|If your talking about today's European top metal acts the discussion is heading straight towards Primal Fear. Former Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers and bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner, two of the most respected German metal musicians founded the band in late 1997. They recorded their first Primal Fear songs for the Japan based record company JVC Records and signed a deal with them for their debut album some weeks later.
Germany's best kept secret was soon a target for most of the European record companies and the band signed to Nuclear Blast Records in early 1998 for the rest of the world. The debut album, simply called Primal Fear was released in March 1998 and entered the German media control album charts straight ahead on position 48, soon followed by chart success in Japan. After touring together with Running Wild and HammerFall.
The second Primal Fear album Jaws Of Death entered the German charts on position 49 in July 1999, followed by their first headlining world tour. including countries like Brazil, Japan and of course Europe. A kind of Primal Fear hysteria broke free and surprised all metalheads, who couldn't understand, what kind of thunder was raging above them! In this fantastic mood, Primal Fear started the songwriting for Nuclear Fire. The result was their heaviest and strongest album so far. Typical Primal Fear trademarks like twin guitar solos, killer riffs and a catchy choruses marks Nuclear Fire as a classic.
The following headlining European tour was a huge success and Primal Fear were named as one of the hottest live bands. Primal Fear played 10 countries with packed audiences and a fantastic response with co-headliners Children Of Bodom.
Their 4th album Black Sun released on April 29th 2002. The album was mixed this time at the Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas. Black Sun charted in Germany on position 55. The following tour through Europe and 11 countries was a huge success, followed by a fantastic and successful tour through South America in December 2002 with the highlight show in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the Via Funchal.
In April/May 2003 the band headed to their first US & Canada tour to be a part of the Metal Gods Tour together with Halford, Testament, Immortal and others, with new drummer Randy Black. The long awaited first DVD The History Of Fear was released in September 2003 including a superb digipak packaging with fantastic reviews by the metal press. During this time, the metal commando was actually in the recording studio and started the sessions for their new album Devil's Ground. A video clip was shot in Stockholm, Sweden for the first single of the album and the alltime metal hymn "Metal Is Forever".
After touring, the band started the songwriting for their sixth album Seven Seals and this album was a new start and a fresh breath to reload the sound of the band. The album was mixed in the legendary Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada by mixer Mike Frazer. Two video clips were shot for the songs "Evil Spell" and "Seven Seals". The band toured together with Helloween for 3 month through Europe, followed by an extensive tour in Japan. Mat Sinner's book biography The Book Of Seven Seals was released in the middle of the tour and the great packaging was sold out in a short time.
At the peak of their career, Primal Fear ended up the long time partnership with Nuclear Blast Records & JVC Records and signed a worldwide multi album deal with Frontiers Records. Both Nuclear Blast Records and JVC Records released a final best of album Metal Is Forever - The Very Best Of Primal Fear, which was a huge success in Japan and stayed for three month in the Burrn album charts.
The first album for Frontiers Records was released in September 2007 and named New Religion. Epica's lead singer Simone Simons was invited to studio to sing the first duet in Primal Fear recording history, the song "Everytime It Rains" and the alltime favorite "Fighting The Darkness". Magnus Karlsson from Sweden was introduced as the band's new guitarist and the band embarked on their 10 Years Of Metal 2008 anniversary tour.
The next studio album named under the mysterious banner of 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) was released worldwide in May 2009. 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) charted in Germany on position 46 of the album charts and the following 16.6 World Tour was a great success including shows in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, South America, USA, Canada & an extensive Europe clip was released for the song "Six Times Dead". Some shows in the USA and Europe were recorded and ended up in the first official live album Live In The USA and the concert DVD 16.6 All Over The World including a playtime of 3 hours and total metal mayhem, video clips and backstage scenes. A must for Primal Fear fans, followers & supporters.
Unbreakable was the next strike - released on 20 January 2012 including the video-clip/single Bad Guys Wear Black. Unbreakable charted in Germany #31, Sweden #48, Finland #50, Japan #27, Austria #74, Switzerland #51, Netherland Top 200 and in the US Billboard Heatseekers for the first time on #44. Primal Fears new outstanding "Back To The Roots" message called Unbreakable. A new video clip was released for the opening track of the album "Strike" with now more than 1 million YouTube views.
With nine studio albums released, two live products and a best of, Primal Fear are certainly one of nowadays most beloved and respected worldwide heavy metal bands. Their last studio album Unbreakable became their highest chart entry in Germany on position. 31 and charted in 7 more countries.
After some very serious songwriting sessions and an intense pre-production schedule, the band started to record the new album Delivering The Black in summer 2013 at the House Of Music studios in Germany, with producer Mat Sinner and engineer Achim Koehler. The direction was to create the most powerful Primal Fear album ever. The band moved to Denmark in September to finish the album with acclaimed producer/engineer Jacob Hansen handling the mix.
Delivering The Black combines the strongest Primal Fear moments ever, with a well-balanced typical Primal Fear trademark riff-vibe crushing songs and some very ambitious musical journeys. The center of the album are the two epic tracks "When Death Comes Knocking" and the 10 minute opus "One Night In December", spiced with big orchestral arrangements and complex sound designs. Classic and ultra-fresh Primal Fear riff-rockers like the title track "Delivering The Black", the album opener "King For A Day" or the groove monsters "Alive And On Fire" and "Road To Asylum" will hit the bulls-eye, like the untamed speed killer "Rebel Fraction". Less experiments, more metal. The outstanding ballad "Born With A Broken Heart" shows a new picture of Primal Fear with an acoustic guitar feeling and the addition of Liv Kristine (Leaves' Eyes) on backing vocals.
Singer Ralf Scheepers says: "We worked hard to create our best album ever. I already felt the vibe during the pre-production, that we were working on something very special this time! And now the result is just an amazing metal album, I'm extremely proud of!".
Producer/bassist Mat Sinner adds: "The songs, the production, the sound - this album is a very special one for me and my career. In my view everybody in the band just did a killer job and Jacob was fantastic choice to mix the album!"
Anticipated by the release of the digital only single When Death Comes Knocking, Primal Fear are about to release their strongest album ever - Delivering The Black. The album will be released in 5 formats - digital, CD jewel case, CD/DVD deluxe edition, super collectors edition and on vinyl.
Don't miss the German metal commando on their new world tour Eagles & Lions 2014.
(Source: Official website, 14.12.2015)