PRIMAL FEAR – Apocalypse [Japanese SHM-CD Deluxe Edition +4] (2018)

PRIMAL FEAR - Apocalypse [Japanese SHM-CD Deluxe Edition +4] (2018) full
HERE

Frontiers Music will release the new album from Germany’s PRIMAL FEAR, “Apocalypse“, on August 10, in its Deluxe Edition including 3 bonus tracks. This Japanese version to be released tomorrow, pressed on SHM-CD, also features an exclusive bonus track.

It’s been 21 years since a blonde hard rock dude joined forces with a gigantic curly haired (now bald) vocal powerhouse to form one of the most iconic bands in the ’90s power metal scene.
Mat Sinner (bass) and Ralf Scheepers (vocals) delivered the goods right from the start with the amazing Priest-like homonymous debut album, and managed to consolidate themselves as one of the great bands of the meleodic metal circle in Europe.
‘Apocalypse’ is album number twelve in the Teutonic metallers career, and second one to feature three guitarists in longtime member Tom Naumann, mastermind Magnus Karlsson and the equally great Alex Beyrodt, with drummer Francesco Jovino (Hardline) completing the lineup.

It’s been 21 years since a blonde hard rock dude joined forces with a gigantic curly haired (now bald) vocal powerhouse to form one of the most iconic bands in the ’90s power metal scene.
Mat Sinner (bass) and Ralf Scheepers (vocals) delivered the goods right from the start with the amazing Priest-like homonymous debut album, and managed to consolidate themselves as one of the great bands of the meleodic metal circle in Europe.

‘Apocalypse’ is album number twelve in the Teutonic metallers career, and second one to feature three guitarists in longtime member Tom Naumann, mastermind Magnus Karlsson and the equally great Alex Beyrodt, with drummer Francesco Jovino (Hardline) completing the lineup.
After the… well, ‘Apocalyptic’ intro, already a registered mark of the band, the album kicks in with the mind-blowing “New Rise”. The sense of urgency, the double-pedals, Scheeper’s masterful high screams… it’s all here, and it’s the best start possible to an album; one of the best songs ever released by Primal Fear.

The terminal velocity and the classic power metal song structure, though, are exclusive to that first track, as can clearly be seen with follow-up “The Ritual”, as well as in “The Beast”. The band has reached a point where the frenzy songs of the past will become rarer by the day, and tracks such as this one – slower and groovy, even modern at times – are the new game.
Yeah, Primal Fear music is metallic, but heavy metal / power no more.
The sharp guitar riffs of the guitar trio and a louder bass by Sinner dictate the rhythm of such tracks, which is fine for grabbing some new followers to the Fear ranks.

As it is with every Primal Fear album since ‘Seven Seals’ (2005), the pompous / epic elements combined with a semi-ballad songwriting are more present than ever here, as “King of Madness” and “Supernova” show the theatrical and melodic side of Scheepers, which delivers ace performance during both, especially in the choruses; this is commmercial hard rock folks. And I like it.
“Eye of the Storm” follows the same path, but borrows elements from Scheeper’s Tyran Pace era by being more direct and kickin’.

There’s a quite commercial and accessible tune in “Supernova”, a midtempo groovy semi-ballad delivering a strong lead vocal performance and very melodious riffs / solos.
“Blood, Sweat & Fear”, “Hail to the Fear” and closer “Cannonball” have the Primal Fear scent all over them, and are safely played like so. While the first punches its way into your brain with sexy riffs and that “in your face” rock ‘n’ roll attitude, the second features some moments of virtuosity by the guitar team, more prominently by Karlsson.

PRIMAL FEAR - Apocalypse [Japanese SHM-CD Deluxe Edition +4] (2018) inside

The bonus tracks of the Deluxe Edition worth the purchase. “Fight Against Evil” is killer track harking back the early days of the band, driven by an assassin Priest-like riff and Scheeper’s soaring vocals. Great guitar solo too.
“Into The Fire” is more modern but groovy with a hard rock pattern as base and a punchy chorus, and “My War Is Over” is a strong melodic metal ballad, one of the best songs of the bunch.
As Japanese bonus track we find “Supernova [Orchestral Version]”, which has a more laid-back feel than the original, even a sympho atmopshere thanks to the synths / strings.

To sum it up, “Apocalypse” is yet another quality release from the masters of the Teutonic heavy / power, since several years now quite groovy hard rock / melodic metal a well.
In fact, it may be Primal Fear’s best album from the last decade, finding the band soaring as high as ever, catchy, groovy, punchy and melodic.
Highly Recommended

KING  Records KIZC-476
SHM-CD / DVD

01. Apocalypse
02. New Rise
03. The Ritual
04. King Of Madness
05. Blood, Sweat, & Fear
06. Supernova
07. Hail To The Fear
08. Hounds Of Justice
09. The Beast
10. Eye Of The Storm
11. Cannonball
12. Fight Against Evil (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
13. Into The Fire (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
14. My War Is Over (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
15. Supernova [Orchestral Version] (Japan Bonus Track)

Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Mat Sinner – Bass
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Francesco Jovino – Drums

PRE ORDER:
www.cdjapan.co.jp/product/KIZC-476
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