Reviewed: July, 2020
Released: 2020, Frontiers
Primal Fear is one of the staple bands here at Metal-Rules.com. When we got going all those years ago the staff were excited to discover and enjoy bands like Primal Fear whose career got going at pretty much the same time as we did. We have supported them over the years. The band has been releasing albums every two years, like clockwork since Day 1.
As odd as it sounds this is just another Primal Fear album. Does that mean it is bad? Of course not, everything they do is virtually flawless in my mind however I can fully admit that the band is so consistent that the expectations of something utterly earth-shaking is low. The band has never really changed their signature style, expect maybe for a couple of ill-advised experiments with NEW RELGION in 2007 and 16.6 in 2009 but they got right back on track with UNBREAKABLE in 2012 and here we are five albums later with METAL COMMANDO.
The band is back on Nuclear Blast, and the band still has a three-guitar attack. The only new thing is that drummer Franseco Jovino (U.D.O.) has been replaced with Michael Ehre (Gamma Ray). Drummers are pretty much the only inconsistent thing about the band as Ehre is drummer #5 or #6 or something by now.
The album title and artwork are a bit uninspired perhaps and most notably this is the first album the band has disappointingly not utilized the metal/flaming eagle on the cover! I fear change, the eagle should be there. Bad mistake.
Classic, traditional Judas Priest inspired Power Metal is still the name of the game. If anything, this album lacks a bit of speed, never really getting to full throttle with only a couple of fast tracks. Scheepers voice is showing a bit of wear and tear after 25 years but he can still belt it out, using just a little less of high range and piercing screams. However on cuts like ‘Hear Me Calling’ he shows he still has it! The band also present their longest song ever, the monster 13+ minute long closing cut, ‘Infinity’ full of time changes and various parts, light and soft, heavy and dark.
Musically, Primal Fear is still superb and any of the last five albums are virtually interchangeable, and that is a high compliment. I don’t want Primal Fear to change, I want these Metal commandos to be reliable, and once again they deliver the goods.