Primal Fear - Rulebreaker review



Reviewer:
8.6

156 users:
8.01
Band: Primal Fear
Album: Rulebreaker
Release date: January 2016


Disc I
01. Angels Of Mercy
02. The End Is Near
03. Bullets & Tears
04. Rulebreaker
05. In Metal We Trust
06. We Walk Without Fear
07. At War With The World
08. The Devil In Me
09. Constant Heart
10. The Sky Is Burning
11. Raving Mad
12. Final Call [deluxe edition only bonus]
13. Don't Say You've Never Been Warned [deluxe edition only bonus]

Disc II [DVD] [deluxe edition]
01. The End Is Near (video clip)
02. Angels Of Mercy (video clip)
03. Making Of Rulebreaker


And there I thought Primal Fear couldn't top themselves after their 2014 release Delivering The Black; boy was I wrong. But were 'rules broken' with their newest effort? And do they really have to be? What's wrong with what Primal Fear produced all those years? Nothing - absolutely nothing!

The album starts in typical Primal Fear fashion; great riffs, awesome solos, signature vocals - headbanging guarantied. "The End Is Near" convinces with its 80's rock 'n roller sound and I think due to the groovy guitar licks and the superb drumming this is one of my favorite on the album. While "Bullets & Tears" is a prime example of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" formula, one has to wonder if Primal Fear isn't trying to please their fans, with the same old Judas Priest or Accept worship.

The, once again, überlong song of the album, while clocking in at a little under 11 minutes is actually really good and one of my highlights on Rulebreaker. Leaning more toward the progressive side of the spectrum, it does showcase the musical abilities of all members. And speaking of members; while I was stoked to see ex-Angra drummer Aquiles Priester after the band parted ways with Randy Black, acquiring Francesco Jovino (ex-U.D.O.) was the smarter move after all.

Having shredder Tom Naumann once again in the ranks didn't hurt the outcome of the new album neither, which is ever so apparent on "At War With The World"; a classic, as old-school as it gets Primal Fear number. But then again, what do we really expect from a band which have proven over and over that they are still as relevant now as when they started. With a vocalist such as Ralf Scheepers, a now more groovy drummer than they had in years, three guitarist who are also no slouches in the writing department and let's not forget bassist/writer/producer/jack of all trades, Mat Sinner - well, hello if this doesn't scream success, then I don't know what.

According to Ralf Scheepers: "We have kept the promise of being a heavy metal band with all our trademarks for which people love Primal Fear".

As true as that might be, I can't shake the feeling that Rulebreaker is not as energetic, or bubbly, as its 2014 predecessor. For some reason I identified with the songs on Delivering The Black much quicker and with more ease. Not saying that the new album doesn't have any memorable songs, but it did take me multiple play-throughs to fully appreciate Rulebreaker.

Regardless, as a fan of the band, or genre in general, you won't go wrong with picking this one up; just let it grow on you a bit.


 



Written on 13.01.2016 by Admin / Photographer / Reviewer

Former Editor aka b**ch in charge and now just a
Professional concertgoer... dangerously armed with a camera!


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 306 users
13.01.2016 - 20:12
Kais
I'm sold! definitely aching to hear it
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13.01.2016 - 21:02
Dark Forever
Ruído Sonoro
Don't you mean "their 2014 release Delivering The Black" and "its 2014 predecessor"? I guess their albums are so similar that people have a hard time differentiating them anymore; what puzzles me is that YOU reviewed Delivering The Black in 2014
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Taste the DARK...
... and you'll live FOREVER!
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13.01.2016 - 21:41
Bad English
Masterchief
4 songs in ms news was promising, so seems this will be good album
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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13.01.2016 - 22:29
D.T. Metal
Admin
Written by Dark Forever on 13.01.2016 at 21:02

Don't you mean "their 2014 release Delivering The Black" and "its 2014 predecessor"? I guess their albums are so similar that people have a hard time differentiating them anymore; what puzzles me is that YOU reviewed Delivering The Black in 2014

thanks for catching that this is what happens when you do a couple things at the same time and can't keep track.
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14.01.2016 - 00:16
Spirit of dead
Thanks for the well written review.

I think this album is extremely well executed in terms of sound, performance and writing but it's far too generic. Every song seems extremely familiar and doesn't really add to the genre. The only track that I think stands on its own is The End Is Near. In end not much to make me want to listen to it again unlike Delivering The Black.

