The third album by a band is usually the defining moment; when the band’s sound was perfected. Number of the Beast
is considered a classic album of Heavy Metal’s long history, as are Master of Puppets
, Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 2
, and Follow the Reaper
in each of their respective subgenres. Albums like these are usually considered the high points of these bands, much like Primal Fear’s third LP, Nuclear Fire
. Though the band faltered with the release of Jaws of Death
, Primal Fear was sure to make this release their best. Taking the best moments of the self-titled CD and its follow-up, this is easily one of the best moments of Primal Fear’s years in business.
The songwriting is noticeably improved from the past two albums. Though song lengths usually stay around four minutes in duration, the band creates many Judas Priest-influenced Power Metal songs with many hooks and memorable melodies. The title song is just one example of the improved songwriting, where a catchy riff is found in just the first few seconds, and only becomes more and more memorable as it goes on. Other songs like “Angel in Black” and “Back From Hell“ all show the heights of each band member; with booming drums, powerful guitar playing, and a shrieking vocalist that just gets better as time goes on. Of course, the best thing about each of these songs is the memorable choruses, which Ralf Scheepers does not fail to deliver. Primal Fear has always had very strong choruses, (“Hatred in My Soul” and “Silver and Gold” are just two examples) and nearly every single song on this release has a dynamic, overblown, and infectious chorus that emanates of everything that makes Power Metal great. With all of these elements, these songs are very consistent and some of the absolute highlights of Primal Fear’s timeline, and these musicians have mastered all of what can be done in a four minute song…
…Though lengthening the songs would be nice. Songs like “Where Angels Die” and “Question of Honour” would be a substantial addition to Nuclear Fire’s
material, adding even more creativity to this release. Since all of the songs are around the same length and style, the album may get repetitive as it goes on. Coupled with the fact that the album contains twelve tracks, this issue would certainly stand out by the time you reach the album’s dénouement. Many listeners may begin to note similarities between these dozen tracks, like in the song “Living for Metal,” which is one of the very few instances of filler on this release. Thankfully, the songs with less-than-stellar writing are placed at the end of the album; doing little to worsen the album’s heights. As a result, those who wish to purchase this release should keep this in mind about the album’s end, as songs like “Living for Metal” are nothing in comparison to “Now or Never” and “Kiss of Death.”
Even then, it should go without saying that Primal Fear definitely delivered a highly enjoyable release. The song-writing, though staying safe, and each band member’s performances are completed excellently. Almost every song is a dynamic and creative experience, and deserves the attention of any fan of German Power Metal. This album is easily one of the best moments of Primal Fear’s long and hectic history, and deserves to be in your collection of Power Metal albums. Of course, with a name like Nuclear Fire
, bombastic, heavy, and energetic metal is the only possibly end result.