Published on August 23rd, 2020 | by Justin G.
Primal Fear: Metal Commando (Nuclear Blast, 2020)
Long-running German power metal band Primal Fear is back with a new album, their 13th studio effort, titled Metal Commando. They’re back on the Nuclear Blast label after a lengthy run with Frontiers, and instead of saving us all from the apocalypse that is 2020 with a killer power metal album, the band seems like they’re going through the motions here.
I’m almost never disappointed by a Primal Fear album, because typically they deliver exactly what I expect. This isn’t a band that innovates. They serve up a power metal-infused version of Painkiller every couple of years and we eat it up and ask for seconds because they always put a ton of energy into the songs. This time around the uninspired title and cover art (what, they ran out fiery metal eagles?) should have tipped me off. Metal Commando does sound like a Primal Fear album, and you can check all the usual boxes. It’s just not that memorable or even very much fun.
I kept coming back to Metal Commando because I really do love Primal Fear and wanted to like the album. By the fourth spin I started to warm up to it and gravitate towards a few standout tracks like “Howl Of The Banshee,” “Along Came The Devil” and “The Lost & The Forgotten,” but it shouldn’t take four spins to get into a Primal Fear disc.
One less than stellar album isn’t enough to make me give up on the band, but Primal Fear just isn’t living up to expectations with this album. By all means pick it up if you’re a serious fan (keep that collection complete), but if you’re more of a casual fan you may want to head to Spotify before dropping cash on Metal Commando.
Summary: Sorry, but this one is pretty forgettable.