primal fear - delivering the black

CD Scavenger Hunt – February 2014 update

It’s the end of April but here’s the February purchases…..late as always!

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Newbury Comics

Primal Fear – Delivering The Black (CD/DVD) (2014) – $15
Red Dragon Cartel – s/t (2014) – $13
Def Leppard – Slang (2CD Deluxe Edition) – $14
Starship – Loveless Fascination (2013) – $9
Behemoth – The Satanist (CD/DVD) (2014) – $13
Exodus – Bonded By Blood (1985) – $10
Prong – Cleansing (1994) – $4 used
GWAR – Carnival Of Chaos (1997) – $6 used

The first hunt in February took me to the Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA…..the only trip to the record store the entire month! I had a few new releases that I needed to purchase and a $100 budget to use, that includes sales tax. First three albums on the list were the new Primal Fear, Red Dragon Cartel and Def Leppard. I was able to get the new Primal Fear on sale $3 less than regular price and the Red Dragon Cartell as well for $4 off sale price…..not bad deals but the deal was the deluxe edition of Slang. I expected a 2CD set to be close to $20 and, with all the deluxe editions of albums coming out, I expected it to be as high as $30 like those pricey Thin Lizzy deluxe editions I’ve been eyeballing. Regular price was only $14! That’s a steal for 30 tracks (1 bonus disc). Keeping an eye on my list, I found two copies of Mickey Thomas’ Starship lastest record, Loveless Fascination, for $9 and $15 new and sealed…..guess wich one I bought? I’ve always had a soft spot for Starship because I like Thomas’ vocals so I snagged the album and paired it with the deluxe version of the new Behemoth record, The Satanist. Talk about two opposite sides of the spectrum! I saved $5 off regular price for the Behemoth so I still had some money to play with and I replaced two old cassettes picking up the classics Exodus – Bonded By Blood and Prong - Cleansing, topping it off with GWAR’s Carnival Of Chaos to fill a hole in the GWAR collection.

Amazon

Chastain  – Surrender To No One (2013) – $12
Adrenaline Mob – Men Of Honor (2014) – $10
Ian Gillan & Tony Iommi – Who Cares (2012) – $15
Altitudes & Attitudes – s/t E.P. (2014) – $5

While I was shopping at Newbury Comics, I found a couple albums on my wish list but I had to compare prices. Back in the early 90s, I dreamed of having something in my hand that had my want lists, collection and availability…..we call that the smart phone. With my phone out, I had my new release list for 2012, 2013 & 2014 and I saw both Chastain and Adrenaline Mob listed and in stock at the store. Unfortunately, I’m not paying regular price so I opened the Amazon app, scanned each bar code and found both albums much cheaper (saving $5 each) so they went in the cart. When I got out of the store and into the car, I remembered the new project with Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) and Frank Bello (Anthrax) called Altitudes & Attitude. It’s only a 3 song E.P. but it was also only $5 so that got thrown in the cart. I was going to checkout but I went to my Amazon Music wish list and one of the first CDs I added way back when was the Ian Gillan/Tony Iommi Who Cares project that I never bought when it first came out. I bought the single but not the full album and it’s been an expensive $20+ price tag for the CD but here it was with a price reduction of 25% off since I added it…..into the cart! So I spent $42 on top of the $100 in the record store.

Ebay

Kix – Midnight Dynamite (1985) – $10 used
Jack Blades – s/t (2004) – $5 used
7th Heaven – USA-UK (2008) – $5 used
Ted Poley – Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Ltd Ed) (2014) - $23
Axxis – Utopia (Ltd Ed + 2) (2009) – $7
Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill (2012) – $8.60 used
Persian Risk – Rise Up (1986/1997 reissue) – $11 used
Tysondog – Painted Heroes: The Anthology (2002) – $20 used
Bret Michaels – Jammin’ With Friends (2013) – $10
Revamp – Wild Card (Ltd Ed) (2013) – $22.50

Ebay has been a go to destination for me since October 1999 and, close to 15 years later, I still find bargains and rare CDs. Nothing is better than finding a CD you want and searching the seller’s other items only to find MORE CDs you want/need. I recently found one such seller who had been kind enough to list his/her collection on Ebay in portions…..lots of CDs I don’t own too! The Jack Blades solo album, the 7th Heaven, Blackberry Smoke, Persian Risk and Tysondog CDs all came from the one seller and it was all because I was searching for the High Vaultage reissue on CD of Persian Risk’s Rise Up. Once I found that at a decent price, I checked the other items and found the rest. I’m not happy about paying so much for the Tysondog anthology but it is the first two albums the band released and the E.P. they had from 1984 through 1986. I had put a high bid of $20 in and I was the only bidder with 10 seconds to go and someone who was watching it went just under $20. I thought I already owned Kix – Midnight Dynamite but I was wrong and you wouldn’t believe how much this CD goes for on Ebay! Upwards for $20+! I got a bargain for $10, same with the Axxis CD for $9 brand new and that replaced one of the first promotional downloads I ever received doing this site. Another $10 went to the latest Bret Michaels solo CD so I could hear just how bad it is…..I know I shouldn’t have bought it but I’ve been dying to hear it because everyone says it’s a train wreck. The two big purchases was the Ted Poley – Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and the limited edition version of the last ReVamp album, Wild Card. Wild Card is an import so normal channels had the price $30+, I’m a big fan of Floor Jansen so I wanted to hear this project. The Ted Poley CD came straight from Ted himself on Ebay and autographed to me personally.

Johnny Lima website

Johnny Lima – My Revolution (Ltd Ed) (2014) – $23

I’ve been a big Johnny Lima supporter after I heard, and then immeadiately bought, his 2009 release Livin’ Out Loud. That was one of the best albums of 2009 and I still spin it today so I always have an eye on Johnny’s website. Sure enough, I checked the website and there was the announcement for the new album, My Revolution, but only as a limited edition CD release and regular download. I’m a physical media freak so I had to have the actual CD so I sent Johnny my $23 and he sent the CD same day! Hit the link above and check Johnny Lima out.

Totals

Total (Feb) = $271.10

Total (year) = $615.10

Average Price (per item) = $10.79

Total CDs (year) = 54

Total LPs (year) = 3

Metal Mixtape – 5/6/12

Tale of the Tape
Ipod 120
9983 songs (858 albums)

  1. Gwar – ‘Parting Shot’ – Lust In Space (2009)
  2. Thunder – ‘An Englishman On Holiday’ – Backstreet Symphony (1990)
  3. AC/DC – ‘Walk All Over You’ – Highway To Hell (1979)
  4. Night Ranger – ‘Penny’ – Dawn Patrol (1982)
  5. Saxon – ‘Rockin’ Again’  – Innocence Is No Excuse (1985)
  6. AC/DC – ‘Live Wire’ – High Voltage (1975)
  7. Accept – ‘Sick, Dirty And Mean’ – Objection Overruled (1993)
  8. Black Country Communion – ‘Stand (At The Burning Tree)’ – Black Country (2010)
  9. Extreme – ‘Play With Me’ – Extreme (1989)
  10. Airbourne – ‘No Way But The Hard Way’ – No Guts, No Glory (2010)
  11. Megadeth – ‘Guns, Drugs & Money’ – Th1rt3en (2011)
  12. Riot – ‘Heart Of Fire’ – Rock City (1977)
  13. The Doors – ‘Back Door Man’ – The Doors (1967)
  14. KISS – ‘Lick It Up’ – Jikogu Retsuden (2008)
  15. Buckcherry – ‘Cream’ – Black Butterfly (2008)
  16. UFO – ‘Borderline’ – High Stakes And Dangerous Men (1992)
  17. Symfonia – ‘Rhapsody In Black’ – In Paradisum (2011)
  18. Blue Tears – ‘Innocent Kiss’ – Blue Tears (1990)
  19. Primal Fear – ‘Conviction’ – Unbreakable (2012)
  20. Tesla – ‘I Wanna Live’ – Forever More (2008)
  21. Accept – ‘Bound To Fail’ – Metal Heart (1985)
  22. Autograph – ‘Everytime I Dream’ – Loud & Clear (1987)
  23. Yngwie J. Malmsteen – ‘Now Is The Time’ – Odyssey (1988)
  24. Anvil – ‘Shadow Zone’ – Forged In Fire (1983)
  25. Chickenfoot – ‘Down The Drain’ – Chickenfoot (2009)

Bonus Track — Def Leppard – Switch 625 – High ‘N” Dry (1981)

CD Scavenger Hunt (January update) — The first hunt of 2012!

Just like last year, I’m late posting the first CD Scavenger Hunt of the new year! If you’re reading this, I’m actually writing this in mid-March but I’m back dating it for the end of January.

One thing I like about the beginning of the year is that I start things off right with gift cards I received at the holidays…..my family knows that I get a thrill everytime I walk in a record store so gift cards are always a perfect gift. I also like that I can catch up on some of the previous year’s releases and there always seems to be some great used CDs that people turn in for extra holiday cash! Armed with $90 in gift cards, I began the hunt early the day after New Year’s…..

Newbury Comics

Benedictum – Dominion (2011) – $10: Benedictum is one of my favorite newer bands of the last ten years or so but I never got around to buying their latest album until now. I had a good reason…..I was lucky to get a promo download of DOMINION from Frontiers Records early in 2011 and I just kept passing up the actual CD. I’m a collector at heart and I like having the physical CD in my possession so I was going to buy the DOMINION CD eventually but I didn’t NEED to buy it right away. The other problem was that my waiting meant that I missed out on the sale price from the new release making the regular price $17. Two days into the new year and the first thing I find is a new sale price on two of the three copies of DOMINION so i scooped one up right away! Sale price was $10 so I saved $7 off the regular price.

