Iron Angel – Hellbound

Hellbound Cover

IRON ANGEL – HELLBOUND
Mighty Music
Release Date 04-05-2018
Running Time 46:44
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Iron Angel is a band who formed back in 1980 but one that is very much still going strong, even though there have been some changes in line up throughout the band’s career to date and, with their sound and energy, I bet their live shows are something out of this world, leaving the fans just as much out of breath as they are.

The band was formed in Hamburg in 1980 and are known for the two classic eighties metal albums “Hellish Crossfire” from 1985 and “Winds of War” from 1986. The band have toured with King Diamond, toured South America in 2017, which was a great success and performed at Headbangers Open Air in Germany in 2015.

The band have now, finally, released their comeback album “Hellbound” through Scandinavian premiere rock label Mighty Music, and are looking forward to completing a North & South American Tour for the Autumn of 2018.

Started in the 80’s alongside bands like Judas Priest, Saxon, and Iron Maiden, they have had a long and successful career with a few changes in line up along the way.
In 2000 they went into the studio to record their album “The Rebirth” but before they could finish it then band member Peter Wittke sadly died in a tragic car accident. The band cancelled everything and remained that way for four years. In 2004 Dirk and Mike tried to recruit new members and worked on a new album for three years but couldn’t find the members they wanted to join them, so they decided to put things on hold again. As a parting gift to the fans they presented the EP “Back From Hell”, which was done in a different style than they had done before. Sadly, a couple of months after the split another band member, Sven Struven, died.

Today’s line up consists of Dirk Schroder on vocals, Robert Altenbach and Mitsch Meyer on guitars, Didy Mackel on bass and finally Maximillian Behr on drums.

They had a dip in their career around 2014, when Didy Mackel noticed there were a lot of people wearing Iron Angel T-shirts at a festival and got in touch with Dirk Schroder via Facebook. After getting together to chat, September 2014 was officially when Iron Angel were back rocking, and what a brilliant outcome for the fans. Without that initial contact we could have been denied such brilliant work and crazy speed metal.

Vocals by Dirk are just brilliant. They are gritty, powerful, and intense, almost storytelling. The guitar riffs are just insane, and the drums are crazy. I bet they are all shattered after each show they do, as it’s crazy how the hell they keep the pace up for one song let alone a whole show is beyond me, but they do and it’s no wonder they are the success they are today.

I must admit ‘Deliverance In Black’ has to be my favourite track. It’s non-stop all the way through. “Close your eyes for ever taste your destiny” – you must remind yourself these are not some young band in their late teens but slightly older than that, and with so much energy in their music, these guys make it sound so easy and effortless.
‘Blood And Leather’ must be about bikers as the lyrics “hear me coming, feel my roaring engine, chrome and steel my cradle and hearse” is definitely a biker’s chant if ever I heard one.

When I first took this review on, I listened to the first few minutes and thought ‘okay but now I need to listen to more and look into them more’, and what surprised me was just how addictive, to listen to, these guys are.

When I realised it was German Speed Metal, I was expecting screams and nothing else, but thank you guys! You totally and, yes, pleasantly surprised me! Yes, it’s fast, yes, there is a totally insane drum beat all the way through and yes, you will be in guitar heaven, but you hear every word and they don’t miss a beat from one track to the next. It’s almost like you listen holding your breath, get to the end and think ‘jeez now I can breathe.’

I seriously hope they come to the UK in the future, as I think they would be insane to see live.
TRACKLIST:
01. Writings On The Wall
02. Judgement Day
03. Hell And Back
04. Carnivore Flashmob
05. Blood And Leather
06. Deliverance In Black
07. Waiting For A Miracle
08. Hellbound
09. Purist Of Sin
10. Ministry Of Metal
SOCIAL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/IronAngel.hh/
https://www.instagram.com/iron._angel/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqOnjTi-ZEK84JF9Roo1c_Q
https://www.facebook.com/mightymusic666/
Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Manimal – Purgatorio

240304

MANIMAL – PURGATORIO
AFM Records
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Running Time: 42:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

Every once in a while, an album pops into your inbox that just grabs you from the onset and has a lasting impression on you, so much so that you just have to give it ten out of ten when you review it. I can’t remember the last time I gave a ten for a review but this album by Manimal certainly deserves it.

Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2001, the four piece have previously released two albums, The Darkest Room in 2009 and Trapped in the Shadows in 2015, both showing how the band have stayed loyal to heavy/traditional influences and are prime examples of modern and trend-setting power metal.

Fast forward to 2018 and their latest album, Purgatorio, sees the band takes their outstanding qualities almost to the point of perfection. The album is nine tracks long, and the band have pulled out all the stops, creating different tempos and atmospheres throughout and writing choruses that have “true anthem potential!”

Says frontman Samuel Nyman: “our goal has always been to write songs we love and believe in. The challenge is to make a song with strong hooks without being too predictable. It’s just a bonus when we realise that people around the world seem to have the same good taste in music as we do!”

The album has been produced by Manimal themselves, says Nyman: “Just like the previous two albums we produced this one ourselves; mainly because we like to have full control of the production. We are control freaks to the bone, and the thought of putting our creations into hands of an external producer simply scares us!”

Each band member, however, still had their own little piece of the album to concentrate on. Singer Nyman is the epicentre of this amazing album. Inspired by singers such as Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Michael Kiske, his voice oozes self-confidence and passion, the kind that makes you go “wow” as soon as he opens his mouth.

The fabulous song writing is courtesy of guitarist, Henrik Stenroos, a true riff icon, whose hooks and licks provide the foundation for many of Manimal’s songs and drummer André Holmqvist, whose tight and powerful drum style is comparable to that of legends such as Tommy Lee and Mike Portnoy, co-wrote the lyrics.

Finally, bassist Kenny Boufadene was in charge of mixing the album and also produces the band’s videos.

Despite undertaking much of the album, themselves, they also enlisted the help of some well-known support. Firstly, the drums were recorded by Jakob Hermann (Anthrax, Europe, Machinehead and Evergrey) at Top Floor Studios. Secondly, the album was mastered by Tony Lindgren at Jens Bogren’s famous Fascination Street Studios, and lastly, the album cover work was designed by Claudio Bergamin (Judas Priest).

This album has soooooo much to offer. The title track and “Edge of Darkness” are a typical variety of haunting melodies and classy grooves, with a hidden sadness, that has become one of the band’s trademarks. But, after a little research, there are a few tracks that are a little different for Manimal, such as “Denial” with its Rammstein-esque riff, and “Spreading The Dread” with its remarkable rhythm.

This is an album that, to quote the press release notes, “sounds monolithic despite the fact that the individual songs ooze a wide range of different details and special features.” There is exceptional compositional talent that they have now mastered for the third time.

If I had to explain Manimal’s sound to someone who had not heard of them, I would describe them as this….they are the best bits of a variety of metal genres all rolled into one, Judas Priest meets Primal Fear meets Angel Dust meets every other goddamn band there ever was!

I was in love with this album from the very first note of the very first song. Even now, as I write this review and the album has been played almost to death (although not quite) in my car for my journeys to and from work, I am listening to it again! There really is not a bad song on the album, and although the whole “all killer, no filler” quote is a bit of a cliché, its one that is actually true of this album, and I actually think its gets better the further into the album you get (which is really saying something as it starts on such a high anyway!)

The last three tracks “Denial” (my absolute favourite! Its one of those tracks you can play on a loop time and time again and still not tire of it!), “Edge of Darkness” and “The Fear Within” are my stand out tracks, although the title track, “Traitor” and “Behind Enemy Lines” are just as good. And the remaining two tracks, “Manimalized” and “Spreading the Dread” are not far behind. The first track on the album “Black Plague” is an intro and sets the scene for some awesome metal to come.

