PRIMAL FEAR - Angels Of Mercy: Live In Germany
June 11, 2017, a year ago
It has been seven years since the last Primal Fear live outing, then recorded at Progpower USA and pretty much a snapshot of the band at that juncture (relying heavily on the 16.6 (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) album). Half of the tunes off that in-concert disc (predominately the must-play hits) are repeated here, with the lions' share of the new material gleaned from the records since, although there's a couple of surprises. One being “Rollercoaster” off Seven Seals, a fresh take on an overlooked track, until it was rediscovered last tour.
This was recorded in Stuttgart, close to where the band live. Following an intro, “Final Embrace” sets the pace for what will follow, pumping double bass, the guitar histrionics of Alex Beyrodt and the soaring vocal muscularity of Ralf Scheepers, backed by a chorus of his countrymen. Whether DVD or CD, the show is virtually the same (although there are videos and documentary stuff on the former) and the “Running In The Dust” finale is knocked off the audio format (due to time constraints). The 14 tracks are almost exclusively high energy, fist thrusters (saving the more emotive “Fighting The Darkness” until last). “Rulebreaker” is a mid-tempo rest, bassist Mat Sinner adding noticeable backing vocals. Sort of odd, Scheepers speaking in English, given the location, but there's only minimal banter on the CD anyway. The mainman wails his best Painkiller Halford on “Sign Of Fear”. No doubt they needed a bit of a break, after such a blazer, thus the “Seven Seals” follow-up. This live collections' adopted title “Angel Of Mercy” returns to red line pacing. Beyrodt solo kicks off “The Sky Is Burning”, a decidedly ‘70s rocker. Is “Nuclear Fire” the definitive Primal song, or would that be “Metal Is Forever”, both showcased here in pummeling fashion? The crowd claps along to “When Death Comes Knocking”, aided by backing triggers. Hard to fault the song selection, definitely not the (Teutonic executed) precision. Primal Fear clicking on all cylinders!