|Review: Primal Fear - Seven Seals|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 16, 2006
Reviewed by: Ivan the Bludgeon
Rated 4.12/5 (82.42%) (33 Votes)
Up to this new release from Primal Fear I have always been bound to think of them as one of the few snipers able to strike the target at any shoot they take. The name of that "target" is too much known for the metal audience – Judas Priest. Being a big admirer of the stuff these British Colossi used to make in their day, I, for one, have always remained indifferent about any effort they have made since the glorious times of the Painkiller album. As a result, the vacuum stemmed out of the lack of good portion of metal oxygen was to be filled by someone, and for me it was the bands such as Primal Fear, Iron Savior, Iced Earth, Brainstorm, Cage, Mystic Prophecy and the likes who managed to infuse a fresh spirit into the genre some time ago.
I don't feel like enlisting the band's previous merits; let's just say all of their former albums from the self-titled debut to the penultimate solid work "Devil's Ground" can be regarded as diamonds. Some of them are a bit rough, others are nearly flawless, but, anyway, all of them can take their honorary place in any metal collection. But the stuff they are going to treat their fans with on the album under consideration is simply matchless (within the bounds of Primal Fear, of course) in every respect.
After the very first spin I could confidently claim Primal Fear to have been fed up with their sounding like Judas Priest. The vast application of keys just strengthens this feeling. But all these novelties serve as fairly good diluents for the pure metal structures used by the band. For the time being, I can warrant that the album will bring about diametrically opposed opinions. Dissimilar to their entire legacy, this album will certainly make some faces lengthen with discontent and disappointment. Others, at the very same time, will be radiant with gratification.
So why am I making such a big fuss over this album? There are two main reasons for this. One, with this new material the band has more than obviously come off the beaten track, which can create a real furore among its faithful freaks. And two, in the view of songwriting this is the most terrific opus by these Germans with not a single filler, just sheer killers.
From the hurricane-like Demons and Angels to the ultimate tranquilizer In Memory we are expected to make an absorbing journey with a quite a few unusual keyboard excursuses and nearly hard rock guitar solo arcades. The key presence is rather conspicuous in some tracks and barely perceptible in the rest of them. On the other hand, this fact doesn't drag the whole work downwards. Quite the other way round, it gives the album some touch of solemnity as, for instance, in the title Seven Seals song and Diabolus. However, the guitars are still dominant here, but more polished and well crafted as compared with the former stuff. Such guitar oriented killers as All for One or Rollercoaster are able to toss your heart up much higher than the Tower of Babel.
So, as I've said above we are in for a completely new Primal Fear from the cover artwork to the musical essence on the whole. Though the omnipresent eagle is still gazing upon us from the front cover this species is absolutely different from its elder brothers since now it has been immortalized as a kind of embossment.
Well, what can be inferred from Seven Seals is that utilizing new sounds and symphonic elements seems to be right up their street. The masterly adaptation of innovations to the old framework spurs you to misbelieve that the band has played each piece of this new stuff before although history and facts are stubborn things and can tell you quite the opposite. Speaking of the sound side of the album, it goes without saying that this new stuff stands one step higher than their previous one. I knowingly didn't conduct a track-by-track analysis here in order to excite your curiosity and make up your own mind. But I'd like to warn those with a more obstinate view on any novelties – even if you a headstrong fan try previewing it before buying. This album can only evoke two feelings – love or hate.
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