Released: 2003, Nuclear Blast
German power commandos, Primal Fear, weigh into the realm of metal DVDs with THE HISTORY OF FEAR. The DVD runs for about 150 minutes coving two shows, two music videos, and some other additional content. There is a bonus CD providing an audio version of the first gig on the DVD.
Before I start to praise the DVD from one of my favorite bands I have to make a criticism. The DVD’s title, THE HISTORY OF FEAR is poorly named and misleading. This is not a history of the band. There are no interviews or much in the way of a documentary styled history that could justify such a title. That aside, what is offered here in terms of the two live concerts is excellent and a must have for all Primal Fear fans. Unlike some DVDs these days, this one has a nice booklet with a short write-up and photos from the different line-ups (there’s even a thumbnailed photo that Metal-Rules.com took at Primal Fear’s debut US performance in NJ from 2001).
There are two concerts on the DVD that make up the heart of the package. The first is from Wacken 2001 (filmed in daylight). The second is filmed at an indoor venue from the BLACK SUN tour 2002. Both concerts have very good sound and picture. Live, it’s very cool to better hear the backing vocals of Mat Sinner. For the Wacken performance I really like how they begin the show with “Angel in Black” then at the end of the show they do a reprise of the song to close off. They did this on the NUCLEAR FIRE tour at all shows I believe. On the 2002 gig, the band covers the classic Priest number “Metal Gods” pulling it off rather nicely. The third item on the DVD is the music videos for “Angel in Black” and “Armageddon” - the later I haven’t seen until now. The fourth chapter on the DVD is the short and pointless “Metal Warriors Report: Wacken 1999”. The dudes doing the “interview” speak like they are wrestlers (not real wrestling, the Hulk Hogan brand of soap opera wrestling). Closing out the DVD is the bootleg section. This was the most disappointing thing on the DVD. Not one full song is played on here. Instead there are live clips of the band from around the world from 1998 up to the 2003 Metal Gods tour. I would have preferred ½ as many clips, but with full songs rather than clips. The real meat on this DVD, and what makes this worth picking up, is the two full concerts. The package comes with a bonus CD that arguably is a waste since it’s just an audio version of the Wacken 2001 gig. If I would of wanted an audio version of that gig I could have played the concert from the DVD and turned off my TV. It would have been cooler to have the audio CD from different years, venues, and tours…but hey you can’t always get exactly what you want right? It’s not that I won’t be listening to the audio CD, it’s just that it would of made more sense that if they were going through the expense of adding a bonus audio CD to the package, to make it for something that is not already available on the DVD (yes I’m a picky bastard haha).
Watching the live stuff on here has gotten me very hyped up for the next Primal Fear release, DEVIL’S GROUND, coming in late February 2004. I don’t have any worries that it will rule since every album that this band has done has been excellent and live the band is as strong as they are on CD as proven by their performances on this DVD. If you are a fan of Primal Fear you will not be disappointed with the live performances on this fine DVD.