Tesla – Twisted Wires & The Acoustic Sessions (2011) – $16: I really had no intention of ever buying this album because I was never a fan of unplugged Tesla (I can’t stand ‘Signs’ and the rest of FIVE MAN ACOUSTICAL JAM) but I wanted to hear the new songs. I was also intrigued by the fact that the band decided to go acoustic on some lesser known songs rather than their usual string of big hits. Now I’m a big Tesla fan, I buy all the albums and I catch them on tour, but acoustic? Not sure I could take it again. The only saving grace here was that I knew that I was armed with gift cards from the holidays so I was able to splurge and pick up this CD when I normally wouldn’t spend the hard-earned cash unless it was used. The other deciding factor that I’ve only seen two copies in my recent travels to different record stores, I figured I’d buy it while I saw it because I would never order it online unless, of course, it was used on Ebay. No savings here as I had to eat the $16 regular price.

KISS – Ikons (2008) – $20 used: KISS is my favorite band but I’ve been finished for many years buying every compilation that Polygram sees fit to release…..and Polygram decides to release multiple every year with no need for Paul & Gene’s involvement because the label owns the back catalogue. When IKONS came out in 2008, I thought it was a different take on the usual compilation: 4 CDs with one CD for each original KISS member featuring their prominent songs. I remember seeing the $40 price tag back then thinking to myself: “I can make that compilation at home from the studio albums!”. I never bothered to buy it and never bothered to look for it. I hadn’t seen it for 3 years and someone decided to trade it in for store credit while I was there! For some reason, I had to have it! Mint condition, slipcase included (not pictured), I saved $20 off the regular price waiting 3 years and buying used.

Alice In Chains – Facelift (1990) – $6 used: I never got around to buying FACELIFT way back in the day and people tend to forget that Alice In Chains was more Heavy Metal on this debut than part of the Grunge movement. I’ve been on an Alice In Chains kick lately on Spotify and I realised I only owned one Alice In Chains CD, MTV UNPLUGGED (1996). I’ve always enjoyed the band’s music and I remember having a dubbed cassette of FACELIFT from a friend back in ’90 so I figured it was time to pick up this band’s catalog. I always start at the first album when I can and there were tons of copies to be found all at different prices for both new and used. I found the lowest used price (by a dollar!) but $6 is better than paying the $15 regular price.I saved $9 and added an esential debut album by a solid band.

Royal Hunt – Future Coming From The Past (Live In Japan 1996/1998) DVD (2011) – $18: Released on Frontiers Records for international consumption, this DVD was originally released only in Japan and only included the 1996 Japanese concert that is featured on the LIVE 1996 live record. With the return of D.C. Cooper to the band, and the new album SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE (2011), the band has finally released this show on DVD for the rest of us not in the land of the rising sun. Added to the 1996 performance is a 1998 Japanese performance of the PARADOX (1997) album in it’s entirety, a show which may have been another separate DVD for Japan only but was featured as a bonus CD titled CLOSING THE CHAPTER on the PARADOX limited edition box set. This DVD was released in December 2011 at the same time as the new studio album but I missed out on the single copy my favorite store decided to stock…..when I saw this after the holidays and still on sale, I jumped on it. Regular price was $22 so I saved $4.

Nightwish – Imaginaerum (2012) – $13: I was never a big Nightwish fan until 2007 when the band released DARK PASSION PLAY with new singer Anette Olzen (formerly of Alyson Avenue). I had a few Nightwish CDs with original singer Tarja Turunen but I just never got into them even though I like similar female-fronted bands. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since DARK PASSION PLAY so I rushed out the day of release to grab IMAGINAERUM. There were two versions of the album: regular CD and the double disc deluxe digipak that included an instrumental version of the entire album. Sale price for the regular was $13 and $20 for the deluxe…..I went with the single disc version because when am I really going to listen to the album without the vocals? The whole reason I became a bigger Nightwish fan was because of Anette’s vocals! Usually I buy the limited editions right away but this one seemed unnecessary. Regular price for the single disc version was $17 so I saved $4.

Nothing is better when someone decides to take a chunk of their collection and sell it to the record store for credit. It reminds me of the old days (1997 – 2002) when I used to hit this one mom & pop record store about 20 minutes from home twice a week. Back then, before used CDs really hit big, people would bring CDs in for cash on a Friday afternoon so they could go clubbing at night, same thing would happen on Saturdays. I would head up Saturday mornings and scoop up all the recently acquired used CDs from Friday at cheap prices and then I would show up on Tuesdays for the new releases and to plunder the Saturday used CD stash. This particular store used to have a “Buy 3, get 1 free” policy for used CDs, and they were anywhere from $5 to $8 depending on the title, so I used to go in and get anywhere from 4 to 20 CDs at a shot and really pad the collection with bands and albums that I wanted to try or had never seen before or hadn’t seen in a long time. My third trip to my usual Newbury Comics store was like a trip through time! Someone had gone in and sold a box of CDs for store credit…..an absolute ton of CDs! Looking at the album covers below you may or may not recognize some names but I sure did! I also noticed the record labels: MTM, SPV, Locomotive Records, Frontiers Records, Z Records, Escape Music, Majestic Rock, Chavis Records, AOR Heaven and a few self-released titles. There were way more CDs than I could buy so I had to leave a good amount behind (in case anyone in my area reads this, I’m not saying if the ones I left behind are still there!) but I bought 16 CDs that I knew I wouldn’t have an opportunity to buy again.

Action – s/t (2007) – $4 used
Affair – No Substitute (2002) – $2 used
Artension – New Discovery (2003) – $4 used
Bad Habit – Above And Beyond (2009) – $4 used
Cry Havoc – Fuel That Feeds The Fire (2002) – $4 used
Fisc – Break Out (1985/1999 reissue) – $6 used
Fisc – Too Hot For Love (1987) – $4 used
Ivory Tower - Heart Of The City (1987/2003 reissue) – $6 used
Kick – New Horizon (2004) – $4 used
Tony Martin – Scream (2005) – $8 used
Andre Matos – Time To Be Free (2008) – $6 used
N.O.W. – Forces Of Nature (2010) – $4 used
Sonic X – s/t (2004) – $6 used
Subway – Don’t Look Back (2000) – $2 used
Token – Tomorrowland (2002) – $2 used
Token – Punch (2004) – $2 used

This used CD score was only $68! Assuming each CD sold for a regular price of $10 (could be more or less depending on the release year, label and popularity), I saved approximately $92! A lot of AOR, Melodic Rock and Hard Rock in this bunch but some Metal with Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath), Andre Matos (ex-Angra) and Artension. The two Fisc CDs go for big bucks on Ebay, even for reissues. It was nice to also score the N.O.W. album because I recieved a digital promo from Escape Music for review back in 2010 and I had been watching for a good price for the last two years to avoid the high import prices online. On to the final trip of the month to the record stores…..

Primal Fear – Unbreakable (2012) – $12: I haven’t missed a Primal Fear album yet and I wasn’t going to start now! I haven’t really kept up on the Metal news the last few months so I was surprised to hear that Primal Fear had a new record coming out…..usually I know when one of my favorite bands is releasing a new record! I’m a Power Metal guy and I consider Primal Fear and Hammerfall to be the leaders of the genre since it’s resurgence in 1997. I couldn’t pass up getting this the day of release because the band’s last two albums, NEW RELIGION (2007) and 16:6 (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD) (2009), were awesome and the sal price was only $12 for the limited edition digipak with the bonus track ‘Night Of The Jumps’ and the video for ‘Bad Guys Wear Black’. Regular price was $17 so I saved $5.

Lacuna Coil – Dark Adrenaline (2012) – $12: When Lacuna Coil started in 1998, I became a fan. The whole Gothic Metal movement was really starting up with female-fronted bands and I jumped into the genre with bands like The Gathering, Lana Lane, Epica and Lacuna Coil to name a few. I really got into Lacuna Coil in 2002 (like everyone else!) with COMALIES and then I thought KARMACODE (2006) was a good record as well. I didn’t get into SHALLOW LIFE (2009) though, I just thought it was more of the same, nothing groundbreaking, and I was kind of sick of seeing the bandwagon get attached to the band just because Cristina Scabbia is hot! There’s a lot more to Scabbia than being hot (she’s a great singer!) and I just couldn’t take all the mallrats getting on board at Hot Topic or reading her “love advice” column in Revolver Magazine. I’m a loyal fan though and, if a band has a good track record, I keep coming back for more despite any subpar albums. I had to give DARK ADRENALINE a shot and I figured buying it the day of release on sale wouldn’t hurt as much if the album sucked. I did buy the deluxe version with the bonus DVD but it was only $2 more than the regular CD version. Regular rpice for the deluxe digipak was $17 so I saved $5…..and I’m crossing my fingers that I’m not disappointed!

Iron Savior – The Landing (2012) – $10: More Power Metal! Back in 1997 when I got my first dial-up AOL account, I discovered a whole new world of Heavy Metal with the click of a mouse. Everything I was reading about in magazines was now (almost) instantly available. That’s when I got back into a lot of bands I grew up with like Helloween…..who brought me to Gamma Ray…..who brought me to Iron Savior. The Kai Hansen connection is obvious but I got into Iron Savior with UNIFICATION in 1999 and I’ve picked up most of their albums despite Hansen leaving in 2001. I think this is one of the really underrated bands in the Power Metal scene, maybe that’s because the do get over looked by Helloween and Gamma Ray. THE LANDING came out everywhere else in late 2011 but the U.S. release was at the beginning of January 2012 so I was able to get a nice sale price saving $6 off the $16 regular price.

