Review: Primal Fear “Nuclear Fire”

Primal Fear
“Nuclear Fire”
(Nuclear Blast)

In a world of lame power metal that just sonically squirms, trying to capture the faded glory of an earlier day and other bands, Primal Fear is hand and shoulders above the rest. The immediate impression from the open notes, is that Nuclear Fire has retained enough of what influenced them, and enough of there own take to make something that will stand out in the overly similar power metal scene. The opening track, “Angel In Black” sounded like there are heavy Iron Madden influences. Tempo on the album is faster then typical, the beat tends to have a fair amount of punch to it.  The drums have really fucking heavy, they sound as thick and driven as thrash ever has. “Back From Hell” was actually enjoyable, in a retro-80’s sort of way. The drummer knows how to use a relentless double bass ride for absolute power. The guitar work is tight and fast, sometimes becoming blazingly fast. Although the distinctively power metal dueling guitar solos were a massive letdown, the rest of the time the crunchy guitars were palatable if not slightly enjoyable. Power metal desperately needs to do something about the boring vocals. Bruce Dickinson can pull it off, but so many acts just sound to clean next to the distortion of the rest of the band. The lyrics on “Nuclear Fire” were just as bad as any other power metal, which is to say that the less one pays attention to the words the better.  A quick word of advise: never, under any circumstances, EVER write a song about playing metal, especially not when you call it “Living For Metal”. “Now we’re coming to your city / playing metal all night long / the fans are going crazy.”  Yeah, they’re trying to gouge out their ears, did you just mention that its not just a ‘phase’?  Rappers rap about rap, that’s fine and dandy; power metal songs about metal are universally lame and dated.