I could talk all day about how much I loved this album, but I think the best thing you can do, is go out and get yourself a copy and see for yourself! I would bet anything that you won’t be disappointed!

I just hope these guys are planning on doing some gigs over here in England (hint hint guys!) because I will be right down the front for it!!

The album was only released on the 7th of September 2018 (today’s date is the 12th September!) and I am already looking forward to the next album of awesomeness these guys produce!

You have definitely got yourselves a new fan here!!!

TRACK LIST
1. Black Plague
2. Purgatorio
3. Manimalized
4. Spreading The Dread
5. Traitor
6. Behind Enemy Lines
7. Denial
8. Edge Of Darkness
9. The Fear Within

SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.manimal.se/
https://www.afm-records.de/en/m/69-manimal-2.html
https://www.facebook.com/manimalofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/@manimalofficial

929646

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Ragenheart – The Last King

RAGENHEART CD BOOKLET-CURVES-DARKER.cdr

Ragenheart – The Last King
Independent / Distribution Steel Gallery Records
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 48:42
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

After not having reviewed anything for a while due to personal circumstances, I needed something with a bang to come back to. I let Rick decide what to give me and boy does that guy know my taste in music. Enter Ragenheart and their new album The Last King!

Ragenheart are a Greek power metal band, forming in 2003 and composing their name by combining the phrase Rage In Heart. Founding members were Angel Priest on guitars and John Koronaios on vocals and they soon enlisted “Speedy” Nick on drums. The addition of Nikos Michalakalos on bass in 2004 and Stavros Papazoglou on keyboards in 2006 completed the line up and they soon released a five track demo.

Kostas Athanasoglou (Steel Gallery Records) and Greg Varsamis (Eat Metal Records) listened to the demo and decided to help the band, offering them the chance to open a gig for the legendary Hair Apparent. With their continued assistance, the band had several support shows for bands like Cloven Hoof and Leatherwolf.

2010 saw the release of their successful debut, Ragenheart and now in 2018, they release their second full length album The Last King.

So what can I say about this album? Well, a few words spring to mind….fantastic, great, awesome to name some but the best I can come up with is that this is a true power metal album in every sense of the word.

This is a stunning album with songs combining influences from the whole range of power metal from early Queensryche, to Dio, Riot, Savatage and Warlord. The vocals from John Koronaios are superb, the melodies and composition are fantastic and the production is bright, clear and powerful.

The tracks are full of crunching, heavy guitars and harsh drums, but with the obligatory power ballad or two. There are no bad songs on the album and none that could be considered fillers.

I had this in my car for weeks and didn’t want to take it out again. Stand out songs for me were, amongst others, title track The Last King, Fear and Metal Rules The Night (The 80’s Outcast), which really does sound like it came straight from the 1980’s.

In my opinion, no one does power metal better than the Europeans and I absolutely adore the little twang that appears in European singers vocals at times. Koronaios is an awesome vocalist and he sings English almost perfectly but the little accent that appear every now and then just gives him, in my opinion, that little bit of an edge.

If you are a power metal fan, like me, you will love this album. Even the cover has that typical power metal feel! But, even if you are not a power metal fan, this album has element of lots of genres of metal thrown in, so there should be something for everyone!

I had never heard of Ragenheart before I had reviewed this album, but I will definitely go back and check out there previous album and also will be keeping an eye and an ear out for any new stuff they release in the future.

TRACK LISTING:
1. A Thousand Years Empire
2. The Last King
3. Fear
4. Echo
5. Mirror
6. Metal Rules the Night (The 80s Outcast)
7. Dreamer
8. Blind Alley
9. Forever Rain
10. The End
11. Our Mighty Past

SOCIAL MEDIA:
http://www.ragenheart.net/
https://www.facebook.com/Ragenheart-162745123756811/
https://myspace.com/ragenheart
All alone

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Shadowkeep – Shadowkeep

Shadowkeep Cover

SHADOWKEEP – SHADOWKEEP
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 55:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
6.5/10

I got excited when the latest album by Shadowkeep dropped into my inbox and, as it had also landed in the Ever Metal inbox, Rick said I might as well be the one to review it.

