With opening bandsAnswer with Metal and Sovereign Council
Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
May 3, 2014
Review by EvilG
|(Note: I am not a concert photographer. I attended this gig as a paying FAN. Therefore, this article is lacking professional photography. I have a few pics taken from my phone along with a couple short video clips. If you know someone in Toronto who has experience in taking live concert photography, feel free to email me and perhaps we can work something out for whenever I’m attending shows in Toronto!)|
On a cool and damp spring evening it was finally time to see Primal Fear again. It’s been four long years since the band has been to North America, sadly skipping us over on the UNBREAKABLE (2012) tour. The very day advance tickets were available, way back in early October 2013, I had my VIP tickets purchased. It was a long seven month wait from time of ticket purchase to showtime, but at least I would finally get to see the German power metal gods again. This was my 4th time seeing them. I mentioned that to Primal Fear bassist Mat Sinner before the show and he said “wow, but tonight will be the best time, wait and see”. I was skeptical, as they’ve always been jaw-dropping awesome. But you know what, they delivered the metal and blew me away.
First, a few words about the local openers. Like most, I would prefer if Primal Fear brought one band with them like they do in Europe (i.e. Brainstorm anyone? Now that would of been something!) and have one local opener. But for this tour, they are relying upon local openers – a different bunch for each tour stop. For Toronto, we had two openers – the young band Sovereign Council and the amusingly named, Answer With Metal. It’s hard to say what Sovereign Council were exactly like as their mix was bad. The guitars could barely be heard – neither the rhythms or solos. The kick drums were really loud, ridiculously so, and the vocals were loud. The band had two front vocalists, a male and female. Both were solid and are cut from the Kamelot school of goth/symphonic metal. The next band up, as direct openers to Primal Fear, was Answer with Metal. From the moment the vocalist opened his mouth with a soaring wail, us Primal Fear fans really woke up! I haven’t heard anything by them prior to this evening’s show, but they are a different sounding band for Canada as we don’t have a lot of bands like this. The lead guitarist was also really good, ripping and shredding away with some very fine soloing. I believe I spotted a Primal Fear tribal eagle on his arm too…so he must of been totally stoked to be opening for his heroes! Good for him! I hope to check out more from the band in the coming days.
When the house lights went down, the chant of “Primal Fear…Primal Fear…Primal Fear” began. The intro music “Countdown to Insanity” from the BLACK SUN album started up. It’s too bad that the BLACK SUN album is totally overlooked by the band as they play nothing from it live. Afterwards, with the stage bathed in red lighting, accompanied by air raid sirens, guitarist Alex Beyrodt entered the stage along with drum-god Randy Black behind the kit. The opening riff for “Final Embrace” began. Following Alex onto the stage was Tom Naumann, a Primal Fear founding member. Tom is currently filling in for Magnus Karlsson who hasn’t yet toured North America with Primal Fear. Mat Sinner came out when the song kicked in, and the last to emerge, to the loudest yells of fans, was vocal-god Ralf Scheepers. The sound was noticeably improved from the opening bands with a great mix. My thought was, now this is how you do it, this is a concert!
“Final Embrace” was followed by two excellent tracks from DELIVERING THE BLACK (2014) with “Alive & On Fire” and “Delivering the Black”. It is very cool that the band played a lot from the new album. Besides these two, they also featured two other new album songs in their set with “When Death Comes Knocking” and “One Night in December”. Being a total PF freak, I was also hoping for more new songs, specifically “Rebel Faction”, “Inseminoid”, “King for a Day”, and “Road to Asylum”. But hey, I’m not complaining, when you’re fanatical for a band, you can never have enough. Their appx 90min set should of been 2 or 2.5hrs and then maybe I’d be temporarily satisfied? ha!
Throughout the show, fists were raised, horns were thrown, and heads were banging. There were no mosh pits to avoid, thankfully we could pay more attention to music and not have to worry about being slammed into!
I have to mention what a pleasure it was to see Tom Naumann live with Primal Fear. This was the fist time I got to see him live and watching him play you can clearly see he was having a ball and was very happy. Watching him made me smile as he was all grins and fooling around interacting with the rest of the band and especially with Alex.
It’s also a major plus that Primal Fear has such a great backing vocalist in Mat Sinner. While in Sinner he’s the front man, and in PF his deep powerful vocals backing up Ralf in songs like “Fighting the Darkness” and for chorus section such as in “Nuclear Fire” adds an extra kick. It not like Ralf needs a backing vocalist, he is after all the best vocalist in metal at the moment. I’ve read comments about how people say he’s in his prime…well to me, he’s always been in his vocal prime. Going back to his vocals in Tyran Pace, Gamma Ray and F.B.I., his vocals have always been top notch. And for every time I’ve seen him live, his vocals have always been amazing. He clearly is gifted with a great voice and knows how to use it and take care of it. Toronto’s show was the band’s FIFTH in a row and he showed no signs of weakness…impressive!
Let’s hope that it will not be another four year gap between visits to North America for Primal Fear. I wish I could get to see them live every year. I was tempted to follow the tour for a few nights just to make up for the lack of live PF that we have here in North America…maybe I will next time!
A dream of mine is that both Primal Fear and Gamma Ray will tour North America together…my two fav bands on the same bill, that would be amazing.
Countdown to Insanity (intro music)
Alive & On Fire
Delivering the Black
One Night in December
Angel in Black
When Death Comes Knocking
Fighting the Darkness
Bad Guys Wear Black
Metal Is Forever
Unbreakable Pt. 2
Running in the Dust