Hometown: Stuttgart, Germany
Web site: http://www.primalfear.de
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The German Metal Commando is back with a vengeance and a 'New Religion'
If your talking about today’s European top metal acts the discussion is heading straight towards Primal Fear. Former Gamma Ray vocalist Ralf Scheepers and bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner, two of the most respected German metal musicians founded the band in late 1997. They recorded their first Primal Fear songs for the Japan based record company JVC Records together with drummer Klaus Sperling and guitarist Tom Naumann and signed a deal with JVC for their debut album some weeks later. Germany's best kept secret was soon a target for most of the European record companies and the band signed to Nuclear Blast Records in early 1998 for the rest of the world.
The debut album, simply called Primal Fear was released in March 1998 and entered the German Media Control album charts straight ahead on position 48, soon followed by chart success in Japan. The band recruited guitarist Stefan Leibing to their line up and started touring together with Running Wild and Hammerfall. The second PF album Jaws Of Death entered the German Charts on position 49 in July 1999, followed by their first headlining World Tour. The tour was a huge success incl. countries like Brazil, Japan and of course Europe. A kind of PF hysteria broke free and surprised all metalheads, who couldn't understand, what kind of thunder was raging above them!
Former Thunderhead gunslinger Henny Wolter, who plays with Mat already in Sinner joined the band shortly after the Jaws Of Death tour. Not only because he is a good friend of Mat, he is recognized as one of the best guitarists in Germany and an excellent songwriter. Primal Fear first show with Henny was a "sold out" show in their hometown Esslingen/Germany. Guess what, it was one of the best shows in the history of the band so far! In this fantastic mood, PF started the songwriting for Nuclear Fire. The result was their heaviest and strongest album so far. Typical PF trademarks like twin guitar solos, killer riffs and a catchy choruses marks Nuclear Fire as a classic. Produced at the House Of Music by Mat Sinner himself, Nuclear Fire has set new standards and charted in Germany Pos. 37, Italy Pos. 71, Switzerland Pos. 77 and Japan Pos. 23! Their following headlining European Tour was a huge success and Primal Fear were named as one of the hottest live bands. PF played 10 countries with packed audiences and a fantastic response with co-headliners "Children of Bodom". Their first visit to US was the Metal Meltdown in New Jersey, followed by a energetic set at the legendary Milwaukee Metalfest, where PF was billed as the Headliner for the Saturday, plus by a handful huge European Open Air festivals during the summer. The Wacken show was filmed and was the basic of PF's forthcoming DVD release.
But before the DVD release, the guys finished their 4th album Black Sun which was released on April 29th 2002 and is definitely 100% metal and 100% Primal Fear, but there were already some differences on Black Sun. Staring with the most impressing artwork by their long time cover artist Stephan Lohrmann, the lyrics were based on a concept and about the journey of the eagles to the Black Sun. The album was mixed this time at the Sonic Ranch in El Paso/Texas. Black Sun charted in Germany's album charts on Pos. 55. and a new chapter to the saga of Primal Fear! The following tour through Europe with around 30 concerts in 11 countries was a huge success with great response by the fans, followed by a fantastic and successful tour through South America in December 2002 with the highlight show in Sao Paulo/Brazil at the Via Funchal.
In April/May 2003 the band headed to their first US & Canada tour to be a part of the Metal Gods Tour together with Halford, Testament, Immortal and others, with temporary drummer Randy Black. A great tour for the band and a cool experience. At the Wacken Open Air 2003, the band finally introduced Randy Black as their new, permanent drummer, who just left Annihilator days before.
Their long awaited first DVD The History Of Fear was released in September 2003 including a superb digipak packaging and a bonus LIVE CD, with fantastic reviews by the metal press. During this time, the Metal Commando was actually in the recording studio and started the sessions for their new album Devils Ground. 11 brand new tracks, the spoken outro of the Devils Ground story, plus a bonus track (Black Sabbaths Die Young). A killer video clip was shot in Stockholm/Sweden for the first single of the album Metal Is Forever - a hymn for eternity and all metal maniacs! The album charted in Germany on Pos. 67, Japan 82, Sweden 90 and Switzerland 57. The proposed European tour together with Iced Earth was called off and Primal Fear joined the Wacken Road Show very last minute to support the album, followed by a huge open air festival schedule, UK headlining performances and another visit at the US Bravewords festival and another tour through Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
After a short break, the band started the songwriting for their sixth album Seven Seals and this album was a new start and a fresh breath to reload the sound of the band. The band worked for the first time with engineer & co-producer Charlie Bauerfeind and included a lot of orchestra parts to their sound. Responsible was Mat's long time friend Matz Ulmer. The album was mixed in the legendary Warehouse Studio in Vancouver/Canada by mixer Mike Frazer. Two video clips were shot for the songs Evil Spell and Seven Seals. The album was released in October 2005 and charted in Germany Pos. 65, Sweden and Japan. The media hugely responded to PF’s new masterpiece and the album was voted best album in Metal Hammer and more magazines. The band toured together with Helloween for 3 month through Europe, followed by an extensive tour in Japan. Mat Sinner’s book biography The Book Of Seven Seals was released in the middle of the tour and the great packaging was sold out in a short time. Again, a handful of well known Open Air festivals were visited by the band in a very good shape, incl. a headlining performance at UK’s Bloodstock and Sao Paulo’s Live N Louder festival!
