PRIMAL FEAR - Signed, Sealed and Diabolus!
by Martin Popoff

When one thinks of power metal, one thinks of Europe, and when one thinks of the torch-bearers of the form, a rare band that doesn't so much denigrate that controversial tag, it is Primal Fear. As Judas Priest proudly is to heavy metal, Primal Fear proudly is to power metal.

And Ralf, Mat and crew continue to push forward, having recently issued Seven Seals, their most elegant, plush, experimental album yet... well, let's just say it's got the most layers, because it does indeed still deliver everything fans love about Primal Fear, notably, precision, passion and power metal.

"It's a step forward for us," muses big and bald and bold front-presence Ralf Scheepers. "There's a lot of variety now, pretty much more epical stuff on it, which doesn't mean we got slower. We're a little bit more bombastic this time, and of course, as we always did on our albums, it's pretty much melody-related, which I'm a big fan of. I've heard it now for a month, almost every day (laughs), and of course, we need reactions from the people. I think it's the best we've ever done. Every musician says that when you create something new, but I'm totally honest - this is the best we ever did."

What about lyrical themes?

"We always get into stuff, always from experiences we've had on our own. But we use a lot of things from fantasy stuff, movies and so on, and we also got a lot of things from the Bible this time. As there is not only religious stuff in the Bible, there's a lot of stuff about hell and so on, the devil (laughs), which fits perfectly for a heavy metal band. You can get a lot of things out of that."

Closing out the album is a dark, classy ballad called In Memory. "It's always a good idea to have something like that if it's not too mellow," ventures Ralf. "There are drums on it that kick ass and there are also heavy guitars on it, so it's a heavy metal ballad, not like, say, Silent Lucidity for example. It's a heavy metal ballad."

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