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Black Sun

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Album Review

Channeling vintage Judas Priest while adding a touch of thrash metal dynamics and layered vocals, Primal Fear comes galloping out of the metal underground once again on Black Sun. By concentrating just a little bit harder on the heaviness of the music, the band manages to deliver a more consistently engaging product than many of their contemporaries in the power metal field. The abrasive riffing is nicely offset by the melodic guitar work, which brings to mind late-'80s Joe Satriani with its clear phrasing and fluid wankery. And there's nothing wrong with a little guitar wank when it comes to this kind of music, which is shameless in its use of dramatic riffing and button-pushing dynamics. The anthemic bravado of the catchy "Light Years From Home" is the album's true highlight, but several other songs also manage to capture that same attitude and power. The only thing that hurts the album is the dated nature of power metal, which still manages to evoke '80s horror films and jean jackets despite being years away from that time period. The album probably won't make the transition to mainstream metal fans, but anyone enamored with the power metal underground should give this bright and kinetic album a listen.


Formed: Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The European power metal combo Primal Fear has been kicking around the metal underground for years, refining their brand of melodic riffing and soaring vocals. Their sound, highly influenced by Gamma Ray (who has traded members with this band) and Judas Priest, was introduced on their 1998 eponymous debut. The following year found them gathering a press following when Jaws of Death garnered positive reviews from most respectable metal critics. On top of that, their European popularity flourished...
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