But, let me tell you a bit about the history of the band before we get to the album.

Shadowkeep are an English heavy metal band from Guildford in Surrey and were formed in 1999 by guitarists Chris Allen (ex-Intense and Sire) and Nikki Robson (also ex-Sire) and Belgian vocalist, Rogue Marechal (ex-Halcyon). They recorded their debut six-track EP at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, England, in October 1999, an EP that was produced by fellow English rocker, Threshold’s guitarist and producer, Karl Groom, and a couple of albums followed.

Despite the longevity of the band, there have been numerous line up changes over the years and 2012 saw the appearance of the band’s TENTH incarnation! But now, 2018, sees them striking back with a new album, their 4th studio album and the first for ten years, and a new singer (this is the bit I got excited about!!)

None other than James Rivera, formerly of Seven Witches and currently of Helstar, has joined the quintet after they approached him to sing on their new album. But, with the addition of the 58-year-old Texan, comes a few changes to the band’s sound and dynamics. Previously compared to the more progressive bands, such as Queensryche and Crimson Glory, the new album takes them more in the direction of classic 80’s US metal, with James and his distinctive voice putting their stamp on the 11 new tracks.

So, what of the new album? I have listened to it numerous times and I still can’t make my mind up about it.

Musically, the guys are on top form. The duel guitar harmonies and riff based rhythmic work give the album an obvious aggression that all good metal albums should have, and Rivera’s voice is just as good as it has always been.

BUT……….

Having not really heard much of the band’s past music, I have nothing to compare this to, but what I have read while researching them, is that the previous offering was a lot more subdued than this. Now, I don’t know whether that is due to the introduction of Rivera, or whether the guys have just decided to do things differently this time round, but what it does mean, is that this album is dangerously close to sounding just like “any other Helstar album”.

Speed and power metal aspects are greatly emphasized is this album, the whole theme being Greek mythology and stories of other Mediterranean cultures (typical in the power metal scene). All, that is, except “Never Forgotten” which is a homage to the British soldiers of World War 1.

I have seen reviews of this album state that Rivera dominates while others say that he is nearly obliterated, (how interesting it is to see how differently reviewers see things), but my two pennies worth would be that Rivera has obviously had an influence over the album, although I am not entirely convinced that this is a good thing.

I like variety in metal, but this album sounds just like any other epic power/speed metal album. Although the songs are good, there is nothing on it that stands out from the rest and really grabs you by the balls. I couldn’t tell you my favourite song on it because I don’t really have one. I like and dislike them all just as much as each other.

If you like riff-laden, meaty, speed metal then this album will be right for you, but for those of you who are looking for that little bit extra…..well, you are not going to find it here!

But, I am just one of many and you might have a different opinion to me! Check it out. It’s not one of the best albums out there but it’s still a worthy addition to any metalhead’s collection.

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Atlantis
  • 2. Guardian of The Sea
  • 3. Flight Across the Sand
  • 4. Horse of War
  • 5. Little Lion
  • 6. Angels and Omens
  • 7. Isolation
  • 8. Never Forgotten
  • 9. The Sword of Damocles
  • 10. Immortal Drifter
  • 11. Minotaur

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.shadowkeepmetal.co.uk/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/Shadowkeepmetal/
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/62727?autoplay=true
  • https://myspace.com/shadowkeepuk
  • www.twitter.com/shadowkeepmetal

 

Promo Pic1 (1)

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

ÖBLIVÏON – RESILIENCE

Resilience Cover

Öblivїon – Resilience
Running Time: 51:42
Rock of Angels Records / Rock N Growl Promotions
Release Date: 23/02/2018
9/10

As much as I don’t like to make comparisons between bands, it’s kind of hard not to when three fifths of the French band Öblivïon originate from power metal band of the 2000’s, Nightmare.

