CD Devil's Ground [Digipak] (CD 6986757),
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Devil's Ground [Digipak]

  • 1. Metal is Forever
    2. Suicide and Mania
    3. Visions of Fate
    4. Sea of Flames
    5. Healer, The
    6. Sacred Illusion
    7. In Metal
    8. Soulchaser
    9. Colony 13
    10. Wings of Desire
    11. Heart of a Brave
    12. Devil's Ground
    13. Die Young
    14. Metal is Forever [5.1 Mix] - (remix)
    15. Healer [5.1 Mix], The - (remix)
    16. Rover, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1409

  • Credits
    ProducerAchim Koehler; Mat Sinner; Primal Fear
    EngineerIngmar Schelzel; Achim Koehler

    Primal Fear: Mat Sinner (vocals, bass); Ralf Scheepers (vocals); Stefan Leibing (guitar, keyboards); Tom Naumann (guitar); Randy Black (drums).
    Personnel: Mat Sinner, Ralf Scheepers (vocals); Stefan Leibing (guitar, keyboards); Tom Naumann (guitar); Randy Black (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Achim Koehler.
    Recording information: House Of Music Studios (09/2003-11/2003).
    Photographer: Alex Kuhr.
    Who needs Judas Priest when you have Primal Fear? Seriously, given the British metal gods' move towards thrash, post-1990's seminal Painkiller, the German quintet, led by former Gamma Ray frontman Ralf Scheepers (himself once considered to replace Halford) arguably sounds more like classic, '80s period Priest than the real deal. Heck, Rob Halford never shrieked a heavy metal standard-bearing anthem more gallantly (or, admittedly, shrilly) than album opener "Metal Is Forever." Yes, it is forever, my sore-necked, headbanging friends -- or at least just under an hour, going by this, the group's fifth album, Devil's Ground. Sifting through the 12 tracks on offer here: "In Metal" is another call for the metal troops to stand up and be counted, "Visions of Fate," "Soul Chaser," and "Colony 13" balance their generous doses of adrenalin with very memorable choruses, while "The Healer" and the semi-epic "Wings of Desire" are both fine, dramatic slower numbers -- mostly devoid of silly sentiment, but guaranteed to bring out those lighters just the same. And with the help of newly acquired drummer Randy Black's (borrowed from Canadian thrashers Annihilator) nifty footwork on the likes of "Sacred Illusion" and "Sea of Flames" (the latter also piercing a few eardrums courtesy of Scheepers' screams), Primal Fear does open the speed metal envelope after all. As usual, guitar solos are often as much highlights as the songs themselves, as both Stefan Leibing and returning founder Tom Naumann are capable of firing them off at will. In short, few heavy metal bands, Teutonic or otherwise, can whip out the steel like Primal Fear -- it's not very original, but its always dependable. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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