Primal Fear – Seven Seals (2005)
1. Demons And Angels
3. Seven Seals
4. Evil Spell
5. The Immortal Ones
7. All For One
9. Question Of Honour
10. In Memory
11. The Union
If you know about Primal Fear then there’s no need to tell you what their latest album, Seven Seals, delivers. For the uninitiated, this is one heavy Power Metal feast in the vein of Judas Priest, Helloween, and Iron Maiden. This is album #6 for this German band and it is their best one to date.
So what exactly makes this their best album so far?
Growth and diversity (expanding on the Traditional Metal songwriting and riffs) and some powerhouse vocals from Ralf Scheepers (ex-Gamma Ray, ex-Tyran Pace).
This album starts off with some driving anthems (Demons And Angels, Rollercoaster) and quickly changes to the mid-tempo title track, followed by 2 more headbangers (Evil Spell and The Immortal Ones). Diabolus is another slower song, almost a ballad, that seems unexpected from a band that can rip you ears off with speed and crunch. Primal Fear has dome slower tunes on previous albums but I always think of them as Power Metal merchants.
6 songs in and, for me, the best tunes are the title cut and Diabolus. Scheepers voice just soars. Most people think of him as a Rob Halford clone (wasn’t he in the Top 3 for that Judas Priest job?) but he has become more “Ralf Scheepers” and is poised to challenge the Metal God for his coveted vocal throne over the Metal kingdom.
Three more prime cuts of Metal with All For One (check out the double-bass drums), Carniwar, and Question Of Honour. On to the Judas Priest-esque ballad: In Memory. This is Scheepers doing an all out Rob Halford on this slow number. Remember what I mentioned earlier that he is thought of as a Halford clone? This song tells you why. It’s a good song and you could do a lot worse than sound like one of the premier Metal singers of all-time. Closer The Union is the U.S. version bonus track.
I picked this up day of release, listened to it once, and put it at the top of the pile. The ever growing pile! It got lost in there but I was smart enough to have loaded it into my Dell DJ so it’s been getting a nightly listen at work. I can’t find a bad song on the album, it’s solid all around. Surprisingly, In Memory seems to be my favorite track! Actually, all 3 slower numbers are personal highlights.
There are a few versions of this one:
1. U.S. version – Jewelcase with 1 bonus track (The Union)
2. Japanese version – The Union bonus track + 2 video clips
3. European version – Comes in either jewelcase or the Ltd. Ed. digipak with 2 bonus tracks (The Union and Higher Power) and a video clip
4. The Book of Seven Seals – Ltd. Ed. hardcase 2 CD + 1 DVD with book (Available at the Nuclear Blast webstore)