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PRIMAL FEAR Code Red

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Monday, August 14, 2023 @ 11:16 AM


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PRIMAL FEAR
Code Red

2023 Atomic Fire Records




‘Rising from the ashes' is the theme for PRIMAL FEAR's 14th studio release, Code Red, the band's first for Atomic Fire Records. Stan Decker's cover artwork features the band's ever-present eagle, rising up from the remnants of a broken earth. This is much like the band itself after a three year absence, (matching the longest time between any PRIMAL FEAR releases), making it through the Covid years and Mat Sinner's illness. That's pretty impressive, and proof once again of these musicians' work ethic.

The team you know and love has returned again: Ralf Scheepers (vocals), Mat Sinner (bass), Tom Naumann (guitar), Alex Beyrodt (guitar), Magnus Karlsson (guitar) and Michael Ehre (drums). As mentioned above, Code Red is bassist, songwriter and producer Mat Sinner's first project since a serious illness threatened his life. After spending eight months in eight different hospitals, Mat returned renewed and ready to forge new metal for fans. I'm glad Mat is healthier and ready to return to the world stage and the studio to deliver the music only PRIMAL FEAR can provide!

Once again, there's no instrumental intro track, and the band gets right to business with the first single, the infectious "Another Hero" (Video on KNAC.COM HERE). Typically, PRIMAL FEAR would not put a more commercial single first in the run order, but it works here. Slightly more melodic, but no less heavy, is the second track, "Bring That Noise". "Deep In The Night" is mid-tempo; and the heavy riffs drive this song and propel the head-down choral chant. "Cancel Culture" gets political and expresses the band's frustration with the subject. It equates the curse of cancel culture with "the end of democracy". I don't know if it's that serious, but it certainly sucks. "Play A Song" is about doing what you love, which in PRIMAL FEAR's case, is cranking out great power metal. "The World Is On Fire" is essentially the title track of the album, (or where they got the name Code Red from at least). There's some IRON MAIDEN influence in the epic anthem "Their Gods Have Failed". At 7:24, this is the longest track on the album, and acts as the centerpiece. Following that is the JUDAS PRIEST-influenced barnstormer "Steelmelter". This is an instant PF classic, as I'm sure fans will agree. Deep cut "Raged By Pain" is one of the best tracks on the entire album. The best PF songs are the ones wherein the velvet gloves come off the iron fist, and the band goes for the throat. Check out the Ralf Scheepers vocal and the guitar solo on this song. "Forever" is the ballad, and it's got piano and strings. Thankfully, the track is pretty mature, not too syrupy. The album ends with the pounding metal of "Fearless", a great way to close things out.

Code Red has 11 tracks and clocks in around 58 minutes in total length. PRIMAL FEAR never lets you down and Code Red is another quality entry in the band's catalog. Ralf's voice still sounds stellar, and the guitars and drums played here are all of the highest caliber. They've still never released a bad album, and Code Red is no exception to the rule. The album will be released on September 1st and has CD, boxset and several different colored vinyl options available. Go to the Atomic Fire website for details.

5.0 Out Of 5.0


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