PRIMAL FEAR – Unbreakable

PRIMAL FEAR - Unbreakable
  • 7.5/10
    PRIMAL FEAR - Unbreakable - 7.5/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: January 20, 2012

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Primal Fear is one of the most premier Power Metal bands around, now releasing their ninth studio album. Unbreakable is packed full of their signature energetic and inspirational melodies and passionate ballads. Primal Fear has made an art out of turning simple melodies into a pure aggressive output. Primarily due to the crunching dual guitar riffs and overpowering vocals, this format made early German bands like Scorpions, Accept, and Helloween legendary. Primal Fear has always tried to continue that legacy and have not strayed from the formula that has provided them so much success.

The unmistakable sound of vocalist extraordinaire Ralf Scheepers once again leads the attack with his unforgiving vocals. Fresh off his 2010 solo album, Scheepers, he shows no signs of slowing down, though now approaching the age of 47. If anything, Scheepers is at the peak of his career and his voice still sounds as pristine as it did twenty years ago. Although Scheepers keeps his vocals slightly more toned down on this album than what he presented on his solo album, there are some instances here and there when Scheepers pushes himself to another level. This is most exemplified during the song (a first single from the album) “Bad Guys Wear Black,” which he sings in a very forceful fashion and reminds fans that he does really have a near four octave vocal range.

Their guitar melodies on Unbreakable are once again lead by acclaimed Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson. Karlsson’s rise to greatness came as the architect of the Allen/Lande collaboration project, being the main songwriter for all three of their albums. Although Unbreakable is only Karlsson’s second album with Primal Fear, his contribution has not gone unnoticed. They are a decisively better band musically with him, and they continue that maturity on this album. Even through Primal Fear’s basic formula has remained unchanged over the years, the compositions have become more elaborate as a result of Karlsson’s contributions.

The other key element to Unbreakable is the unmistakable drumming of Randy Black. Of course, Black is known for being able to play ambidextrously with a symmetrical set of cymbals, and his signature fervent double bass attack gives Unbreakable that extra burst of power that could be lost with the presence of an average drummer.

Materially, there really isn’t anything on Unbreakable that is highly remarkable. The songs collectively are relatively stagnant. Naturally, Primal Fear is very fearful of stepping out of their box. They are, however, on a never-ending crusade to write powerful head-banging melodies. There isn’t anything on this album that hasn’t already been done on prior Primal Fear albums, and most of their fans probably prefer it that way. No one will ever accuse Primal Fear of being experimental and cutting edge; it’s simply “balls to the wall” German Power Metal fury.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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