|If your talking about today’s European top metal acts the discussion is heading straight towards Primal Fear. Former Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers and bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner, two of the most respected German metal musicians founded the band in late 1997. They recorded their first Primal Fear songs for the Japan based record company JVC Records and signed a deal with JVC for their debut album some weeks later. Germany’s best kept secret was soon a target for most of the European record companies and the band signed to Nuclear Blast Records in early 1998 for the rest of the world. The debut album, simply called Primal Fear was released in March 1998 and entered the German Media Control album charts straight ahead on position 48, soon followed by chart success in Japan. After touring together with Running Wild and Hammerfall. The second PF album Jaws Of Deathentered the German Charts on position 49 in July 1999, followed by their first headlining World Tour. The tour was a huge success incl. countries like Brazil, Japan and of course Europe. A kind of PF hysteria broke free and surprised all metalheads, who couldn’t understand, what kind of thunder was raging above them!In this fantastic mood, PF started the songwriting for Nuclear Fire. The result was their heaviest and strongest album so far. Typical PF trademarks like twin guitar solos, killer riffs and a catchy choruses marks Nuclear Fire as a classic. Nuclear Fire has set new standards and charted in Germany Pos. 37, Italy Pos. 71, Switzerland Pos. 77 and Japan Pos. 23! The following headlining European Tour was a huge success and Primal Fear were named as one of the hottest live bands. PF played 10 countries with packed audiences and a fantastic response with co-headliners “Children of Bodom”.
Their 4th album Black Sun released on April 29th 2002 The album was mixed this time at the Sonic Ranch in El Paso/Texas. Black Sun charted in Germany on Pos. 55. The following tour through Europe and 11 countries was a huge success, followed by a fantastic and successful tour through South America in December 2002 with the highlight show in Sao Paulo/Brazil at the Via Funchal.
In April/May 2003 the band headed to their first US & Canada tour to be a part of the Metal Gods Tour together with Halford, Testament, Immortal and others, with temporary drummer Randy Black.
At the Wacken Open Air 2003, the band finally introduced Randy Black as their new, permanent drummer, who just left “Annihilator” days before. The long awaited first DVD The History Of Fear was released in September 2003 including a superb digipak packaging with fantastic reviews by the metal press. During this time, the Metal Commando was actually in the recording studio and started the sessions for their new album Devils Ground. A killer video clip was shot in Stockholm/Sweden for the first single of the album Metal Is Forever – a hymn for eternity and all metal maniacs! The album charted in Germany on Pos. 67, Japan 82, Sweden 90 and Switzerland 57, followed by a massive tour schedule all over the world.
After a short break, the band started the songwriting for their sixth album Seven Seals and this album was a new start and a fresh breath to reload the sound of the band. The album was mixed in the legendary Warehouse Studio in Vancouver/Canada by mixer Mike Frazer. Two video clips were shot for the songs Evil Spell and Seven Seals. The album was released in October 2005 and charted in Germany Pos. 65, Sweden and Japan. The media hugely responded to PF’s new masterpiece and the album was voted best album in Metal Hammer and more magazines. The band toured together with Helloween for 3 month through Europe, followed by an extensive tour in Japan. Mat Sinner’s book biography The Book Of Seven Seals was released in the middle of the tour and the great packaging was sold out in a short time.
At the peak of their career, Primal Fear ended up the long time partnership with Nuclear Blast & JVC Records and signed a worldwide multi album deal with Frontiers Records. Both Nuclear Blast and JVC released a final BEST OF album Metal Is Forever, which was a huge success in Japan and stayed for three month in the Burrn Album Charts.
The first album for Frontiers Records was released in September 2007 and named “New Religion”. Epica’s lead singer Simone Simons was invited to studio to sing the first duet in Primal Fear recording history, the song Everytime It Rains. The album was mixed by Ronald Prent (Rammstein, Iron Maiden, Manowar). And another now PF classic song is surprising with a huge wall of atmosphere and drama Fighting The Darkness, divided in 3 different parts, the first part ‘Fighting The Darkness’ is the best sounding tune, the band has released so far (Mat Sinner), followed by a huge instrumental ‘The Darkness’ and a ‘Reprise’.
After a three month European Tour, a headlining Japan tour and a co- headlining visit at the Progpower Festival in Atlanta/US, the band embarked on their “10 Years Of Metal” 2008 anniversary tour incl. guitarist Magnus Karlsson and some days later entered the recording studio to track “16.6”. The result of this album is simply ambitious! The vibe of songs like the album opening track “Riding The Eagle”, “Killbound” or “Under The Radar” brings us back to the “Nuclear Fire” album. The album was released worldwide in May 2009 by Frontiers Records. 16.6 charted in Germany on Pos 46 of the album charts and the following 16.6 World Tour was a great success incl. shows in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, South America, USA, Canada & an extensive European tour. A video clip was released for the song “Six Times Dead”.
Some shows in the USA and Europe were recorded and ended up in the first official LIVE album “Live In The USA” and the concert DVD “All Over The World” incl. a playtime of 3 hours and total metal mayhem, video clips and backstage scenes. A must for Primal Fear fans, followers & supporters.
On 8 July 2011, the band announced their next album, titled UNBREAKABLE was released on 20 January 2012 incl. the video-clip / single „BAD GUYS WEAR BLACK“. Unbreakable charted in Germany #31, Sweden #48, Finland #50, Japan #27, Austria #74, Switzerland #51, Netherland Top 200 and in the US Billboard Heatseekers for the first time on #44. Karlsson & Beyrodt shine with a new dimension in the guitar work, as lead vocalist Ralf Scheepers reached a new level on his vocal performance. And what can go wrong if you’re backed by one of the best rhythm sections in metal with Randy Black and Mat Sinner? You can hear the result on Primal Fears new outstanding “Back To The Roots” message called “Unbreakable”!
The following “Metal Nation” European Tour through 10 countries was a great success. The summer festival season incl. shows @ Graspop, Bang Your Head and more was very well reviewed and showed the band in top shape! The „Metal Nation“ tour will be continued in autumn with tours in South-America, UK & Scandinavia! A new video clip will be released for the opening track oft he album “STRIKE”.