Primal Fear

Picture of Primal Fear

Black Sun

Primal Fear - Black Sun ©2002 Nuclear Blast
1. Countdown To Insanity
2. Black Sun
3. Armageddon
4. Lightyears From Home
5. Revolution
6. Fear
7. Mind Control
8. Magic Eye
9. Mind Machine
10. Silence
11. We Go Down
12. Cold Day In Hell
13. Controlled

You can either admire a band for their steadfast determination to stick to their guns through thick and thin, regardless of trends or changes in the musical climate. Or, you can regard them as dinosaurs who haven't quite realized that a meteorite has smashed into the planet and by rights, they should be choking on poisonous gasses and dust.

Primal Fear has been the vehicle for former Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers over the course of four releases now. As many know he was one of the leading candidates for the vocalist position in Judas Priest. However, he failed to get the job as a certain tribute band vocalist assumed that role and thus inspired the schlocky Rock Star movie. Moreover, Scheepers was saved the shame of having to front Jugulator, truly one of the most hideous albums my ears were ever forced to sit through. So for better or worse, Scheepers has been in charge of Primal Fear for a few years now. As Black Sun attests, this band has no concept of metal outside the realm Gamma Ray inhabits. There is, of course, the tendency for Primal Fear to outdo a certain Judas Priest band, particularly in some of Scheepers vocals. However, considering Gamma Ray has been essentially repeating the same album ad nauseum for a dozen years, there's not a whole lot of breathing room for a band like Primal Fear to exercise their own "creativity". Everything on Black Sun is by the numbers, predictable, safe and completely derivative of everything around them. From the riffing to the double bass drumming to the high pitched wailing of Scheepers, the sum total of Primal Fear is considerably less than the GPA of your typical major college football team. Does this band want a cookie for sticking to a familiar and overdone formula? What makes this band think their music will compell a listener to purchase Black Sun when there is nothing here that hasn't been done into the ground by dozens of other clones? Certainly competency must be noted, but I'm withholding my cookies for a much more deserving outfit that at least can breathe a little life into a terribly asphyxiated niche of music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2002

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