Album Review: Primal Fear – Unbreakable [9 out of 10]

By Andrew Bansal

Primal Fear have always been one of my favorite power metal bands, and through their previous eight studio albums, they have proved themselves as excellent musicians. Their music has always had strong riffs and great melodies in it, and on top of it, Ralf Scheepers is a hugely talented and expressive vocalist, and I rate him as one of the best in metal. Now the band is ready to release their ninth studio album “Unbreakable”, and this might just be their best work yet.

The album starts off with “Unbreakable (Part 1)”, which is just a short intro, but it sets the atmosphere for the album and thus serves its purpose. Following that, the album comes out all guns blazing with “Strike”, a heavy, aggressive, mid-tempo tune that reminds me of Accept quite a bit, which can’t be a bad thing at all. The tune is decorated with killer riffs, solos and guitar harmonies, a consistently heavy rhythm section and Scheeper’s epic vocals. The band continues to display these traits in plenty throughout this entire album. “Give ‘Em Hell” is the next track, and in my opinion, even better than Strike. It’s similar in tempo and structure but is only 3 minutes in duration which makes it more compact and concise.

The next three tracks “Bad Guys Wear Black”, “And There Was Silence” and “Metal Nation” collectively form the best portion of the album in terms of the music alone. Besides, the vocal choruses on these tunes are so catchy that they should make an instant impact on fans. Out of these three, “Metal Nation” is my favorite, as it has more of a relaxed feel to it, and as a result gives me the chance to fully absorb its music. Things remain slow on the next track “Where Angels Die”. It’s an 8-minute tune with a similar feel, but is more drawn out and progressive as compared to anything else on the album. It’s a truly outstanding piece of music.

Next comes “Unbreakable (Part 2)” which changes the tempo again, and this solid, heavy tune gives the album a fresh start in many ways. For me, this tune is one of the highlights of the album and if I had to pick one song that best represents the musical style on this album, I would certainly go for Unbreakable Part 2. “Marching Again” picks up the pace a fair bit, and this fast and furious tune should turn out to be a headbangers’ favorite. The power ballad “Born Again” comes across as a completely contrasting follow-up, but it showcases the different dimensions in Primal Fear’s musicianship and keeps things interesting. I mean, they could have easily written 12 fast-paced tracks for this album, but then it would make it pretty boring and one-dimensional.

Even though it goes through various tempo changes, the album never fades away, and there is no drop in intensity even in the final moments. The last two tracks “Blaze Of Glory” and “Conviction” are solid proof of this, and give the album a terrific end.

Overall, this is a superbly written and perfectly produced album, and in my opinion it’s the band’s most consistent and well-rounded effort till date. The album doesn’t come out till January 24th, so whether or not the fans agree with me remains to be seen, but I can say with certainty that Primal Fear’s “Unbreakable” will turn out to be a favorite among fans of Primal Fear, and also fans of bands such as Accept, Gamma Ray, Helloween and the likes. A remarkably solid album, without a doubt.

Rating: 9/10

US Release Date: January 24th 2012
Label: Frontiers Records

Track Listing:
1. Unbreakable (Part1)
2. Strike
3. Give ‘Em Hell
4. Bad Guys Wear Black
5. And There Was Silence
6. Metal Nation
7. Where Angels Die
8. Unbreakable (Part 2)
9. Marching Again
10.Born Again
11.Blaze Of Glory