Released: 2002, Nuclear Blast
The Teutonic gods of all that is heavy power metal have returned with the highly anticipated BLACK SUN. So, have they topped the glory that is NUCLEAR FIRE? In a word - no. But they have put out an album that is ALMOST as good as its predecessor.
After a somewhat unnecessary intro, things kick into overdrive with the best song on the album, and the title track, “Black Sun.” Following in the vein of songs like “Nuclear Fire” this song screams heavy metal. Next ass kicker is “Lightyears From Home,” which has a very nice solo section. “Revolution” begins with the stand-alone vocals of metal god Ralf Scheepers. Hearing Ralf singing alone is always a treat. The power in his voice is something that brings a smile to my face. This track in places made me think of Priest and songs like “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” which means this track is mid paced and not a double kicking anthem like Primal Fear's best. However, up next is the track “Fear” and the tempo picks back up. This is one of the two tracks that Halford’s guitarist “Metal” Mike Chlasciak lays some ripping solos on (the other being “Controlled”). I wonder what Mr. Chlasciak thought to himself when he heard the band and their ability to very easily out-Priest Priest?! Clearly what Primal Fear is doing is heavily Priest influenced and they have carried on the torch from the PAINKILLER album--unlike Priest whose new album, DEMOLITION is an abomination. (But that’s a discussion for another time and place. . . .) The track “Mind Control” is yet another memorable classic metal sounding track with a strong chorus. On “Magic Eye” we get to hear Ralph experiment a bit on the vocals as he starts the song out with a deeper more toned down voice. The places where the vocals sound doubled are very nice. He doesn’t sing the whole song in this style, of course. But it is nice to hear him try different things. Ralph is easily one of the best vocalists on the scene right now, period. Again, the solos in this song are incredible. It doesn’t get much better than this folks. For me, this is definitely the “shit”!! Another of my favorite songs on here, “Mind Machine,” starts out with some down tuned riffing that sounds eerily like something from Fight’s WAR OF WORDS album, when the vocals come in for a second you almost forget and think it’s Halford himself. This track features trade off vocals with Ralf and bassist Matt Sinner – being the debut of his lead vocals on a Primal Fear Song.
I won’t say Primal Fear have outdone themselves--but, then again, if you take BLACK SUN and NUCLEAR FIRE side-by-side, both outdo all the band’s other material and in fact outdo most of the other bands out there today! Even though this album is not presenting much of anything new, I don’t care. Why fuck with a good thing?? This album should solidify Primal Fear’s rightful place as one of the best damn heavy metal bands in existence today.
Band website: http://www.primalfear.de/