Primal Fear, ‘Metal Commando’ Review – New Album Brims with Powerful Metal

2020-07-21

Metal band Primal Fear are back with their 13th studio album, "Metal Commando," and the set is packed with solid songwriting and huge melodies.

Primal Fear “Metal Commando” album cover – Review by Anne Erickson

Album review: Primal Fear are back with their 13th studio album, “Metal Commando,” packed with solid songwriting and huge melodies

Primal Fear is one of the most celebrated heavy metal bands out of Germany, and when the group releases a new album, it’s a major event, not just in their homeland, but around the world. The band is back with their 13th studio album, “Metal Commando,” and as the album’s title implies, the release is choc-full of mighty, majestic metal tracks.

“Metal Commando” features founding members singer Ralf Scheepers and bass player Mat Sinner, along with guitarists Alex Beyrodt, Magnus Karlsson, Tom Naumann and, for his first Primal Fear album, former Gamma Ray drummer Michael Ehré. That kind of musical pedigree sets the listener up for an album packed with solid songwriting and huge melodies.

Primal Fear kick “Metal Commando” off with early single, “I Am Alive,” which features a super-catchy chorus, thick riffing and powerful, soaring vocals. “I am alive / I’ve killed the pain inside / Redemption seems far away / It’s judgment day, all fades to grey,” Scheepers calls out as the grandiose chorus kicks in. The song’s theme of embracing the moment and living for today seems appropriate amid the chaos of 2020.

Songs such as “Raise Your Fists” and “My Name Is Fear” really showcase Primal Fear’s trio of guitars, double-bass rhythms, heavy bass and Scheepers’ towering vocals. Almost every song has a hooky, melodic chorus, which makes even the heaviest of songs appeal to a wide range of listeners.

One standout on the album is “My Name Is Fear,” which features majestic riffing that sounds modern and sparkly, with shifting rhythms and sonic colors as the song progresses.

Another special track is “I Will Be Gone,” which features Primal Fear dialing it down for a heartfelt ballad that tugs at the heartstrings. “I waited all too long / And I won’t wait no more / When the light is out, I will be gone,” Scheepers croons. It’s the kind of track to keep on reserve for when you need to crank a good breakup song. Hearing Scheepers go from brutal metal anthems such as “Halo” to delicate, unplugged songs like “I Will Be Gone” shows the kind of range that’s rare for a metal vocalist, and it’s part of what makes him stand at the top of his field.

From front to back, “Metal Commando” keeps the listener’s interest with dynamic songs that recall some of the best of Primal Fear’s sounds in the past, plus add a modern appeal. With “Metal Commando,” Primal Fear have, once again, proven why they’re one of the metal genre’s strongest bands, decade after decade.

Watch Audio Ink Radio’s recent interview with Ralf Scheepers from Primal Fear discussing “Metal Commando” below.

Primal Fear lineup:

Ralf Scheepers – vocals
Mat Sinner – bass, vocals
Alex Beyrodt – guitars
Tom Naumann – guitars
Magnus Karlsson – guitars
Michael Ehré – drums

Comments

comments