At the peak of their career, Primal Fear ended up the long time partnership with Nuclear Blast & JVC Records and signed a worldwide multi album deal with Frontiers Records. Both Nuclear Blast and JVC released a final BEST OF album Metal Is Forever, which was a huge success in Japan and stayed for three month in the Burrn Album Charts.
Primal Fear started the songwriting for their next and first studio album for Frontiers Records in October 2006 and the recordings started shortly later, again at the House Of Music studio with engineer & co-producer Charlie Bauerfeind (Blind Guardian, Saxon, Hammerfall) and longtime producer and bandmember Mat Sinner. Randy Black proved again, that his one of the world class drummers at the moment and singer Ralf Scheepers delivered his most exciting and outstanding vocal performance in his career. Most of the guitars were played by Stefan Leibing. Starbreaker and Allan/Lande producer/guitarist Magnus Karlsson helped out with two stunning guitar solos, before Henny Wolter rejoined the band and played some more lead & rhythm guitars on the album. Epica's lead singer Simone Simons was invited to studio to sing the first duet in Primal Fear recording history, the song Everytime It Rains which seems to be the next hit in Fear's recording career. For the first time, the band moved to the Galaxy Studio in Belgium, to work with award winning engineer Ronald Prent (Rammstein, Iron Maiden, Manowar) on the mix of the album.
And another song is surprising with a huge wall of atmosphere and drama Fighting The Darkness, divided in 3 different parts, the first part 'Fighting The Darkness' is the best sounding tune, the band has released so far (Mat Sinner), followed by a huge instrumental 'The Darkness' and a ‘Reprise’.
Primal Fear improved their sound to the max and again the orchestra arrangements by Matz Ulmer and Mat Sinner reached an incredible quality standard. But not only this part of Primal Fear's music sounds reloaded today and more powerful than ever before. The album opener Sign Of Fear metals like hell with extreme and very sovereign vocals by Ralf, followed by the cool paced melodic highlight Face The Emptiness. More typical songs like Blood On Your Hands, Psycho or Too Much Time will please Fear's Nuclear Fire fans, while the title track New Religion, The Curse Of Sharon and World On Fire shows Primal Fear at their best, with a combination between powerful riffs and fantastic melodies! The album's final song The Man (that I don't know) is a very strong and outstanding ballad, with superb vocal and guitar performances! Two video clips were recently produced for Fighting The Darkness and Sign Of Fear.
New Religion is the most competent and powerful Primal Fear album. The band improved their sound with a lot of new ideas and a lot of courage. The album will be released worldwide on September 21st 2007 by Frontiers Records and their partners (soon to be listed). The Primal Fear New Religion World Tour starts on Oct 6th in Atlanta/USA, followed European Tour in October and November. A Japan Tour is already booked in December plus more European Dates on Xmas. Another visit to the US & South America is panned for early 2008.
Primal Fear is all fired up and totally dedicated to bring their new songs to the stages of the world!
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Stefan Leibing – Guitars
Henny Wolter – Guitars
Randy Black – Guitars
Mat Sinner – Bass & Vocals
1998 - Primal Fear – Same
1999 - Primal Fear – Jaws Of Death
2000 – Primal Fear – Under Your Spell (Single)
2001 - Primal Fear – Out In The Fields (Single)
2001 - Primal Fear – Nuclear Fire
2002 - Primal Fear – Black Sun
2003 - Primal Fear – The History Of Fear (DVD + Live CD)
2004 - Primal Fear – Metal Is Forever (Single)
2004 - Primal Fear – Devils Ground
2005 - Primal Fear – Seven Seals (Single)
2005 - Primal Fear – Seven Seals
2005 - Primal Fear – The Book Of Seven Seals (2 CD/DVD)
2006 - Primal Fear – Metal Is Forever (Best Of – 2 CD)
2007 - Primal Fear – New Religion
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