Lamb Of God – Resolution (2012) – $10: Feeding the Extreme Metal need! I’ve never paid Lamb Of God much attention because I’m not usually into their brand of Metal but I wanted to buy this new record in the hope that it will catch me and I can go back and check out their back catalog. I’m starting to get into a lot more extreme bands, more Thrash, Death, and Black Metal but I’m always wary of anything with “core” at the end. When asking some younger Metal dudes I know about Lamb Of God, they labelled them Metalcore and I wasn’t sure what that meant but I had visions of Hot Topic lemmings again! Reviews of the band’s albums and live shows are always great and I decided to bite the bullet and check out a newer band (they’ve been around for around 15 years or more!). I think there might have been a deluxe version of RESOLUTION but I grabbed the regular CD and saved $4 off the regular price.

Motorhead – The World Is Ours – Vol.1: Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else (2012) – $14: I knew this was coming out and it was the main reason I went on this last shopping trip of the month. First, it’s Motorhead, one of my favorite bands. Second, it’s a 2 CD & 1 DVD live set. Third, sale price was $14 and I would save $6 off the regular price. Motorhead always gives a nice package and great live albums so this is worth picking up for that alone but what I like is that the audio CDs are exact to the DVD. Too many times you get a live DVD and a live CD set and they are sold separately (Hello Iron Maiden!). I understand it’s a business but give the fans a break! The people that buy this stuff are the diehards, the people who buy the tickets, buy the merchandise and spend their hard earned money on their favorite band. Motorhead gets it, that’s why they are loved by the fans. It’s in your face, straight up Heavy Metal on DVD and 2 CDs…..easy to spend $14 on!

Ebay

One thing I didn’t do as much last year was use Ebay to get a lot of older releases so I decided to step up my research this year and see if there are better bargains on Ebay for new and old CDs. I got off to a great start this year by acquiring some albums I’ve been watching for a long time. Prices here include shipping…..

Salty Dog – Every Dog Has It’s Day (1990) – $20 used: $20 may seem a little pricey for a CD that is 22 years old but you’d be surprised how much this CD goes for. I’ve been watching this debut by Salty Dog for years and I’ve never been able to find it on Ebay for less than $30. I’ve seen this CD go for over $60 many times over the last few years after bidding wars occurred during auctions. I haven’t seen this CD in a record store in at least 10 years so maybe there was only a small pressing back in the day? I read somewhere recently that Salty Dog had a good initial run but the album stalled when MTV decided not to continue to play the band’s video because there was a dispute between MTV and Geffen Records. Who knows if that’s true or not but the album is hard to find here in Rhode Island. This copy is a promotional copy as stamped on the CD itself but the inserts have no punch holes.

Great White – Hooked & Live In New York (1990) – $53 used: Another CD that’s over 20 years old! So why is this over $50? It’s a Japanese import that includes both CDs in this limited edition pressing and includes all inserts, OBI strips and the original cover artwork for HOOKED. I’ve had HOOKED since it came out in 1991 but I never acquired the original artwork on vinyl, CD or cassette so I’ve been watching for a decently priced copy for a while. The LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY disc is sold separately for around $15 usually but it’s a unique Japanese pressing so when I had the opportunity to grab it, I splurged a little. Everything is in perfect mint condition so I was pretty psyched to cross another indulgence off the growing want list.

Danger Danger – Revolve (2009) – $13: I wrote a WANTED column on this Danger Danger album two years ago and I never bothered to pick it up. I had plenty of opportunities to buy it online but I always pushed it aside for newer releases and, as the want list grew, REVOLVE went down the list. I was cleaning up my desk and I found a paper that had a few albums written on it and REVOLVE was one of them so I went over to Ebay and started looking for the best price. I ended up paying only $13 total for a U.S. pressing which is a great price for a brand new sealed CD…..I wish I could get more as reasonable! Nothing is better than crossing off an album from my want list, especially one that I featured here on the website, but I’ve been looking forward to this album because the reviews are all so positive.

Accept – Objection Overruled (1993) – $13 used: After I bought the Danger Danger CD, I started to check all the other WANTED posts I published for CDs that have gone down the priority list…..enter OBJECTION OVERRULED, a huge hole in my Accept collection! I wrote this album’s WANTED column back in March 2008, and it’s one of my Ebay alerts, but it always seems to fetch a higher price than I am willing to pay. The Japanese issue with the bonus track ‘Rich & Famous’ goes for $30+ easy but the U.S. pressing on CMC International I’ve seen draw $25+ on many different occasions. I already own the ‘Rich & Famous’ song on another release so buying a Japanese import wasn’t necessary unless the prices evened out but I found a seller with a great BUY IT NOW price and I bought it the first day it went up.

AC/DC – T.N.T (1975) – $30 used: I was on a roll buying up CDs from the WANTED posts so I figured one more wouldn’t hurt. I’ve been watching the Australian only release T.N.T. from AC/DC for years and I’ve never been able to buy one for under $40 because most of the copies come from Australian sellers and the shipping is always enormous. I wrote this album’s WANTED post back in September 2008 and I’ve had T.N.T. as an Ebay alert for at least 7 years so I really wanted to get this one off the list and it was easy once I found a U.S. seller. I ended up getting into a slight bidding war at the end but my top price of $27 won it for me with seconds to go…..add the $3 shipping and you get the $30 total. Now I just need to acquire the Australian versions of HIGH VOLTAGE and DIRTY DEEDS so I can have the original artwork.

Zebra – IV (2003) – $8 used: I’ve been on a massive Zebra kick since I kept hearing ‘Tell Me What You Want’ a few times on the local Rock station’s “classic lunch” show but I realized I only had that one song on a CDR someone made me and I had no way of playing my Zebra tapes because I don’t own a cassette deck anymore. I bought the second and third Zebra studio albums on a previous Hunt but the first album, Zebra’s most successful, eluded me at a good price. While I was searching for the first Zebra record, I found the band’s fourth (ZEBRA IV) and I got an awesome price of $6 + $2 shipping. I’ve never seen ZEBRA IV in stores since 2003 so I knew that this was going to be a rare one at that price, usually it still lists for around $15. The search continues for the debut album…..

Total = $346 – $90 in gift cards = $256

Total (year) = $256

Average Price (per item) = $7.76

Total CDs (year) = 32

Total DVDs (year) = 1

Scheepers – s/t (2011)

Scheepers – s/t (2011, Frontiers Records)

  1. Locked In The Dungeon
  2. Remission Of Sin
  3. Cyberfreak
  4. The Fall
  5. Doomsday
  6. Saints Of Rock
  7. Before The Dawn
  8. Back On Track
  9. Dynasty
  10. The Pain Of The Accused
  11. Play With Fire
  12. Compassion

Musicians:
Ralf Scheepers – Lead Vocals
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens – Vocals on ‘Remission Of Sin’
Mat Sinner – Bass & Keyboards
Snowy Shaw – Drums
Sander Gommans – Guitars
‘Metal’ Mike Chlasciak – Guitars
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars & Keyboards
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Victor Smolski – Guitars
Kai Hansen – Guitars

Producers: Mat Sinner & Ralf Scheepers

Country: Germany

Total Time = 52:39

Primal Fear
Ralf Scheepers Facebook
Ralf Scheepers MySpace
Frontiers Records

Current Primal Fear lead singer Ralf Scheepers has been talking about making a solo album for a few years now and, with Primal Fear taking some time off, the time has come for him to release his solo debut titled SCHEEPERS. Those that are unfamiliar with Ralf Scheepers outside of Primal Fear should definitely look into his early work fronting Tyran Pace and Gamma Ray and also remember that he was one of the finalists in the auditions to replace Rob Halford in Judas Priest in the mid-’90s. It’s easy to hear that Ralf has one of the most powerful voices in Metal and can easily hold his own against the master Rob Halford and the prodigy Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Actually, Ralf sounds more like Halford than Ripper does and even than Halford himself does!

So what does a solo album from Ralf Scheepers sound like? Basically, this album is a continuation of Primal Fear…..the songwriting and music sound exactly like Primal Fear. Of course, Ralf is the most identifiable part of the sound, as most singers are, so the instant connection is made between the solo work and the band work.  There is also plenty of involvement from his Primal Fear and former bandmates: Mat Sinner co-writes, produces and plays bass and keyboards, Magnus Karlsson adds in guitars and keyboards and also co-writes, Kai Hansen adds his guitar and current Halford guitarist Metal Mike Chlasciak and former Priest singer Tim Owens also make appearances. So it sounds like Primal Fear, Judas Priest and Halford…..exactly the sound that Ralf has cultivated for years (I still have no idea how he didn’t get the Priest gig!).

