magnus, Alex and Tom that craft memorable melodies that compliments the vocalist and of course the double bass drums that is a staple to any power metal band.
‘Rulebreaker’ continues this proud tradition that Primal Fear have always followed and that is to make some kick ass, catchy, power metal that has bite and substance. You have the face paced, high energy songs like ‘Bullets and Tears’ and ‘The End is Near’ but the band also mixes it up a bit towards the end of the album and buts in some slower numbers as well like, ‘The Sky is Burning’ which is a nice contrast to the other songs and shows the band can slow things down a bit.
One thing I would like to point out is that I don’t see how it can be so hard for other bands to write more songs with a punch and some sort of hook like Primal Fear does. There are certain basic things that come to writing songs that I think is pretty much universal across all genres and yet so many bands out there just do not seem to ‘get it’. I know we all have different skill sets but many bands just seem more focused on being able to play an instrument and not write a song, which is a shame and it is nice to see a band like Primal Fear able to do both.
‘Rulebreaker’ is everything a power metal album should be…hell it is everything a modern metal band should look to at least as a basic blueprint when making songs. While the few slow songs are nice on ‘Rulebreaker’ what you are coming here for are the killer riffs and great vocals by Scheepers. Primal fear is all about the riffs, catchy melodic hooks and vocals that will shred your face and they do not fail to deliver on ‘Rulebreaker’. After I get out of prison for my crimes against metal you will find a born again Primal Fear convert and I hope that if you haven’t jumped on the Primal Fear metal train that you buy a ticket and join the ride otherwise it is going to run you over!