Released: 2014, Frontiers
In my mind when people ask what type of bands we support at Metal-Rules.com I always have a couple of bands in mind that define ‘Real Metal’… Iron Savior and Primal Fear. We have supported Primal Fear since the beginning of this site, I know our founder EvilG is a huge fan and champion (ed. note: YES! Primal Fear embody everything that I love about metal and this album is amazing!!). We have reviewed every studio album faithfully and they are almost always ranked very highly, even the ‘bad’ albums. As pointed out by Waspman in a couple of his reviews, the band has been in a ‘good album-bad album’ cycle for a decade now. However even a ‘bad’ Primal Fear album is a heck of a lot better than many other bands albums! I’m pleased to say that the band has broken the ‘good album-bad album’ cycle and released two great albums in a row UNBREAKABLE and now DELIVERING THE BLACK.
DELIVERING THE BLACK is the bands tenth studio album. Not much has changed. The band is still on Frontiers, the cover has the bands ‘metal eagle’ mascot and there have been no line-up changes. A recipe for success, because if it works, don’t mess with it! I’m almost at a loss for words how to describe a band that has been dissected, discussed and analyzed to death. If anything DELIVERING THE BLACK is a bit faster and heavier than then previous few records and perhaps a bit darker in tone. The tone is consistent with a Primal Fear album, lots of double kick and songs that drive along nicely. Ralf still has one of the strongest, most distinct voices in all of Metal. He signs no sign of slowing down or weakening with age and consider this he has been singing Metal since his days with Tyran Pace over 30 years ago. He still hits the high notes with power and ease.
There are a very few little hints of some different sounds such as a short middle-eastern influential guitar break in the track, ‘When Death Comes Knocking’. There is also some piano and rainy sound-effects at the beginning of the epic cut ‘One Night In December’. At over nine minutes running time, this is the longest most ambitious song the band has written. It is very atmospheric with hints of keyboards and a nice tempo with a catchy chorus and a few effects and some orchestration and piano around the five to seven minute mark before a more conventional solo or two kick in what sounds like a bit of solo trade off between Magnus and Alex. The adventurous song ends with more rain and a church bell tolling in the distance for a melancholy sound.
This is my first Primal Fear review for the site and I’m glad that DELIVERING THE BLACK has finally broken the curse of the good album-bad album cycle that has haunted them for years.