Supposedly, this album was written over the last few years that Primal Fear was promoting their last few records but the material didn’t fit the bands current direction. Primal Fear has started to expand their sound over the last few records and SCHEEPERS harkens back to the days of the debut Primal Fear album and JAWS OF DEATH…..there’s a ferocity and bite to most of the songs and the album is a straight forward Power Metal recording that sounds like a hungrier and younger Priest. Songs like ‘Locked In The Dungeon’, ‘Cyber Freak’, ‘Back On Track’ and ‘Play With Fire’ are blistering Power Metal feasts that could easily fit onto an early Primal Fear album while songs like ‘The Fall’, ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Compassion’ have a more contemporary Primal Fear sound as heard on albums like NEW RELIGION (2007) and 16:6 (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD) (2009). There is a lot of Judas Priest worship on SCHEEPERS, no surprise because Ralf is compared to Rob (and Primal Fear to Priest), and that’s not necessarily a bad thing because Judas Priest is an iconic Metal band worth emulating. You can hear the Priest-isms in the guitar tones of the ‘Painkiller’ tinged ‘Locked In The Dungeon’ from Metal Mike Chlasciak (Halford band) and the the vocal duel between Scheepers and Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens on ‘Remission of Sin’, one of my favorite tracks that reminds me of the duet between Rob Halford and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson on ‘The One You Love To Hate’ from Halford’s RESURRECTION (2000) album. It’s extremely interesting to hear the logical replacement for Rob Halford to my ears (Scheepers) sing a song with the former heir apparent (Owens) that is extremely powerful…..at times I lose track of who is singing because they are so similar but after repeated listens you can hear both doing their best Halford while injecting their own unique vocal abilities.

Another couple of Priest styled offerings are the ultra-catchy ‘Saints Of Rock’, this album’s metal anthem, the epic power ballad ‘The Pain Of The Accused’ that reminds me of ’70s Priest like ‘Beyond The Realms Of Death’ and ‘Dynasty’, a song that sounds more like Halford solo. Listen for the high pitch vocals on ‘Dynasty’ for a great comparison of Ralf’s dynamic vocal range and I defy anyone not to sing along to ‘Saints Of Rock’ because the chorus just digs deep in and has that big arena rock sound. The title is a little bit cliché and reminds me of something Saxon would have on one of their albums but the songs is really good and I like that “hammer” effect and the thumping bass line from Mat Sinner. My second favorite song on the album is ‘The Pain Of The Accused’, a very moody and emotional track that starts out as an acoustic ballad but moves into a mid-tempo metallic wall of sound. I like the use of both the acoustics and the heaviness because the song could be done fully in either direction and it’s as catchy and melodic as ‘Saints Of Rock’ around the chorus. What’s also striking is Ralf’s range on this song from the lower register to the higher, if there’s any doubt that Scheepers is more than a Halford clone, that doubt is squashed here. I could do without the spoken word part of the song but it’s quick and doesn’t take away too much from the overall presentation. The inclusion of a cover of the Priest classic ‘Before The Dawn’ is an obvious move to kind of keep that infamous connection/influence in our faces. Usually I immeadiately disregard any cover on an album of originals a throwaway track because I’d rather have an original song but I have to admit that Ralf does a great job keeping this as close to the original as possible and the lead guitars from Rage’s Victor Smolski are dead on to that of Priest’s duo of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing.

Bottom Line:
I’ve been playing this album a lot in the last few months and it hasn’t disappointed yet. Power Metal gets a bad rep most times in the Metal community because of it’s subject matter, it’s imagery or it’s bombast but, when it’s done right, it can be some of the best Heavy Metal out there. If you look at the roots of Power Metal it’s basically just Traditional Metal or regular Heavy Metal formed by the legends Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and their contemporaries and Primal Fear is at the forefront of keeping that style alive and their success has given their singer the opportunity to release his forst solo album. SCHEEPERS is more than just a solo album, it’s a continuation…..a continuation of a career rooted in traditional Heavy Metal. Sure, Ralf Scheepers sounds a lot like Rob Halford, and the comparisons will always be there, but he has become one of the top vocal talents in Metal today and he contributes to Primal Fear’s writing. It’s no wonder that his first solo album is going to sound a lot like his main band’s catalog. Personally, I can’t find a weak song on the album and I can’t even consider the cover of ‘Before The Dawn’ a throwaway because it’s done so perfectly. All in all, I’d have to give Ralf and his guest musicians a ton of credit for making one of the best Power Metal albums of 2011.

Favorite Songs:
‘Remission Of Sin’, ‘Cyberfreak’, ‘The Fall’, ‘Saints Of Rock’, ‘The Pain Of The Accused’ and an honorable mention of the cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Before The Dawn’.

Metal Mixtape – 3/13/11

Tale of the Tape
Ipod 120
8370 songs (725 albums)

I usually work a double shift Saturday night into Sunday morning so good Metal music is a must on the overnight. I usually listen to a lot of new albums but I have to start the overnight (the 2nd part of my long shift) with some familiar tracks to get the blood pumping. Here’s the first 20 songs (band-song-album-year):

  1. Dio – ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Children’ – Sacred Heart (1985)
  2. Dio – ‘I Could Have Been A Dreamer’ – Dream Evil (1987)
  3. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘I Just Want You’ – Ozzmosis (1995)
  4. Great White – ‘Rock Me’ – Once Bitten (1987)
  5. Guns ‘N Roses – ‘Anything Goes’ – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
  6. Van Halen – ‘I’ll Wait’ – 1984 (1984)
  7. Def Leppard – ‘Armageddon It’ – Hysteria (1987)
  8. Whitesnake – ‘Fool For Your Loving’ – Ready An’ Willing (1980)
  9. Scheepers – ‘Cyberfreak’ – Scheepers (2011)
  10. Quiet Riot – The Wild And The Young’ – QR III (1986)
  11. Scorpions – ‘The Zoo’ – Animal Magnetism (1980)
  12. Firewind – ‘The Ark Of Lies’ – Days Of Defiance (2010)
  13. Helix – ‘Best Mistake I Never Made’ – Vagabond Bones (2009)
  14. Accept – ‘Flash Rockin’ Man’ – Restless & Wild (1982)
  15. Metallica – ‘Holier Than Thou’ – The Black Album (1991)
  16. Cinderella – ‘Winds Of Change’ – Heartbreak Station (1990)
  17. Crazy Lixx – ‘Road To Babylon’ – New Religion (2010)
  18. Yngwie Malmsteen – ‘Death Dealer’ – Perpetual Flame (2008)
  19. Diamond Head – ‘It’s Electric’ – Lightning To The Nations (1980)
  20. Primal Fear – ‘Black Sun’ – Black Sun (2002)

Bonus Track: AC/DC – ‘War Machine’ – Black Ice (2008)

CD Scavenger Hunt – A month’s worth of purchases! (Part 2)

OK, so what was a month of purchases has taken me extra time to post because I’m lazy! So here is Part 2 of this installment of CD Scavenger Hunt, the first part will be the post before this one! All of these CDs come from my local record store, Newbury Comics, except for the last CD that came from Best Buy.

Newbury Comics

Ozzy Osbourne – Scream (2010) - $9: This was a definite purchase because I have been an Ozzy fan since the first album and this was either going to be a solid record or a complete train wreck! After the TV show and the last 2 studio albums, I’ve had no faith in Ozzy but my loyalty keeps me coming back over and over. I was going to pick this up at Best Buy because it was featured for $8 but I decided that my loyalty lies with the independent store so I paid the extra buck at Newbury Comics, regular price at both stores was $15 so I saved $6. I installed SCREAM as my July 2010 Album Of The Month so click the link above to read the review.

Halford – Live In Anaheim (2010) – $12: I don’t miss a new Halford release and this double disc live set was on my list since the Metal God announced it months ago. This live album is a 2 disc set that is billed as an “original soundtrack”, that’s because the live DVD of this show is coming in August. I was a little disappointed that the DVD set wasn’t released at the same time but I will take the 19 song live show plus the 4 live bonus tracks from Japan. Regular price was $20 so I saved $8 buying it the day of release!

Sister Sin – True Sound Of The Underground (2010) – $10: I’ve been keeping an eye on Sister Sin since 2008 when they released their first record SWITCHBLADE SERENADE but I never got around to buying that album. When it first came out, I wasn’t sure because they were a new band that I hadn’t heard about. By the time I checked them out, I missed the sale price and couldn’t find the record in the stores! I’ve heard a few songs and read a lot of good reviews on the band so I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. Regular price was $14, saved $4.

Primal Fear – Live In The USA/16.6 All Over The World (2010 Special Edition) – $0: As you all know, I’m a huge Power Metal fan and a huge Primal Fear fan so this new live CD & DVD set was a must have. I knew that this was going to be a high priced purchase because all the online stores listed this set between $25 – $40 plus shipping and the Newbury Comics website listed the $25 regular price. Of course there was always the option of buying each separately but what is the sense of that? It becomes MORE expensive! I got to the store and found a sale sticker for $20, I will save $5 any way I can, especially when it’s for a great package! Here’s the kicker, I had a $20 gift card from Father’s Day that my daughters gave me so this actually cost me nothing! Saved $20.

Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila (2010) – $10: When I heard Vince Neil was releasing a new solo album, I was all for it because I am a big fan of both EXPOSED (1993) & CARVED IN STONE (1995)…..I had no idea that this was mostly a covers album. I actually waited to buy this because I was on the fence about all the covers and there are 2 versions of the album: the 11 song U.S. release and the 12 song European that includes a cover of ZZ Top’s ‘Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers’. The price difference between the 2 versions was $5 and I wasn’t dropping the extra five bucks for another cover song so I settled for the U.S. pressing. Good thing I didn’t miss the sale price because I would have been pissed to pay the regular price of $15….saved $5.

