Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
By the gods, they’ve done it! Primal Fear has managed to unleash an album that is as solid as NUCLEAR FIRE (2001). While the 2 albums are different, they are now the two best and solid Primal Fear albums. Earlier this year, reports from the band announced that there would be some musical experimentation on the new album. Many of us fans were quite worried. All worry was in vain, as the band’s sound is not changed but enhanced, and more importantly, diversified.
Primal Fear released a video for the album’s title track, “Seven Seals” prior to album release. The song chosen is not a typical song for the band as it is slow-paced and melodic with Ralf’s vocals as the center-point. On first listen, this song had me worried that the new album might be a lot like this. Thankfully, it’s not. After hearing the album several times now, the song has grown on me, primarily because of the performance Ralf delivers. This track begins with keyboards, it has no double kicks, features clean guitar parts, and a slow melodic guitar solo. However, after hearing it a few times it really grows on you adding some needed diversity into the Primal Fear mix. The chorus is where Ralf really shines.
Reassuringly, for those worried about a complete style change, the album starts in standard Primal Fear style with “Demons & Angels”. This is an up-tempo track in the vein of “Angel in Black”. “Rollercoaster” presents us with a different sounding bouncy riff. The song has some surprisingly heavy moments. The riffing before the solos in here is thrash-inspired. “Evil Spell” was another surprising track that has a lengthy slow intro that gives no indication of the fury to be unleashed in the rest of the song. The drumming and riffing are intense and provide some of the heaviest moments we’ve heard from Primal Fear. “The Immortal Ones” has that head-nodding tempo found in many places on Fight’s first album. The riff is down-tuned and dirty making for another facet of the album’s sound. “Diabolus” begins with a big epic sound before moving into what is Primal Fear’s take on a power ballad (minus the gay strumming guitars and stupid lyrics of course). “All For One” is a place on the album where those who continue to only compare Primal Fear to Judas Priest will have that self-satisfied feeling of being right…at least at times. Another time would be with the vocals on the chorus of “Carniwar”. “A Question of Honour” is a catchy power metal track which makes the next, and closing song of the album, stand out even more. The ballad “In Memory” stylistically shows another side of Primal Fear upon which Ralf lays some of his most emotive vocals to date.
So fear not fans of Germany’s power metal commandos. SEVEN SEALS is a strong album showing mature song writing with a diversity that was sometimes lacking in the past.