Having parted ways with the latter band, vocalist Jo Amore, brother David Amore and keyboardist (although now guitarist) Steff Rabilloud, form the basis of Öblivïon, along with 6-string bassist Markus Fortunato (Fortunato, ex-MZ) and new guitar hero from the extreme metal scene, Flo Lagoutte (Forsaken World), and they have already established themselves in France and Europe with a series of concert and festival appearances.

Recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Pat ‘Magician’ Liotard (Nightmare. Now or Never) at Peek Studios in the South of France, Resilience is their anticipated and promising debut album and was released by Rock of Angels Records on 23rd February 2018.

Promising that this album will “blow the minds of melodic, modern power metal lovers”, Öblivïon are proud to fly the flag for melodic metal through solid, lyrical and powerful melodic songs using twin guitars and hooks, along with an unrestrained speedy pace with some progressive and symphonic elements thrown in and topped off with some great lyrics.

The album opens with ‘Spectral Warrior’, an epic opening to a classic power metal album, with drum rolls and angelic, choral vocals, before the unmistakable sound of Nightmare kicks in on track number two, ‘Honor And Glory’, evident even from the opening notes.

Now, I am not saying this is a blatant rip-off of the Nightmare sound as Öblivïon have brought their own ideas to the table too. They are a more hard-rock band, inspired more by traditional heavy metal, and they focus more on epic choruses than Nightmare did, a fact Öblivïon have never shied away from, but with the singer, keyboardist and drummer from said previous band, its hard not to have some hints of the previous sound.

Amore delivers some of his most striking melody lines to date, his voice traditionally heavy metal with just enough gravel thrown in to be powerful and strong but one which also has the ability to throw in some elements of the symphonic.

One of the things that does set Öblivïon apart from Nightmare is the use of twin-guitars with an abundance of powerful solos, and the galloping riffs that thunder through all the tracks are one of my favourite parts of the album. Rumbling drums and adept bass playing make for a fantastic rhythm section and nothing can fault the quality of musicianship and lyrical content.

Personally, I think this album gets better the further into it you get. The tracks develop more structure and there appears to be separation of the tracks. The first few songs sound too similar but after these each track has its own personality and identity. I don’t think there is a single “filler” on this album and ending with the powerful ‘Dreamer Believer’ was a great finish to a great album.

This album will, indeed, blow the minds of modern power metal lovers. It has all the hallmarks of traditional power metal but has been brought right up to date. I can’t wait for these guys to tour over here in England as I will be right there in the front row!!

A ‘must listen to’ album!

The bonus disk is a DVD recording of their live performance at Leym’Fest in France on September 2nd, 2017. The DVD features the full show, including seven brand new heavy metal tracks and three previous Nightmare songs, a bonus section featuring interviews with all members of the band and a trailer section.

The venue was the Ancien Casernement, Leyment, France, which from the DVD looks quite a small-ish venue making it quite an “intimate gig” but what a gig?! I would have loved to have been in the front row!

Amore’s voice, apart from a few crackles and dropped notes, sounds much the same as it does on the recorded CD, and the band, obviously a more mature band (I didn’t quite know how to say that without sounding offensive!) fill the stage with as much passion and energy as a band half their age.

If this DVD is anything to go by, then these guys need to get their arses over to England and do a few performances here.

I, for one, will be there and I’m sure a lot of other power metal and traditional metal heads will be too!