Dokken – Greatest Hits (2010) – $13: Watch out if you go to pick up this latest greatest hits collection from Dokken because there’s more than meets the eye here. The first 10 songs are re-recorded classics featuring the current Dokken lineup of Don Dokken, Mick Brown, Jon Levin and Sean McNabb followed by two brand new songs – ‘Almost Over’ and ‘Magic Man’. There was no sticker on the front indicating the contents of the album and the Deadline/Cleopatra label has a habit of recycling a lot of previously released material. I wasn’t sure what I had in my hands so I called home and had my daughter look it up on the Net (I don’t have a smartphone!). Once I knew that these were different versions with 2 new songs, I snatched it up. I’ve been a Dokken fan since BREAKING THE CHAINS (1983) so I always support the band. Honestly, there’s not much difference between this album and Vince Neil’s because Dokken is essentially covering themselves but at least it’s their own material. Saved $3.

Sabaton – Coat Of Arms (2010) – $10: When I saw that Sabaton was releasing a new album, I checked my collection to see if I owned any of the band’s albums. It turns out that I own a couple of them so I gave them a quick listen and decided that I would pick up COAT OF ARMS the day it came out at the sale price. It’s Power Metal and I’m a fan of the genre so there had to be something worth checking out on this album. Regular price was $16 so I saved $6 and there were two bonus instrumentals included so it’s a 12 song disc instead of 10 songs. This was a reach for me, and I still haven’t listened to it, so I have my fingers crossed.

Rhapsody Of Fire – The Frozen Tears Of Angels (2010) – $10: Unlike Sabaton, I knew what I was buying when I picked up the new Rhapsody Of Fire. I have been a fan since the Power Metal resurgence in 1997 when the band was known simply as Rhapsody and they released LEGENDARY TALES. I have almost every Rhapsody album (I’m missing 2006′s TRIUMPH OR AGONY) so I figured I’d grab this at the sale price (saved $6) and I was pleasantly surprised to see the 2 bonus tracks from the European digipak release included on the U.S. pressing. By the way, I hate the new name! I know that there was some legal issues with another band named Rhapsody but the “Of Fire” part really doesn’t fit.

Witchery – Witchkrieg (2010) – $10: Here’s another album that I was on the fence about picking up even though I own a few Witchery albums. Maybe it was the switch in vocalists, maybe it was that it’s been four years since DON’T FEAR THE REAPER (2006) but I was going to pass on it. I got to the register with this set of purchases and I asked my Metal friend at the counter if he had heard it. We got to talking, he recommended it, he hasn’t steered me wrong before so I went back and grabbed a copy. Saved $6.

Y&T – Facemelter (2010) – $18: I had meaning to buy the new Y&T for a few weeks but the import prices with shipping were out of control and my local Newbury Comics hadn’t stocked it yet. I bought this on my last vacation 4th of July week at the Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA (the chain’s superstore). My wife, the kids and I got in the car for a drive and we happened to pass by the superstore (I planned it that way!) so we stopped on the way back. I had to pay full price at the store but that was still better than the online prices that were around $20 – $25 plus shipping. I’ve been looking forward to this album because I’ve been a Y&T fan since I heard ‘Don’t Stop Runnin’ on the radio back in 1984.

Anthrax – Fistful Of Metal (1984) – $10 used: Nothing pisses me off more than not being able to find a CD for years. I have had a cassette of this album for two decades and I have never been able to replace it! I’ve had the chance a few times but that was close to 10 years ago just before my favorite mom & pop record store closed it’s doors. I have had FISTFUL OF METAL on my short list of wanted CDs and neither Ebay or record stores have been able to turn up a copy. I once found a copy at a pawn shop for $5 but it had the biggest scratch on the CD so I passed, even that CD was found 5 years ago! This is the original Megaforce CD pressing in perfect condition so I didn’t mind spending a couple extra bucks for a used CD. I estimate that this would be a regular price of $15 so I assume I saved $5. I bought this with the new Y&T in Norwood, MA.

Best Buy

Bret Michaels – Custom Built (2010) – $8: I have no idea why I bought this because, even though I like Poison, Bret’s solo career has been a waste of money. Bret’s last album, ROCK MY WORLD (2008), was one of my Worst Albums of 2008 and I vowed not to get sucked in again by an album advertised as a new album but it’s really recycled material from previous records. Maybe it was the Best Buy exclusive sale price? Maybe it was like with the new Ozzy record? I was curious to hear if there is anything good or if it’s a train wreck. Things aren’t looking good when Miley Cyrus (yes, Hannah Montana!) is featured on the thrid track on the record. I’ll review this eventually but I’m not in any hurry…..at least I saved $7 because this was going to be $15 regular price after the initial promotion.

Total = $120

Total (year) = $933

Average price (per item) = $10.03

Total CDs (year) = 85

Total DVDs (year) = 2

Total Box Sets (year) = 5

Total LPs (year) = 1

The Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#11-#25)

2009 was another great year for new Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums and I was lucky to have heard a great many of them. There were hundreds of new albums released by hundreds of bands over a wide range of Metal genres, it was very hard to keep up especially when I’m spending my hard-earned cash! Unfortunately, I can’t buy every new album so there are more than a few that I have missed. I am still very lucky to have many labels, PR firms, and bands sending in their CDs for review, to all of them I would like to extend a very grateful THANK YOU! Without these promotions I would have never heard some great releases and discovered some new bands. I have totalled up the CDs and there were 125 albums up for this year’s honors!

The only criteria I followed for my Top 40 was that the album had to be a studio album, not a live record, best of, or covers collection AND the album had to be released in 2009. In the beginning of the year I decided that an album that was released in 2008, but was released in 2009 for the U.S., qualified as a 2009 album…..basically I went by the date on the back of the CD! There are plenty of albums that got late U.S. releases and there may be a few in this countdown. 

The ranking of the Top 40 is based solely on my enjoyment of the album and not some scientific formula. Bottom Line: I had to like it! There were so many releases this year that I more than doubled the list this year so I will be splitting it into three posts. Be sure to check out the links to the album reviews. So here is part 2, my Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#11 – #25):

#25

Ravage – The End Of Tomorrow (2009): Living in the New England area, there really isn’t much of a local scene like there used to be, especially in Rhode Island, but there are a few bands worth checking out. Ravage has been a fixture on the Massachusetts scene for over a decade but this is only their second full-length album! With most bands on the local, and national, scene playing mostly Metalcore and/or Hardcore it’s refreshing to hear a band play old school Traditional Metal. You could call this Power Metal too, maybe even Thrash in some spots. The bottom line here is that Ravage released a solid record that reminds me of my early ’80s roots…..great to have another local band in this year’s countdown.

#24

Artillery – When Death Comes (2009): WHEN DEATH COMES was one of the biggest surprises of the year for me, as well as, one of the albums I was really looking forward to. Thrash is on a major comeback and it was good to hear a new Artillery album, this one with new lead singer Søren Nico Adamsen. I feel that Artillery has expanded their overall sound and added enough melodic touches to their Thrash base to make this album even better than expected. I didn’t take WHEN DEATH COMES out of my regular weekly rotation until mid-November so I really spent a lot of time with it and it hasn’t disappointed.

#23

Slayer – World Painted Blood (2009): Any year with a new Slayer album is a good year and anytime you get a new Slayer album then you know it’s going to be good. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest Slayer fan but I have been following the band since the early ’80s. 2009 was a year for me to fill all the holes in my Slayer collection and give the entire catalog a serious listen. Then the new album was released and I’ve given that all my attention. The more I listen to WORLD PAINTED BLOOD, the more I like it. It’s brutal, heavy, and dangerous…..just like a Slayer album should be!

#22

Bloodbound – Tabula Rasa (2009): The only reason I picked this album up because Urban Breed (ex-Tad Morose, current Pyramaze) was the lead singer. Besides Urban, I knew nothing about Bloodbound but TABULA RASA turned out to be a great buy! I’d call this heavy Power Metal incorporating great guitarwork, a solid rhythm section and, of course, awesome vocals. This is more or less a concept album with most of the songs having the tabula rasa (Latin for “blank slate”) idea but each song stands out on there own. Another big surprise for 2009 and an album I have kept in my weekly rotation for most of the year.

#21

Mastodon – Crack The Skye (2009): I only started listening to Mastadon in 2006 with BLOOD MOUNTAIN so I’m not as familiar with the band’s style as others might be. I’m not going to lie…..I had a hard time getting into this album at first, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the wall of sound that Mastodon is. I bought this when it was released and gave it serious listening time but I didn’t get it. After letting it sit and coming back to it, I get it! Mastodon is going to be like Dream Theater for me where I have to stop listening and then come back later for more, especially with Mastodon as they continue to evolve their sound from album to album. I didn’t rank this as high as other websites’ but this is definitely one of the year’s best.

#20

Candlemass – Death Magic Doom (2009): When Messiah Marcolin left Candlemass again in 2006 I didn’t think that a new record would be anything short of a letdown. That’s why I passed on 2007′s KING OF THE GREY ISLANDS. I picked this album up because the sale price was right and I figured I’d check out what the band sounded like with their current vocalist Robert Lowe (Solitude Aeturnus). One listen to ‘Hammer Of Doom’ and I was hooked into the pure Doom influenced by Ozzy-era Black Sabbath…..after that, I was hooked. Robert Lowe puts in a great performance and the band hasn’t lost a step…..another great surprise for me in 2009 and definitely in the Top 20.

