There's little doubt. Germany's Primal Fear has to be the premier champion of true heavy power metal in this modern era. Rulebreaker, their eleventh studio, is simply another definitive statement of that fact. Am I being objective in my statements? Largely not. I'm a fan, and have been from the beginning.
What makes Primal Fear heavy metal dynamic and consistent is all that profound. Actually, it's quite simple. They have the ability, as musicians and songwriters, to blend the heaviness and power of metal with harmony, melody, and groove. And so, by very definition, Primal Fear is "true" heavy metal. The End Is Near, At War With The World, Rulebreaker, and Bullets & Tears are only a few examples where those characteristics merge with energy and fidelity.
Additionally, as a bonus, they make their heavy metal sound epic in many songs by weaving riffage with some symphonic notes. You get this from Angels of Mercy, but even more so within the tour-de-force metal of We Walk Without Fear. That song is also an example of how Primal Fear can create a song with a deeper, more complex, arrangement.
Yet, in the end, it's all about delivering pure heavy metal. There's immense riffage, amazing guitar solos from three, count them, three guitarists, and excellent vocal harmonies. There's no bullshit here like harsh riffage or dirty vocals. Primal Fear and Rulebreaker is heavy metal as it was created to be. Plain and simple, and easily recommended.
Primal Fear have the ability, as musicians and songwriters, to blend the heaviness and power of metal with harmony, melody, and groove. And so, by very definition, Primal Fear is "true" heavy metal.
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