 

CD TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Spectral Warrior
  • 2. Honor And Glory
  • 3. In The Arms Of A Queen
  • 4. Bells From Babylon
  • 5. Shine In My Galaxy
  • 6. I Throught I Was A King
  • 7. Evil Spell
  • 8. Punished By The Crowd
  • 9. Facing The Enemies
  • 10. Race Is On
  • 11. Dreamers Believers

 

DVD TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Spectral Warrior
  • 2. Evil Spell
  • 3. In The Arms Of A Queen
  • 4. Shine In My Galaxy
  • 5. Eternal Winter
  • 6. Cosmovision
  • 7. I Thought I Was A King
  • 8. Honor And Glory
  • 9. Bells From Babylon
  • 10. Lord Of The Sky
  • 11. Dreamers, Believers

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/Oblivionband/
  • https://www.oblivion-metal.com/
  • https://www.instagram.com/oblivion_metal/

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

Ignys – Vestigium EP

Cover

Ignys – Vestigium
Running Time: 20:31
Independent
Release Date: 16/12/2017
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

It seems that I have become the unofficial reviewer of female fronted bands at Ever Metal (which is absolutely NOT a problem as I love the genre) and here is yet another one to join the ever-growing list, IGNYS.

Ignys hail from Asuncion in Paraguay (the first Paraguayan metal band I, personally, have ever heard of) and were formed at the end of 2013, after founders Caro Henry and Albert Jiminez first met at a metal concert. They soon discovered they not only shared their favourite music genres but also their visions for a band, which both had been thinking of doing for some time.

They started off by playing with metal cover acts to see how their chemistry developed and, after several musicians came and left again, their final, solid line up was completed in 2016. They teamed up with Aldo Benegas, who started to produce, engineer, mix and write with the band and soon work commenced on the concept and songs for the debut EP.

It’s hard to categorise where this band fit in on the heavy metal spectrum. They class themselves as symphonic metal, and while its true that most of the sound is symphonic, they do also combine the heavier, stronger elements of classic heavy metal along with the delicate harmonies of Celtic, Baroque and Classical music, displaying their vast musical diversity. The more aggressive components of symphonic metal are there, but their music also borders on classic power metal and traditional heavy metal.

Written, arranged, recorded and mixed at Blind Owl Studios, Vestigium is an atmospheric and dark EP, yet profound and intimate. The EP opens with the instrumental track, The Missing Page, and this sets the scene for the story that ensues. Themes such as hate, betrayal, lies and ultimately closure and truth, along with unconscious regret, the spiritual ties between innocence and evil and damnation and forgiveness all feature throughout the EP, and the intro to Rag Doll reminds me of a speaking haunted doll!!

The musicianship on this EP is second to none, these guys are all extremely talented, but the aspect that sets them aside from other female fronted bands, is the female fronting the band! She has a very powerful voice, although one which I don’t think she uses to its full potential, and can sing a wide range of vocals, from the operatic to full on, balls in your face, metal. I, personally, prefer her voice when she is not singing operatic vocals, but that’s just my individual preference as I am not much of a fan of these anyway (even from the likes of Tarja Turenen and Simone Simons!)

For an EP, this has a good range of slow and fast paced tracks, showing they can do it all, and I really liked it. Eventually, these guys could be up there with the best symphonic, female fronted bands. I don’t think they are there just yet, but they are well on their way!

I am waiting with anticipation for their next release, now. Don’t make me wait too long guys!

 

TRACK LIST

  • 01. The Missing Page
  • 02. From Shadows
  • 03. Frozen Stone
  • 04. Rag Doll
  • 05. Vestigium
  • 06. The One With The Empty Shell

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/IGNYS.BAND/?ref=nf
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkgDLTB0_ho5qq4EytUE4dw

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities

Primal Fear – Angels of Mercy

Angels Of Mercy, Live In Germany Cover

Primal Fear – Angels of Mercy
Frontiers Music
Running Time: 1.15:45
Release Date: 02/06/2017
Review By Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9.5/10

I have been a fan of Primal Fear ever since I first heard Angel in Black many moons ago, so it really was a no-brainer when asked to review it. BUT, I really should have read the blurb about the album BEFORE I listened to it. Angels of Mercy is, in fact, a live album, and really one of my pet hates.

Now, I know there have been plenty of fantastic live albums over the years from Kiss Alive to Queen’s Live Killers to Live and Dangerous by Thin Lizzy, but they just do not appeal to me. Having listened to the studio albums first I have learnt the words and the music of the STUDIO version and this completely goes out the window with a live album, leaving me singing words they have missed out or omitting ones they have put in. (The ONLY exception to this rule is Kiss’s Strutter as the live version is the first one I heard and therefore my favourite.)