#19

Stryper – Murder By Pride (2009): I only bought MURDER BY PRIDE because I have been a Stryper fan since the early ’80s and I still support the bands I grew up with. I had a lot of doubts about this album because the band’s last album, REBORN (2005), was awful. Then there is the Boston connection, lead vocalist/guitarist Michael Sweet now fronting the Classic Rock band…..I wasn’t sure about a cover of the Boston classic ‘Peace Of Mind’ being added to a new Stryper record. Talk about a comeback, Stryper does a complete about-face and shelves the grungy sound they used on REBORN for a return to their classic melodic ’80s sound. The difference between 2009 and 1983-1990 is that the overall religious message isn’t constantly crammed into the listener, the message is still there but it’s more subtle. Stryper had me singing along almost right away and that’s always a good sign…..and the Boston cover? It’s pretty good!

#18

U.D.O. – Dominator (2009): If you’re an old school Metal fan, then you should be an Accept fan. If you’re an Accept fan, then being an U.D.O. fan is basically the same thing. Udo Dirkscheider continues to fly the Accept flag through his namesake by playing uncompromising Traditional Heavy Metal that is always high quality. Every year U.D.O. releases a new record you know exactly what you’re going to get and DOMINATOR is definitely follows the same path as other U.D.O. albums. It’s great to have a veteran band that’s consistent year in and year out releasing solid Metal albums, now if they could just find a better album cover for this one!

#17

Outloud - We’ll Rock You To Hell And Back Again! (2009): First let’s settle the confusion on the album title. The band’s label, Frontiers Records, lists this as “Self-titled” or “Outloud” but there is the title of “We’ll Rock You to Hell And Back Again!” above the band logo on the album cover. Which is it? The Metal websites & blogs are split down the middle and so are the online retailers. All year I went with “s/t” but I will use what’s on the album cover for this list. Back to the music…..remember the late ’80s? Outloud does! This album is a heavy melodic Hard Rock record that is full of hooks and bombastic arena tailored riffs…..fans of Dokken, Europe, early Bon Jovi and definitely Riot will all like this. I had this ranked higher but it fell as other albums moved up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on a lot of year end lists.

#16

Jorn Lande – Spirit Black (2009): I swear that everything Jorn Lande does is near perfect! Doesn’t matter if it’s with Masterplan, Ark, solo or part of projects, Jorn always puts in a masterful performance. It’s hard to believe that SPIRIT BLACK is Jorn’s seventh studio album in ten years but he just keeps releasing album after album of great Metal. SPIRIT BLACK is a record that still has a ton of melody and hooks but a lot heavier, more Heavy Metal. When I was putting this list together, Jorn Lande was an obvious choice…..just listen to that voice, he’s becoming one of my favorite singers alongside Halford, Dio, Turner, Hughes, Bonnet, Soto and D.C. Cooper.

#15

Helix – Vagabond Bones (2009): This is one of the biggest surprises of 2009! I only picked up VAGABOND BONES a few weeks ago but it has been the most played album on a daily basis ever since. Helix always puts out consistently good albums and I have to give Brian Vollmer credit for following his musical formula and keeping everything sounding fresh. Sure, the Helix sound is rooted in AC/DC and the big ’80s but isn’t that what’s so good about them? VAGABOND BONES is an absolutly fun record with a ton of hooks that had me singing right along almost immeadiately. Some of the great songs here are ‘Go Hard Or Go Home’, ‘Jack It Up’ and ‘Vagabond Bones’. Go to the excellent PlanetHelix to give this album a listen and then go buy it!

#14

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009): The best thing Primal Fear did in the last few years was to expand their Power Metal sound by adding in a lot of different melodic styles. They did it with NEW RELIGION in 2007 and they have continued with 16.6. You’ve got serious heavy metal with ‘Riding The Eagle’ and then  melodic balladry with ‘Black Rain’ moving into more traditional Metal on ‘Killbound’. Basically, Primal Fear keeps you guessing as to what’s next and the expansion of their overall sound makes them more diverse and exciting then a lot of other Power Metal bands crowding the scene. This album took a few listens to take hold but it became one of my favorite albums of the year and stayed in the weekly rotation for most of 2009.

#13

Kreator – Hordes Of Chaos (2009): The best Thrash album of 2009 without a doubt! I’ve had HORDES OF CHAOS since mid-December 2008 when the kind  people at SPV sent me a promo and I have been playing it regularly for the entire year. I know that Megadeth, Slayer and Artillery all released great Thrash albums this year but kreator set the bar high early on and no one has matched it. The intensity is there, the blistering guitar is there, the brutality is there too but what sets HORDES OF CHAOS apart is that Kreator wasn’t afraid to expand their Thrash formula and add in some melodic flourishes to the overall sound. I hope we don’t have to wait another four years again between new Kreator albums.

#12

Praying Mantis – Sanctuary (2009): SANCTUARY is one of the big reasons why 2009 was such a great year for music, it was one of those albums that came out of nowhere and was just excellent. I grew up with bands from the NWOBHM so I know all about Praying Mantis but I really didn’t expect much from the band 20+ years after I discovered them. SANCTUARY is one of the best AOR/Melodic Rock albums of the year…..there are enough fast songs, mid-tempo songs and ballads that blend together to create a diverse wall of sound filled with melody and hooks a plenty. Current singer Mike Freeland puts in as smooth and effortless performance as  Joe Lynn Turner would and the music is striking in it’s power and beauty. Tino and Chris Troy have kept the Praying Mantis flag flying and SANCTUARY is one of their crown jewels…..I certainly enjoyed this album all year long and it just barely missed out on the Top 10.

#11

FarCry – High Gear (2009): Another band, and album, that came out of nowhere to really captivate my attention and turn in one of the best Melodic Rock albums of 2009! FarCry is a new band and HIGH GEAR is an awesome debut filled with some of the best ’80s styled AOR/Melodic Rock I’ve heard in a long time with big harmonies, hooks and guitars. The music reminds me of classic Danger Danger, Tyketto, Firehouse and Warrant with a bit of Survivor and Journey mixed in. Sounds like good music? It is. Bottom line is FarCry isn’t reinventing the wheel here, their sound is easily 20+ years old for a new band, but they do this kind of music extremely well…..they have great songwriting, good performances, and huge production. HIGH GEAR is one of the best purchases I made this year and it just missed my Top 10. Well worth checking out, I’ve listened to it daily for months!

——————————————————————————————-

Please check out The Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#1-#10) and The Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#26-#40) for the rest of this year’s countdown.

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009)

primal-fear-166

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009, Frontiers)

  1. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
  2. Riding The Eagle
  3. Six Times Dead (16.6)
  4. Black Rain
  5. Under The Radar
  6. 5.0/Torn
  7. Soar
  8. Killbound
  9. No Smoke Without Fire
  10. Night After Night
  11. Smith & Wesson
  12. The Exorcist
  13. Hands Of Time
  14. Cry Havoc (European bonus track)
  15. Scream (European bonus track)

Band Lineup:
Ralf Scheeepers – Lead Vocals
Mat Sinner – Bass & Vocals
Henny Wolter – Guitars & Vocals
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars, Keyboards & Vocals
Randy Black – Drums

Producer: Mat Sinner

Country: Germany

Total Time = 69:25

Primal Fear
Primal Fear MySpace page
Frontiers Records

Two years ago, Primal Fear released what I thought was their career defining record, NEW RELIGION (2007). The album was their 7th studio album and the first to dive headfirst into diversifying the straightforward Power Metal sound the band had forged for ten years. The use of symphonics, orchestration and keyboards within the signature Primal Fear sound, and adding a guest vocal performance from Epica’s Simone Simons, worked extremely well to give the music a melodic edge. Now the band has released 16.6 (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD) and my hope was that the band continued to build on the new musical direction. It’s hard to believe that NEW RELIGION was released two years ago because I’ve kept it in a monthly rotation ever since but I’ve been very excited to hear new music from the band.

There is another lineup change in the band, guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Allen/Lande, Last Tribe, Midnight Sun) replaces Stefan Liebing and adds a melodic hand to the overall sound, something the band has made a concious effort to do anyway so it’s a solid fit. Otherwise, Primal Fear is basically the same band with Ralf Scheepers clearly taking the lead role, along with founding bass player Mat Sinner. Once again Scheepers proves he is one of the premier Heavy Metal vocalists in the world, blowing away some of his more well-known peers.

The opening song ‘Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead’ is a quick intro that moves right into the crushing Metal of ‘Riding The Eagle’. I can’t stand it when bands make a song out of an instrumental intro that clocks in under a minute, why not just add it to a real song? Once the opening guitar of ‘Riding The Eagle’ hits, the guitars and drums roll in and it’s full speed ahead. Two things are immeadiately apparent: Scheepers’ vocals soar with ease and Randy Black is a monster behind the drum kit. Any doubts of Primal Fear going “soft” as they include different melodic elements to their sound are easily dashed by ‘Riding The Eagle’, this song could fit onto any of the previous seven albums. ‘Six Times Dead (16.6)’ is the title track of the record and it has been a grower for me. The song is melodic and heavy but I’ve had this idea in my head that it was subpar because of the dark Industrial sound. It’s taken repeated listens for me to enjoy this song because I couldn’t get past the chorus but now it’s one of the better songs on the album.

