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New Religion
BAND:
ALBUM:
LABEL:
YEAR:
GENRE:
REVIEWER:
WEBSITE:
MYSPACE PAGE:
Primal Fear
New Religion
Locomotive Records/ Frontiers Records
2008
Heavy Melodic Metal
Dave Felix
www.primalfear.de
www.myspace.com/primalfearofficial
Rating:
4.5 stars

Since its formation by bassist/vocalist/songwriter Mat Sinner and lead vocalist Ralf Scheepers back in 1998, the German-based metal band PRIMAL FEAR has built up quite a name for themselves. Originally labeled as “JUDAS PRIEST clones” because of Scheepers’ very “Halford-ish” tones and style, while those elements still remain… the band itself has developed its own unique flair and have earned themselves a place amongst the current “heavy-metal” elite!

This is why I was very surprised when I heard the band was signed to the more melodic-based record label FRONTIERS and released “NEW RELIGION” in late 2007 leaving their long-time label NUCLEAR BLAST far behind. Something didn’t sit well with me about that mix but fortunately due to LOCOMOTIVE Records being able to release “NEW RELIGION” just recently here in the States, I now understand why.

Leaving the essence of the band, style and music in tact, PRIMAL FEAR has been able to incorporate a more melodic elegance into “NEW RELIGION” to produce an album which is just short of sheer brilliance! From start to finish, “NEW RELIGION” is packed with powerful melodies, sharp harmonies and those great, hard-hitting rhythms the band has become known for.

With its up-tempo verse leading into a strong, melodic chorus, “Sign of Fear” jolts “NEW RELIGION” to life like a pair of defibrillator paddles on a heart-attack victim! This continues on through the keyboard-driven “Face the Emptiness” and straight into my favorite song on the CD “Everytime It Rains.” This is just an amazing song combining a duet with EPICA vocalist Simone Simons with near-flawless production to generate an enthralling masterpiece (ala EVANESCENCE). The CD then reverts back to that harder PRIMAL FEAR style with the title track “New Religion.”

Next the CD takes a slight turn to the left fusing the next three tracks into a, sort of, mini-concept starting off with the flavorful, lyrically guided “Fighting the Darkness” leading into the almost epic-sounding instrumental “The Darkness” and wrapping things up with the “Fighting The Darkness Reprise.” Hmmm… sounds like something Ronnie James Dio might try to pull off… or should I say has pulled off!

“Blood On Your Hands” and “The Curse of Sharon” continue on in that same heavy, melodic-driven vein as their predecessors while with it’s double-bass drum pounding rhythm and tasty guitar licks, “Too Much Time” glances along the “power-metal” side. These lead into another great track in “Psycho” with its almost MEGADETH-sounding, crunching guitar lead and an awesome melodic bridge that carries into a strong, hard-hitting chorus.

Finally rounding things off is first, “World on Fire”… which reminds me a lot of PRIMAL FEAR’s label-mates STARBREAKER! But then again, why shouldn’t it as STARBEAKER guitarist extraordinaire Magnus Karlsson interjects his unique style on several occasions through out the release. And then there’s the slower, more moody “The Man (That I Don’t Know)” to finish off this magnificent piece of musical ear-candy.

NEW RELIGION” is an absolute MUST-HAVE for any PRIMAL FEAR or heavy, melodic metal fan. In my opinion, this is simply the band’s best release to date and while my counterpart here at Rockeyez (Brian Rademacher) actually gave PRIMAL FEAR’s last release (“SEVEN SEALS”) a perfect 5 out of 5 rating… while I must admit I was tempted, I just couldn’t do it even though I honestly believe that while “SEVEN SEALS was a great release, in it’s own way “NEW RELIGION” simply blows it away.


Band Lineup:
  • Stefan Leibing – Guitar
  • Ralf Scheepers – Lead Vocals
  • Mat Sinner – Bass
  • Randy Black – Percussion
  • Henry Wolter – Guitar
    *GUEST MUSICIANS*
  • Simone Simons – Vocals on “Everytime It Rains”
  • Mats Ulmer – Keyboards
  • Tobias Lundgren – Backing Vocals
  • Magnus Karlsson – Lead Guitar

 

Track Listing:
  1. Sign Of Fear
  2. Face The Emptiness
  3. Everytime It Rains
  4. New Religion
  5. (Fighting The Darkness)
    • Fighting the Darkness
    • The Darkness
    • Reprise
  6. Blood On Your Hands
  7. The Curse of Sharon
  8. Too Much Time
  9. Psycho
  10. World On Fire
  11. The Man (That I Don’t Know)

 

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