But, having said all that, this album kicks serious ass!

First, a bit of history.

Primal Fear, for those who don’t know (and if you don’t, where have you been living for the past twenty years?) are a German power metal band formed in 1997 by Ralf Scheepers and Matt Sinner. Both men had been involved in the metal scene for a long time, Scheepers had previously been with bands Tyran Pace, FBI and internationally recognised band, Gamma Ray, before setting up his own Judas Priest tribute band Just Priest, which Matt and Tom Naumann helped him with. (Scheepers was also turned down as replacement for Rob Halford when he left Judas Priest, something I think, we, as metal fans, should be grateful for. Not only did Judas Priest gain a fantastic singer in Tim ”Ripper” Owens but we also got one of the greatest ever german metal bands.)

The band signed with Nuclear Blast in 1997 and their debut album “Primal Fear” was released on 1998, entering the German charts at number 48, one of the highest chart positions for a debut band in German metal, and they also toured with metal veterans, Running Wild and Hammerfall.

Their biggest mainstream success was with 2012’s album “Unbreakable” which entered the charts in no less than eight different countries and was the first time they hit the US Billboard Heatseekers chart, peaking at number 44.

Angels of Mercy is the band’s first live album since 2010 and is their first ever live Blu Ray dvd (I unfortunately don’t have this) and unleashes the best Primal Fear performances since the band formed, with a mix of power, ambition and enthusiasm, as well as their great talents as musicians.

Rewind a little back to 2016 which was a busy year for the band. Their eleventh studio album “Rulebreaker” was released and on the back of this, the band entered a world-wide tour that shattered all previously held records for shows played in one year by the band. And it was in a smaller venue in Stuttgart that Angels of Mercy was recorded.

With elements of pure thrash metal, traditional heavy metal and 1970’s European hard rock, the audio on this cd is clear and crisp and the production is fantastic.  If it wasn’t for the sound of the audience and Ralf Scheepers speaking in his very good English, you would be forgiven for thinking this wasn’t a live album at all.

The band’s energy is apparent, and it is clear they want the fans to have a good time just as they, themselves, do.  This is the first time I have heard them live and it has given me a hunger to actually see them perform at a gig. The set list is excellent, featuring a great mix of older stuff for the more seasoned fans and newer music for all the newbies. Gold star, also, for including my favourite Primal Fear track of all time, Rollercoaster (the first song I attached to my old Myspace page – remember them?)

The notes to the album state that “this live album offers a barrage of metal anthems in their full glory that will please any headbanger” and that is exactly what it is. It is traditional, balls in your face, heavy metal full of pounding drums and heavy guitar riffs and Scheepers voice just seems to get better and better.

This album really is a MUST for any metal fan and I, for one, am now looking forward to the new album Apocalypse, the band’s twelfth studio album, which is due for release in mid-2018.

In the words of the great band themselves….

……METAL IS FOREVER!!!

 

TRACK LIST

  • 1. Countdown to Insanity
  • 2. Final Embrace
  • 3. In Metal We Trust
  • 4. Angel in Black
  • 5. Rulebreaker
  • 6. Sign of Fear
  • 7. Seven Seals
  • 8. Angels of Mercy
  • 9. The End Is Near
  • 10. Rollercoaster
  • 11. The Sky Is Burning
  • 12. Nuclear Fire
  • 13. When Death Comes Knocking
  • 14. Metal Is Forever
  • 15. Fighting the Darkness

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

http://www.primalfear.de/home/

https://www.facebook.com/PrimalFearOfficial/

https://myspace.com/primalfearofficial

  • http://www.deezer.com/en/artist/4807?autoplay=true
  • https://tunein.com/artist/Primal-Fear-m152476/?autoplay=true

 

1029_photo

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities