Singer Ralf Scheepers says powerful metal music will be knocking at the door in venues throughout Europe this winter as Primal Fear tours in support of their new studio album. In Delivering The Black, out Jan. 28 in North America, the German metal band serves up 12 songs of crushing anthems and epics. Its marks the tenth studio release since Scheepers and bassist Mat Sinner founded the band in the late 90’s.
“We wanted to keep the pace of Unbreakable, maybe with a little more aggression,” Scheepers said from his home studio in Stuttgart, referring to the band’s 2012 release. The metal singer was getting ready for another stretch on the road; Primal Fear is about to launch their Eagles and Lions tour in late January. With the band Bullet opening the show, the tour begins with several dates in Germany before moving on to a North American tour that opens with a show in Baltimore in April. More tour plans this year also have the band going to Japan and Australia.
Work began on Delivering The Black last summer, while band members were in their respective home studios in Germany. After putting out a steady pace of studio releases together over the years, Scheepers said the band members have a well-developed songwriting process that usually begins with the guitars of Mat Sinner and Magnus Karlsson. Once they’ve created a framework for a song, they send demo versions to Scheepers, who then starts on melodies and lyrics. Band members Alex Beyrodt and Randy Black also contribute.
“Everybody has their systems at home, everyone is collecting ideas,” said Scheepers. Once the songs were in shape, Primal Fear convened at the House Of Music studios in Germany to make Delivering The Black. “It’s great how this team works together in the studio,” he said. “You can really hear the chemistry is going well, not only in the live playing but in the studio as well.”
Similar to Nikki Sixx with Motley Crue, Sinner is not only the bass player on the record and on the stage Primal Fear, but he is also a main songwriter and producer. Apart from Primal Fear, Sinner has had a successful run with his own band – Sinner – that started in the 80’s.
Delivering The Black begins with the up tempo King For A Day, then on to Rebel Faction and When Death Comes Knocking. That song was released as a single late in 2013. One of the most powerful and moving songs on this album is the almost-10 minute One Night In December. With its sweeping guitars and eerie keyboards, Screamer contributor Gary Clarke calls it Primal Fear’s “answer to Kashmir.”
Other notable songs sure to please metal heads are Alive And On Fire and Never Pray For Justice. In a contrast to the aggressive songs, a simple acoustic ballad called Born With A Broken Heart is also another standout tune here. The song features singer Liv Kristine of the band Leaves’ Eyes on background vocals. Scheepers and Sinner have both described Delivering The Black as among the best in the band’s enduring career in metal music. Audiences who liked Unbreakable and the band’s early albums will most likely agree and support this album and upcoming tour.
Delivering The Black is available in CD edition, and also in a deluxe edition with bonus tracks. Frontiers Records has also partnered with Soulfood Music for the release of a vinyl edition. The package includes a DVD on the making of Delivering The Black and the videos for When Death Comes Knocking and King For A Day.
For the Eagles And Lions tour, founding Primal Fear member Tom Naumann is filling in on guitar for Magnus Karlsson. According to the band’s Web site, Karlsson is staying off the road due to family commitments.