‘Black Rain’ is an atmospheric and melodic song that sounds a lot like some of the tracks on NEW RELIGION. The song relies on the melody and the harmonized vocals and I hear some experimental Middle Eastern sounds as well as some female background vocals. Definitely a cool track that hooks you in and gets you singing along, the whole album does that! The pace picks up again with ‘Under The Radar’ for another Power Metal song with a melodic chorus and superb vocals from Scheepers. I’m going to assume that the opening guitar solo in ’5.0/Torn’ is the 5.0 part. The proper song starts out with a quick bass intro and moves into another melodic metal song that actually slows to a mid-tempo groove around the chorus. Another thing to notice is that the keyboards are a little more prominent but not overbearing. ‘Soar’ moves into a more diverse area with flourishes of pure Power Metal and Melodic Rock but there is an experimental, almost Nu-Metal, instrumental smack in the middle. All I could think of was Korn but thankfully the proper song returns and all is forgotten. ‘Soar’ has a very melodic chorus that hooks you into singing and overall it’s a solid song except for that solo breakedown! Primal Fear takes a page from the Accept/U.D.O. playbook of Teutonic Metal with ‘Killbound’…..definitely heavy, definitely melodic with a buzzsaw twin guitar that is the basis of the Accept/U.D.O. sound. I wouldn’t mind Udo and the gang covering this and putting it on DOMINATOR just to hear what it would sound like!

The first ballad of the album arrives with the keyboard heavy intro of ‘No Smoke Without Fire’ and Ralf singing over a quiet piano. This is definitely part of the direction the band took on the previous record to get more melodic, the singing is definitely inspired but I almost get the feeling like Scheepers is holding back to accomodate the arrangement. The solos are very good and the keyboards are a great way to bolster the overall sound without being overbearing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the band releases this as the next single/video. ‘Night After Night’ starts out fast and heavy with more rolling drums but it sounds a lot like Judas Priest and not just because Ralf sounds like Rob Halford. More German Metal with excellent ‘Smith & Wesson’ that has similar structure to ‘Killbound’ with that Accept/U.D.O. sound. Songs like this aren’t overdone but they have serious impact with a powerful delivery. Same thing goes for ‘The Exorcist’, which borders on classic Speed Metal and Traditional Metal full of guitars and soaring vocals. What I found interesting on repeated listens of ‘The Exorcist’ is that Ralf Scheepers had a bit more grit to his voice and sounded more like Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens than Rob Halford. Sure it’s almost the same voice but you can definitely hear the differences between Ripper and Rob while Ralf arguably does both better than they do! The proper album ends with another ballad ‘Hands Of Time’. You will notice immeadiately that Ralf doesn’t do all the vocals for this song, the entire band aside from Randy Black takes a verse and joins on the chorus. Very interesting song, mellow and subdued but still very good.

Now if you went out and spent the money for the European digipak version then you got two bonus tracks (‘Cry Havoc’ and ‘Scream’) and the ‘Six Times Dead (16.6)’ video that I posted earlier in the review. ‘Cry Havoc’ is a melodic and heavy Power Metal song that falls in line with the rest of the record with some solid guitar solos thrown in. ‘Scream’ also follows the same formula of melodic Power Metal with a hook filled chorus. The only thing I don’t like about the song is the gang chorus for the song title.

Bottom Line:
I bought the European version in mid-June a couple of weeks after the release date and I’ve kept 16.6 (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD) in regular daily rotation. At first I thought the album was going to be a grower because the bar had been previously set high with NEW RELIGION (2007) so I started to compare the two albums without enough spins of the new one. First thing I did was take NEW RELIGION out of my monthly rotation and give 16.6 fresh ears…..this album is just as good as the last one. There is still enough pure Power Metal to satisfy the traditional fans and there is plenty of melodic exploration again for the band to enhance their overall sound. Once again, Primal Fear is growing and taking the lead in the Power Metal world. NEW RELIGION made my Top 15 Albums of 2007, I’ve enjoyed this album so much that I can guarantee that it will make my Top Albums of 2009 list.

Favorite Songs:
‘Riding The Eagle’, ‘Killbound’, ‘Smith & Wesson’, ‘No Smoke Without Fire’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Hands Of Time’

Now Playing — Vacation edition

Vacation, vacation, vacation!

It feels so good to walk out of work, especially after a hard holiday week, and know you don’t have to go back on the job for a full week. I started my week off today with some Metal music to relax the mind and body while I enjoyed some really great weather here in Rhode Island.

Michael Schenker – Thank You (1993): I started the first day of vacation as soon as I got home from work at 1am this morning with a little acoustic Michael Schenker. Nothing relaxes me more than grabbing a cold iced tea, sitting in front of the stereo, turning the lights down and listening to one of the greatest Rock guitarists do his thing. THANK YOU used to help my youngest daughter take her nap when she was a baby and it helped me get relaxed enough to go to bed BEFORE 3am and get a great sleep.

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009): I started the actual day with the dog and a 2.5 mile walk with the soundtrack being the new Primal Fear album. I really liked their last album so this new one has a lot to live up to according to my ears. This was the 3rd time I’ve played 16.6 and I’ll need a few more spins before I pass judgement but I’ll say this: Primal Fear rarely disappoints me.

Starz – s/t (1976): I’ve had this thing for Starz for the past couple of days because I heard ‘Detroit Girls’ on a local classic rock station and they NEVER play Starz. I prefer the band’s second record, VIOLATION, but the debut is just as solid. This CD is the Ryko reissue from 2005 with 4 demos tacked on as bonus tracks.

Iron Fire – To The Grave (2009): This is the album that just will not die! I bought this album back when it came out earlier in the year and I have kept it in a weekly rotation every since. Iron Fire are Power Metal so it’s a genre I really like but it’s Iron Fire…..there are other bands releasing albums and I haven’t given this the proper time. I keep putting it on then forgetting about it for another new album so I decided that I would lie back with the headphones and give this a critical listen.

U.D.O. – Infected E.P. (2009): Just got this in the mail last week so I tore off the cellophane and gave this a spin…..a nice teaser for the upcoming album.

U.D.O. – Mastercutor (2007): You can never have enough U.D.O. or Accept so I pulled out MASTERCUTOR and now I am seriously pumped for DOMINATOR (2009) in August…..this time I’m going to buy the album right away instead of waiting to buy it like I did with this one.

Savannah – s/t (1998): So I decided to listen to Savannah’s debut because it was at the top of the pile on my desk and because I was so pleased that I got a great deal on a Japanese copy and cleared something off the WANTED list. So I finish with the CD and I go to put it in the CD case and what do I see? A U.S. version of the album! Now I have no idea when I got the U.S. pressing, I checked all of the CD Scavenger Hunts since January and I started to check Paypal to see when this mix up occurred…..nothing. So I have both versions now…..I really need to finish my list.

Michael Schenker – Thank You 4 (2003): I decided to end my day the same way I started it with some acoustic Michael Schenker. THANK YOU 4 is another album that helped my youngest daughter take her naps when she was a baby and it worked on me too. As I type this, I’m getting sleepy and the album is drawing to a close…..good night!

CD Scavenger Hunt – updated purchases

I haven’t been posting but I have been buying! Here’s everything I’ve picked up in the last couple weeks online and at the record stores…..

Record Stores

Dream_Theater_-_Black_Clouds_&_Silver_LiningsDream Theater – Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009) – $15: The new Dream Theater came out last Tuesday and I had a choice of 2 stores to pick up the 3 CD limited edition: Newbury Comics or Best Buy. I went with Best Buy because it was $5 cheaper. The 3 CD set breaks down as follows: Disc 1 is the new studio album, Disc 2 is a bonus disc of 6 cover songs and Disc 3 is the studio album again but as instrumental mixes only. All together it’s 3 hours and 17 minutes of music on 3 CDs for the price of one regulary priced album…..a good deal!

primal-fear-166Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009) – $16: Picked this up a couple of weeks ago at Newbury Comics when the album was released officially in the U.S. The cool thing was that the only copy the store had was the European version with the 2 bonus tracks and the video…..I prefer the extra material even if that means paying a couple extra bucks. I have only had a few spins so far but it sounds like another updated sound added to the Classic Metal assault.

Spinal_Tap_Back_from_the_DeadSpinal Tap – Back From the Dead (2009) – $9.99: New album from Spinal Tap, great sale price from Newbury Comics! A lot of extras included in the package: the CD has 19 songs (6 new and 13 re-recorded from the soundtrack), an hour long DVD and the CD packaging folds out to become paper dolls of the band and Stonehenge! The only complaint is that there is no slipcase to keep everything in but it’s definitely a cool way to put together a CD.

Axel Rudi Pell - Best Of (Anniversary Edition) (2009)Axel Rudi Pell – Best Of (Anniversary Edition) (2009) – $8.99: I don’t have much Axel Rudi Pell in the collection except for a few of the newer records so I figured a retrospective release like this would give me a taste of some of the older material. I picked this up mostly based on the sale price and it fit in nicely with the Primal Fear and Spinal Tap purchases.

Ebay

JESTER DigitaliaJester – Digitalia/Tales From The Boogieman (2000 reissue) – $2.50: Back when print fanzines were still a viable source of info, I heard about New Jersey’s Jester. I think this was around 1997 when their debut TALES FROM THE BOOGIEMAN was released on Pulse Records. I always wanted to check them out but I never got around to it and now the CD is out of print, same with DIGITALIA, now that Pulse Records is no more. Escape Music came around in 2000 and reissued DIGITALIA with new cover art and TALES as a bonus CD. Some retailers still have this for $17-$20 online but I was able to snag this on Ebay for less than $3.

Lita Ford - Dancin' On The Edge (1984)Lita Ford – Dancin’ On The Edge (1984) – $21: I have been after this CD for a long time. I had it listed in the WANTED! column for about a year now and my patient searching brought me a copy at a decent price. $21 may seem like a high price to pay considering the original release was probably $12-$15 but this CD regularly goes over the $30 range. This was one of those short auctions (3 days) so I came in quick with a last minute bid.

anvil_plugged_in_permanentAnvil – Plugged In Permanent (1996) – $22: I’m slowly filling all the holes in my Anvil collection after seeing the Anvil movie. I noticed that a lot of the later albums have Japanese pressings with bonus tracks and this album gives Japan one with ‘Stolen’. There were 2 copies on Ebay: this Japanese pressing from a seller I have bought from in the past and the regular U.S./Euro pressing without ‘Stolen’. Both were $17 so but the shipping was $2 more for the Japanese pressing. I paid the extra $2 for the extra track.

Online Stores

ufo-the-visitor-2009-cdUFO – The Visitor (2009) – $22.50: I’ve had a promo copy of this album for a few months now but I have to have an actual copy when it comes to on of my favorite bands. The bonus track ‘Dancing With St. Peter’ isn’t on the promo and I wanted to hear the updated version by UFO…..the song was the title track of the Phil Mogg fronted side project $ign of 4. The album of the same name was released in 2002. The only copy of THE VISITOR readily available was the U.S. version without the extra song so I ordered the Euro version from HMV.com.

One of the things I’m doing now more then ever is ordering online. The UFO CD from HMV is what I consider a one time thing but I have been browsing NEH Records, Sentinel Steel and CD Inzane more often lately. There are just certain albums that the local record stores are not going to stock! So here’s my latest order from CD Inzane…..

Solna - EuramericSolna – Eurameric (2009) – $13: I knew nothing about this all-star project except for the fact that CD Inzane founder Zane Petersen (from China Blue)produced it and played drums. There are a lot of guests on this album including Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Pamela Moore (Queensryche) and Alex De Rosso (Dokken). There are more people included and it kind of follows the path taken by other projects like Ayreon and Avantasia. I haven’t given it a spin yet but I’ve read some great reviews.

Solna_-_Sent_From_HeavenSolna – Sent From Heaven E.P. (2009) – $4: This 6 song E.P. was released prior to EURAMERIC and included 5 songs that are on the album and an E.P.-only bonus track titled ‘I Light A Candle Too’. Only 2000 copies were pressed and the CD was on sale for $3 + $1 shipping…..can’t beat that. I figured that I might as well grab the E.P. along with the proper album to have all the songs in the collection.

bloodbound tabula rasaBloodbound – Tabula Rasa (2009) – $12: I have to plead ignorance on Bloodbound because I’ve never actually heard any of the band’s music, the only thing I know is from the reviews I’ve read online and they all seem to be really positive about TABULA RASA. The album was $5 cheaper at CD Inzane than at NEH Records so I picked it up right away. I have the U.S./Euro version that includes a bonus video…..I hear the Japanese import has a bonus track instead.

Nocturnal Rites 8thNocturnal Rites – The 8th Sin (2007) – $5: Over the years I have picked up almost all the the Nocturnal Rites albums as they have been released but, for some strange reason, I never bothered to pick up THE 8TH SIN a couple of years ago. I was going through the CD Inzane clearance section and there this CD was for $5! The bargain is better because it’s the limited edition with the bonus DVD with videos, live tracks, and documentaries on the band’s European Tour 2005 and Japanese Tour 2006. The regular version was $12 & the limited edition was $5…..easy choice! The bonus DVD is PAL format but my DVD-ROM drive on the computer plays PAL.

Gothic Knights Up From the AshesGothic Knights – Up From The Ashes (2003) – $5: An online clearance section can be even more lucrative for finding CD treasure than your local record stores used bins! I couldn’t help but notice that this Gothic Knights album was a mere $5 so I grabbed it too! I looked at this album on Ebay for $15 to $20 depending on the seller…..even Sentinel Steel couldn’t match the price on a used copy! Now I only need the out of print debut from Gothic Knights.

udo infectedU.D.O. – Infected E.P. (2009) – $12: I wasn’t going to make the same mistake of not ordering the E.P. that comes before the proper album like I did with THE WRONG SIDE OF MIDNIGHT E.P. in 2007 before the MASTERCUTOR album came out. U.D.O. always has E.P. exclusive songs and INFECTED is in different: 2 non-album tracks, a remix and a live track to go along with the title track that comes from the new upcoming record DOMINATOR. The E.P. is limited to 2222 copies worldwide so I acted fast.

Current Playlist

I haven’t been posting but I have been listening…..here’s what’s been assaulting my ears the last couple of days…..

Primal Fear – 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009): I picked this up in the last couple of weeks but I didn’t get around to listening to it until this past weekend. There is some classic Primal Fear on 16.6 but there is also some more melodic songs like on the band’s last album, NEW RELIGION (2007). I definitely need some more spins with this.

Wolf – Ravenous (2009): This CD hasn’t left the stereo yet and it’s getting a daily spin or two. One of the best albums of the year.

Def Leppard – On Through The Night (1980): Great debut from a band that rocked big time when they were hungry for success…..and the Leps haven’t been hungry in a long time! The concert is Tuesday night so I’m reliving some old glories!

Def Leppard – High ‘N Dry (1981): I had this record BEFORE the reissue in 1984 when PYROMANIA was hitting the top of the charts. To this day, one of my favorite Def Lep songs is ‘Let It Go’ and I’m hoping to hear live again, last time was back in 2006.

Poison – Greatest Hits (1996): I like a taste of Poison now and then but not enough to get me to listen a lot. I already know the setlist the band is playing on tour…..all the predictable hits that are on this compilation. If I could have one song off this album it would be ‘So Tell Me Why’ from the studio tracks on SWALLOW THIS LIVE (1991).

Judas Priest – British Steel (1980): The show with Whitesnake is next week so I figured I’d give this a spin seeing they are playing the whole thing live. Looking forward to hearing the band tear up ‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘Grinder’.

Press Release: Primal Fear – 16.6 Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead artwork, tracklisting, and release dates announced

From Primal Fear:

March 27th, 2009 – 16.6 Official Announcement & Cover Artwork revealed!

Frontiers Records proudly announces the release of PRIMAL FEAR new studio album 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) on May 22nd in Europe and June 9th in the USA.

primal-fear-166

The complete 16.6 tracklisting is as follows: ‘Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead’, ‘Riding The Eagle’, ‘Six Times Dead (16.6)’, ‘Black Rain’, ‘Under The Radar’, ’5.0 /Torn’, ‘Soar’, ‘Killbound’, ‘No Smoke Without Fire’, ‘Night After Night’, ‘Smith & Wesson’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Hands of Time’.

The limited edition will include two exclusive bonus-tracks: ‘Cry Havoc’, ‘Scream’ plus the video clip for ‘Six Times Dead (16.6)’

The version for Japan will include a special single remix of the song ‘No Smoke Without Fire’.

Anticipated by a successful listening session held in Cologne, Germany, attended by the cream of the European Metal press, the new album is about to bring back Primal Fear to the throne of Heavy Metal. 16.6 is easily the most powerful, ambitious and interesting album in the band’s history. The vibe of songs like the opening track “Riding The Eagle”, “Killbound” or “Under The Radar” are reminiscent of the “Nuclear Fire” album but eh whole album features all the trademarks of the Primal Fear sound a the total dedication to pure Metal. There is also a new approach mixed with the trademark PF riffs in tracks like “Six Times Dead (16.6)”, “Soar”, “Smith & Wesson” as well as the epic stories, consummate musicianship, courage and fantastic melodies in songs like “Black Rain”, “No Smoke Without Fire”, “Torn” and the stylistically new ballad “Hands Of Time” with four band members all sharing the lead-vocals.

“Our target was to write and produce the most diverse and interesting album in the history of Primal Fear and combine our past with the future” says Mat Sinner. ”The result went truly beyond our expectations and it will be a huge challenge to play these new songs on stage! The entire band is very proud of 16.6 and we hope all our old and even new fans will be totally satisfied!”

pf_band2009

Some of the feedback gathered from the press after the listening session include:

“Primal Fear top themselves one more time again with their unique mix out of traditional Metal sounds and modern melodic power metal. How can do they that again and again?” Andreas Schöwe (Metal Hammer Germany)

“Primal Fear manages to take at least one step forward, one backward and still stand for what Primal Fear always has been standing for – pure metal.” David Bergström (Sweden Rock)

“First impressions: more variety without losing the Metal balls! Fresh blood and ideas combined with the Primal Fear trademarks, outstanding vocal performance by Ralf again and great guitar work by both Magnus and Henny. Some immediate live favourites, other tracks definitely need time to grow, but sound more than promising and won’t disappoint any metal fan that wants more than easy listening stuff” – Martin Römpp (Heavy! Germany)

“To date “16.6.“ is Primal Fear ‘s most diversified record; containing a spectrum from Hard Rock up to double-bass driven Power Metal Songs. But one thing is always consistent – the quality!!! – Gerald Siebenmorgen (Rock It, Germany)

“As the cover artwork shows, Primal Fear ride fiery bullets, play with demons…and fly on butterfly leaded wings. ’16.6′ marks the evolution of groundbreaking hard rock and power metal, filled with open-minded styles. The Devil knows they’re alive!” – Filippo Pagani (Metal Hammer, Italy)

After the Primal Fear / Sinner show in Moscow on April 4th, the band will appear in Norway on April 25th at the Haugesund Festival and in some summer Festivals. More shows are being booked in South America (with Sinner) in August, USA incl. PPX and the UK in September, followed by Europe kicking off at the end of in October(with Brainstorm) plus Japan & Asia t.b.a.

More news, confirmed dates in South America and the video report of the listening session soon.