Primal Fear/Live In The USA

Live in the USAPrimal Fear is a German power metal/heavy metal band formed in 1997 by Ralf Scheepers (Vocals/ExGamma Ray), Mat Sinner (Bass and Vocals/Sinner), Stefan Leibing and Tom Naumann (Guitars). Scheepers formed the band after he was not hired as Rob Halford‘s replacement in Judas Priest, a job for which he was a finalist; the replacement job went to Tim “Ripper” Owens. Their latest album called 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) was released in 2009 and will be supported with a double-headlining European tour with Brainstorm.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead—-This is a nice short intro that allows you to hear the enthusiastic crowd as the energy builds and builds to allow for the band to hit the stage with….

Under the Radar—-The immense power chords that this band produces is always impressive…even more impressive is the great sound of the vocals on this live release. the vocals soar with ease…never admitting a bit of strain or stretch to the vocal chords. the drums are pretty far up in the mix, the guitars are sometimes drowned out. the vocal really reminds me of Michael Sweet from Stryper!!!

Battalions Of Hate—-Melding directly from the previous track, this song is begun with a rather admirable grunt from the vocalist…the vocal comes on sounding like a mad scientist let loose from his lab. This is much deeper in sound and only allows for some nice vocal histrionics by the second bar. this is a group sin-a-long that works great in a live setting. the music is pure progressive metal….the voice is a bit lackluster at times on this track. none the less…this is 100% Primal Fear!

Killbound—-With a huge 80’s Metal sounding intro, this is a crowd pleaser for sure. the sound is awesome…the drums and guitars mixed to an optimum level together. the vocal is back in fine form, soaring and reaching for the sky with ease. This is nice…the energy of both the band and the crowd come together in a crash that transplants to CD very well.

Nuclear Fire—-This, a more updated track with soaring and addictive guitars, blistering drums and a huge crowd response is one of my favorite tracks from the band. this guy could have really done a great job for Priest!!! This has huge energy…bordering on an almost manic delivery. Live, this is even faster and delivered with more energy than the original. sometimes the voice seems a bit tired, but the notes are hit with precision and excellent ability.

Six Times Dead [16.6]—-Taken from the latest release, this track has a masterful almost Maiden sound to the guitars. the vocal is fantastic and you can tell this is still fresh and new for the band…you can feel the enthusiasm. The sing-a-long feeling of the song plays really well in arenas and the crowd does not let the band down. This is energetic, monstrous and played very well.

Angel In Black—-With a huge guitar intro, the drums enter at breakneck speed and the best scream of the disc is heard. This is a monstrous song and played very fast in the live setting. This is magnificent…this is classic 80’s hair metal that reminds you of so many classic bands that are no longer here…but somehow some of them linger on like this one. This is fantastic…one of the best tracks on this disc as far as energy and speed go.

Sign Of Fear—-The intro to this song almost borders on Thrash…the soaring vocal deters you from that realm though. This is the best Halford impression I have ever heard. The notes that this guy can hit is incredible…soaring and falling back down at a second’s notice. This is remarkable..I love this band…simply because there are so few of them left. This vocal must be heard to be believed!!!

Fighting The Darkness—-Full of atmosphere and a fantastic spoken word intro, the beginning strains of the song are sweet and lull you into a daydream before the crash of the guitar startles you and brings you back to life. This is soaring and magnificent…the harmonies on this are literally breathtaking. I freakin’ love this song and would never ask for more from one band. This is a magnus-opus that is literally a cross between alternative Metal and Progressive Metal rolled into a huge masterful track that would send Evanescence running for the hills. Great!!!

Riding The Eagle—-Returning to full on Progressive Guitar Metal, the band has such a trademark sound. The guitars and the drums work together like a huge well oiled machine that allows for the energy to magically transport to CD. The vocal enters, sounding even more like michael Sweet..this is brilliant. The energy and the commitment are incredible…you can’t imagine that there are actually bands making music like this today…still, but there are. Rock on!!!

Final Embrace—-This is filled with huge energetic guitars and drums that seem to bolster the strong vocal even more. this is remarkably energetic and reminds me of the early days of 80’s Glam metal. This is magnificent. I love how well this live show transported to CD…there is rarely a sound flaw…except for the intermittent crowd noises, you would have a great hits collection in your hands. Magnificent.

Metal Is Forever—-Perhaps the cornerstone song of this bands recording career, the sentiment is shouted loud and clear and is believable to those of us who still prefer to rock out. This features everything you could possibly want from a band…the playing is tight as hell…so well executed you wonder if this is real or not. The vocal is a masterpiece that every Metal singer wishes they had ownership of. The sentiment rocks the world from coast to coast and allows Metal to live on. This is exquisite…I could never expect more than this.

Hands Of Time—-This track, from the latest release is not as well received as you would expect. The crowd is a little underwhelmed by the opening strains of the song…the ballad style this late in the show does not really work for the crowd. To me, this is ill placed and should have been included in the early part of the show. I really do not care for this…but one misstep does not form an entire release……..

Chainbreaker—-Ending the show on a very high note, this is another of those songs that the band is pretty well known for. The guitars are fantastically electric and the drums are huge. This is energetic and invigorating and almost erases the previous song from your memory. I love the vocal…crystal clear and soaring like the highest flying bird. This is fantastic!!!

**** out of 5


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