I have been a casual fan of PRIMAL FEAR for a few years now. I have all of their albums and enjoy each one. However, I have always considered the self-titled debut album to be their best effort, an album that the following four releases had not quite stacked-up to. With each ensuing PRIMAL FEAR release, I anxiously listen to see if they have finally topped that debut and with “Seven Seals” I’m happy to say that band has stepped everything up a notch and done just that.
The compositions, the lyrics, the artwork, everything has taken a step-up on “Seven Seals”. Gone are the MANOWAR-esque songs about Heavy Metal. PRIMAL FEAR is not that band anymore. Instead, listeners are treated to dark, serious, heavy Power Metal.
“Demons and Angels” starts the proceedings with classical percussion, before turning into a heavy, fast number. “Rollercoaster” sounds most similar to older PRIMAL FEAR of all of the tracks on “Seven Seals”. The title track and “Diabolus” are both mid-paced and almost balladesque, making great use of orchestration. “Evil Spell” is possibly the heaviest, speediest song the band has ever performed, with Ralf Scheepers’ vocals taking a very aggressive turn. “Carniwar” is also one of the heaviest PRIMAL FEAR songs to date, with gruff baritone backing vocals in the chorus. “In Memory” is a big change, as it is the bands’ first true ballad. The song is very touching and memorable and is a track that could possibly become very popular on American radio, if given the chance.
“Seven Seals” is an album that will certainly appeal to PRIMAL FEAR fans, but should also appeal to many of those that have not cared for the band’s previous releases. This album showcases PRIMAL FEAR as darker and far more mature than they have ever been before. And most importantly, “Seven Seals” should finally allow PRIMAL FEAR to shed the JUDAS PRIEST-wannabe tag. (Online January 25, 2006)