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PRIMAL FEAR - Apocalypse

Released August 10/18 (Frontiers)

Despite Primal Fear being in existence for some twenty-one years, Apocalypse (their twelfth full length) represents this reviewer's first run-in with the band. Their reputation as being Judas Priest clones never enticed me to check them out ... until now.

The title track instrumental opener certainly echoes familiar, reminding one of Priest's 'The Hellion' setup for the Screaming For Vengeance platter. However, the first track proper ('New Rise') goes to the land of happy European power metal instead, proving to be an effective, albeit standard, table setter. From thereon out Primal Fear oscillates between mid-tempo metal with melodic choruses and uber-melodic rockers.

Got to say that the comparisons to Priest prove incorrect to these battle-tested ears, Primal Fear only being able to attain the level of power of the Metal Gods on one lonely track ('Blood, Sweat & Fear'). This is just too melodic and, at times, outright saccharin to be put on such a pedestal. The addition of a shameless rip-off of 'Turbo Lover' ('Into The Fire') only succeeds in pushing me further away from this record. Meh.

[5]

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