Punctual to the appointment with their fans, Primal Fear is back with “Code Red”; the first under the Atomic Fire Records name. The period between “Metal Commando” and the new album was not the best possible one for the German outfit as the band’s leader, Mat Sinner, faced serious health issues that affected his daily life. The fact that he continues unabated with both Primal Fear and Sinner is a small miracle in itself. So it was only natural that Primal Fear would also be affected by this development. Nevertheless, they seem to emerge unscathed from the difficult situation without, however, reaching the impressive quality level of the past but that’s only natural given the circumstances.
First of all, the main difference between “Code Red” and the albums of the relatively recent past is that Primal Fear focus on their more traditional metal side, leaving aside the many power metal excesses. After all, they have never been a pure power metal band, right? Ralf Scheepers is once again spectacular behind the mic and easily takes the unofficial title of the album’s MVP while the rest of the band, who are, after all, veterans in the business, follow closely behind. However, the songs are, in my personal estimation, somewhat generic without this meaning that they are not well-written or crafted. I just think that on albums like “Rulebreaker” or “Delivering the Black” (just to name two from the recent past) they had managed to leave an indelible mark with much better compositions. Of course, one can easily find a couple of strong moments on “Code Red”, such as “Deep In The Night” and “The World Is On Fire” which I would say mark the quintessence of the album.
All in all, “Code Red” is another Primal Fear album that may not make the difference but it will satisfy to some extent the band’s die-hard fan base. We bought the CD knowing from the outset that it doesn’t reach the highest compositional levels but it is at least remarkable given the aforementioned difficult circumstances behind its creation.
Highlight: We wish Mat a speedy recovery!