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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Primal Fear

New Religion

Review by Greg Olma

I always liked Primal Fear because they carried the Judas Priest torch when Priest wasn’t making music. It's not that they were necessarily a copy band but they did take that blueprint of Painkiller and added a little Euro metal to the mix. Like AC/DC and Motorhead, you know what you are going to get with a new Primal fear record.  This one is no different but they have added a couple of new things or twists.  There is a female vocal on one of the tunes and they have made one of their songs into a 3 part trilogy.  I can’t remember these elements being on their previous CDs. 

New Religion is the 7th studio release for these guys and they continue to bring a high level of quality to their records.  Each song on offer is well crafted metal and aside from some nit-picking on my part, the whole disc is solid from start to finish.  Primal Fear fans will undoubtedly eat this new disc up but for people who are looking for some solid, quality metal, then check out New Religion (and their back catalogue as well).

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sign Of Fear
The CD starts off with a neat little metal intro before it kicks in properly with a Judas Priest style rocker. For the most part, it is mid paced but it does have some Euro metal leanings during the chorus.
Face The Emptiness
Now this is metal in the Euro power metal tradition. It may not be unique but it is written and played well. The vocals remind me of a younger Rob Halford.
Everytime It Rains
This cut opens with the sound of rain falling (natch!) and it has "hit single" written all over it. There is a nice interplay between the female vocals (my promo copy did not have info on who it is) and Ralf Scheepers. The chorus is so catchy that you’ll definitely have it going through your head all day.
New Religion
After a little metal “lite” on “Everytime It Rains," the band kick it back into high gear for this Painkiller-era Priest rocker. The chorus has more of a Euro metal sound but overall it retains that traditional metal formula.
Fighting The Darkness
Part one of this 3 parter starts off with ballady type keyboards and the vocals are a lot less Halford and more Scheepers’ own style. The chorus is really catchy and based on the epic feel of the track. I’m surprised that they did not name the album after this tune.
The Darkness
The start of this instrumental reminds me of “Lost Horizons” by MSG. It is part two of the “Fighting The Darkness” trilogy but it is a song on its own. It doesn’t really follow the same structure as the main tune.
Reprise
All you get here to finish off the trilogy is the chorus again from part one and it ends with the same keyboards as the beginning.
Blood On Your Hands
We finally get a fast rocker with a newer metal sound. The guitars sound a little de-tuned and the vocals are rougher. This is one of the better tracks on the CD and shows some diversity among the traditional metal type songs.
The Curse Of Sharon
This piece brings us back to the traditional metal sound. It is a good song but probably the worst one on the whole album. That’s not to say it is bad; it is just the others are so good.
Too Much Time
I don’t like the acapella vocals at the beginning of this tune but once that is over,  the song rocks pretty good. It reminds me of “Rapid Fire” by Judas Priest until chorus time.
Psycho
Now this is more like it. This cut has a nice crunching metal sound and moves along nicely. The chorus has a Priest vocal to it but the bridge keeps things very melodic.
World On Fire
Here is another good song but nothing stands out. It has all the elements; fast drumming, good riffing, melodic vocals but somehow it just can’t step outside of the “good” category and make it to greatness.
The Man (That I Don’t Know)
The record closes on another epic type ballad with Halford vocals. It is the longest track but it moves along so it never gets boring or over-stays its welcome. It is a nice way to end the disc.
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