Primal Fear is a constant and timeless force to be reckoned with! They have never let us down and all their albums are marked by an undisputed quality and a unique Teutonic aesthetic that is greatly enhanced by the ever present work ethic of all the band members. And despite the fact that we could have done without the cliché album title, “Metal Commando” is yet another milestone in Primal Fear’s rich recording catalogue.
From my perspective, “Metal Commando” is the natural successor of the impressive “Apocalypse” album that was released a couple of years ago. If we want to make comparisons among the last few records, I’d say that the new effort is definitely better than “Unbreakable” yet a little below “Rulebreaker” and “Delivering the Black” which are already considered classics among the die-hard fans of the German outfit. The opening track “I am Alive” sets instantly the mood for the things to come with its breakneck speed and excellent riff. “Along Came The Devil” is quite possibly the best cut on the album with the Accept references and the nod to the “Rulebreaker” atmosphere while “Halo” puts the pedal to the metal with its European power metal quality. A definite highlight is the mid-tempo anthem “Hear Me Calling” that reminds of the classic “Under Your Spell” while “My Name is Fear” and “Howl of the Banshee” are two songs that haunt you upon the first listening session!
One again, Primal Fear delivers the goods (and the black) in the most emphatic and pompous way! This is a band that deserves all the credits as it manages to retain a much envied high quality level of songwriting, musicianship, performance and most importantly work ethic! All the fans of the traditional heavy metal sound should go out and buy the album without any second thought. “Metal Commando” is here to stay!
Highlight: Can anyone really explain to me how Ralf Scheepers keep his voice at this absolutely insane level after all these years…?