And is just me or does this album see Primal Fear's sound completely converging with modern Accept?
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14.01.2016 - 00:33
D.T. Metal
Admin
Written by Spirit of dead on 14.01.2016 at 00:16

Thanks for the well written review.

I think this album is extremely well executed in terms of sound, performance and writing but it's far too generic. Every song seems extremely familiar and doesn't really add to the genre. The only track that I think stands on its own is The End Is Near. In end not much to make me want to listen to it again unlike Delivering The Black.

And is just me or does this album see Primal Fear's sound completely converging with modern Accept?

or modern Accept sounds like Primal Fear

but yes, it's well written and all, but it didn't flow and was as memorable as Delivering The Black.
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14.01.2016 - 02:07
IH8Hipsters
I will be picking this up ASAP. Delivering the Black was really good so if this is close I'm sure it will be great.
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16.01.2016 - 16:19
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
I always know what to expect from Primal Fear and I am never disappointed, they always produce quality on every album.
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17.01.2016 - 00:49
Malignar
Somehow I hadn't ever run into this band until this week. I'm guessing that I saw them tagged as power metal and skipped over them. I think they should probably toss that out the window and just call these guys heavy metal. It looks like they are really hitting their stride with the 2014 release and the song I've heard from Rulebreaker.
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17.01.2016 - 01:03
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by Malignar on 17.01.2016 at 00:49

Somehow I hadn't ever run into this band until this week. I'm guessing that I saw them tagged as power metal and skipped over them. I think they should probably toss that out the window and just call these guys heavy metal. It looks like they are really hitting their stride with the 2014 release and the song I've heard from Rulebreaker.


I've never understood the power metal tag either for Primal Fear. From the get go they have been a heavy metal act heavily influenced by Judas Priest. They are just a really melodic version of them . I've seen bands like Running Wild and Grave Digger tagged as power metal too...they just aren't.
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18.01.2016 - 03:05
Spirit of dead
Written by Belegûr on 17.01.2016 at 01:03


I've never understood the power metal tag either for Primal Fear. From the get go they have been a heavy metal act heavily influenced by Judas Priest. They are just a really melodic version of them . I've seen bands like Running Wild and Grave Digger tagged as power metal too...they just aren't.



Power metal wasn't as poncy back in the late 1990s when Primal Fear started out. Bands like Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Demons and Wizards, Tad Morose, Angel Dust, Gamma Ray and early Edguy were quite ballsy. Even Helloween was far more heavy and less sugar coated than now (e.g. Master of the Oath, Better Than Raw and The Dark Ride).

The overall power metal genre's kind of got softer over time with less guitars and more emphasis on vocal melodies and keyboards. And some of the heavy metal guys ala Accept and Raven have converged with heavier elements of power metal in terms of sound.

The other thing is there is considerable overlap between heavy, speed and the heavier end of power metal in any case and today there's often not much difference between the three - e.g. compare say Raven and Accept to Gamma Ray.

In any case it's all heavy metal to me!
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18.01.2016 - 17:20
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Written by Spirit of dead on 18.01.2016 at 03:05

Written by Belegûr on 17.01.2016 at 01:03


I've never understood the power metal tag either for Primal Fear. From the get go they have been a heavy metal act heavily influenced by Judas Priest. They are just a really melodic version of them . I've seen bands like Running Wild and Grave Digger tagged as power metal too...they just aren't.



Power metal wasn't as poncy back in the late 1990s when Primal Fear started out. Bands like Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Demons and Wizards, Tad Morose, Angel Dust, Gamma Ray and early Edguy were quite ballsy. Even Helloween was far more heavy and less sugar coated than now (e.g. Master of the Oath, Better Than Raw and The Dark Ride).

The overall power metal genre's kind of got softer over time with less guitars and more emphasis on vocal melodies and keyboards. And some of the heavy metal guys ala Accept and Raven have converged with heavier elements of power metal in terms of sound.

The other thing is there is considerable overlap between heavy, speed and the heavier end of power metal in any case and today there's often not much difference between the three - e.g. compare say Raven and Accept to Gamma Ray.

In any case it's all heavy metal to me!


Not to sound like a prick, but I do know all this haha. I do know that PM has different sounds (especially US PM), but I have just never heard Primal Fear as PM, at all. Even on their self titled debut, it just sounds like a heavy metal album to me. Especially when compared to the likes of Master of the Rings by Helloween or Land of the Free by Gamma Ray, both in the mid 90s.
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