PRIMAL FEAR – New Religion

PRIMAL FEAR - New Religion
  • 9/10
    PRIMAL FEAR - New Religion - 9/10


Frontiers Records / Locomotive Records
Release date: September 21, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Germany’s Primal Fear delivers big time with the band’s 7th release, entitled New Religion. As producer, bass player, songwriter, and leader of the band, Mat Sinner has pushed all of the right buttons in creating this album; one of those rare pieces of work that just seems to “have it all.” There’s plenty of top notch and well-produced Traditional Metal laid as the foundation for the band’s benchmark style, occasional traces of Power Metal, periodic ventures into Symphonic realms, and even a few Progressive touches intermixed for good measure. Ralf Scheepers flexes his (vocal) muscles often within this album, showing that pure, unadulterated vocal talent canvassing several octaves most certainly still exists within Metal. Stefan Leibing and Henny Wolter, though not technically higher echelon axe men, confirm they know how to deliver catchy, well-played riffs and meaningful solos … and when the songs call for an elevated level of play, enter in guest guitarist extraordinaire Magnus Karlsson to fill the role. Lastly, successfully providing the final touches of power and drive present in each track is Randy Black, putting forth a thunderously outstanding percussion effort throughout New Religion.

The album begins with “Sign Of Fear” – there’s some random drum playing and a powerful guitar riff emerging in the background, followed by an anticipatory musical pause to presumably get organized, then all hell breaks amid a Halford-esque scream by Scheepers that gets the song sprinting on its merry way. Simply a great Traditional Metal song, and the quality just never quits. Next up, “Face The Emptiness” incorporates some nice atmospheric keyboard use, has a great melodic chorus, and is one of those songs where the music and lyrics just seem to fit so well together.

Strings and the beautifully sad but sweet operatic voice of Epica’s Simone Simons start out “Everytime It Rains,” which quickly transitions into a duet with Scheepers. This song still rocks, but folds in an underlying sadness that’s woven throughout the fiber of the song, as one might suspect from a song containing the word “rain” in the title.

It’s back to fast-paced Traditional Metal with the title track “New Religion.” Like many of the songs on this album, the chorus is brilliantly catchy and well-conceived. The album’s most notable change-up is the epic 5th track, a song divided into 3 parts: “Fighting The Darkness,” “The Darkness,” and “Reprise.” The beginning piano intro and vocal approach make it sound like you’re in for a ballad, but that’s just one face of this track, as a little bit of everything is introduced at one point or another, including keyboards, strings, symphonics, and a great chorus full of images of one’s plight when fighting that dreaded, fear-inducing darkness. It’s all good and shows impressively refined songwriting talent – Scheepers belts out plenty of emotion throughout his performance here too, completely selling the message and imagery of a battle with internal strife.

The remaining 6 tracks on the album are all very solid, predominantly Traditional Metal tracks, with “Blood On Your Hands,” “Too Much Time,” “Psycho,” and “World On Fire” coming through as strong as any on the album, and “The Curse Of Sharon” (who or what in Hades is “Sharon”?) and “The Man (that I don’t know)” falling just a step short of the rest of the lot. All in all, though, there’s plenty of quality Metal in both the 1st and 2nd half of New Religion.

In the end, if you get into Metal with a Traditional backdrop, a cornucopia of great musical passages, higher octave vocal muscle-flexing, catchy choruses, and meaningful, image-producing lyrics with enough Symphonic and Progressive touches to separate the album from being predictable or cliché, then this album is indeed a must have no-brainer. Primal Fear never really define what their “New Religion” is all about throughout the course of this album, but rest assured, after giving this album a chance, you’re going to find yourself to be a willing and devout follower! A strong candidate for album of the year in 2007 …

New Religion is being offered in Europe via Frontiers Records, and in North America via Locomotive Records, but not until January 2008!


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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