Review: Primal Fear – ‘I Will Be Gone’ EP

Primal FeaRComing hot on the heels of 2020’s masterful studio album ‘Metal Commando’, German power metal legends Primal Fear return with 5-track EP ‘I Will Be Gone’. Those who already have a copy of ‘Metal Commando’ will recognise the title track, but this new version up’s the ante on the original by adding another vocalist to the mix: the unmistakable Tarja Turunen.

Already a perfect example of how one track can be both fragile and powerful at the same time, this new version adds more by having the stunning vocals of Ralf Scheepers working in tandem with the restrained, melancholic, stop-you-in-your-tracks performance from Tarja. The acoustic-driven gem works so well that the track has been renamed ‘I Will Be Gone feat. Tarja Turunen’. Everything from the original version is still there; the Spanish guitar solo, the gorgeous layered vocal harmonies, the lush arrangements, etc, only this time around, the track has Tarja doing what she does best. Arguably one of the best male/female collaborations since Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush teamed up for the achingly beautiful ‘Don’t Give Up’, and one that might just have the replay button worn out.

All-new, previously unreleased track ‘Vote Of No Confidence’ is the perfect example of how Primal Fear continues to make top-quality music nearly 25 years after its inception. Fuelled by the pummeling bass drum work of “newbie” Michael Ehré, this is a fine example of what happens when old-school metal meets power metal in modern times. Judas Priest-like riffs, by not one, or two, but three guitarists, who together make up one almighty artillery battery, firing one salvo after another. Scheepers is as amazing as ever, easily one of the most underrated vocalists in metal today. Rounding out the remainder of the EP are three tracks that featured on the bonus edition of ‘Metal Commandos’; the atmospheric instrumental ‘Rising Fear’, ‘Leave Me Alone’ (a track too good to be a bonus track) which features some of the best lyrics ever on a track that everyone should be able to identify with, and the creeping, chugging riffage of ‘Second To None’.

The great thing about these additional tracks is that many people will be checking in purely because of the Tarja connection, and they might just leave with a newfound appreciation of one of the most consistent bands out there today. The hooks and melodies are huge throughout and the burning question left to ponder after repeated listens, is why are Primal Fear not more of a household name outside of their native Germany?

Five tracks for only £5.99 from Bezos’s mob, or 5 Euros from Nuclear Blast, although, the marbled vinyl from NB is a steal at 13 Euros.

Available April 9th, pre-order here.

Connect with the band, here.

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