Primal Fear: Rulebreaker

Teutonic metal masters still trying to bring grit to the Brits

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When British musical scholars debate the fate of metal come the retirements of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Primal Fear scarcely register among potential successors, despite the band’s messiah-like status across the pond.

Having last appeared on British soil way back in 2012, the German veterans have bigger fish to fry around the world than wasting Euros trying to make a belated impression here – a travesty as Rulebreaker matches just about anything they’ve released. As ever, their traditional power metal is enriched with a glistening melodic edge and even at 50, Ralf Scheepers retains an almost four-octave range.

A strong Priest-esque urgency permeates The Devil In Me, In Metal We Trust and a rabble-rousing title track, the introductory riff to Bullets & Tears doffing its leather cap at Breaking The Law, but if you’re going to pilfer then why not from the best? How much longer can the UK dare to defy Primal Fear’s might?

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.