Rulebreaker (2016) by Primal Fear: Contributing to the ‘Real Book of Heavy Metal’

Rulebreaker is the 11th studio album of German metal-mavens Primal Fear and was released on January 22, 2016, through Frontiers Music.

The album encompasses eleven hard rock and metal songs along the lines of metal acts such as Accept, Helloween, or Judas Priest. The masterminds behind Primal Fear, Ralf Scheepers (vocals) and Mat Sinner (bass and production), continue their construction of an all-round metal world that is build upon a foundation of traditional metal. The chainsaw-like guitar riffs are carried by thumping drums and livewire bass lines that provide the soundtrack for hard n’ heavy anthems. Ralf’s voice tells the perfect heavy metal stories with songs such as The End Is Near, Angels of Mercy, or In Metal We Trust, which can easily become metal anthems.

One of the greatest attributes of the album is its ability to entertain the listener with eleven killer metal songs that are diverse in itself, but convey the feeling that they were constructed in one single pour – which they most probably were. The musicianship of the individual musicians can be considered among the highest in the European metal and rock scene, with a special mention for Ralf Scheepers, whose singing sounds amazing on the record and even more amazing live!

Hard to choose favourite tracks from the album, but I’d go with the above mentioned songs: The End Is Near, Angels of Mercy, and In Metal We Trust. After having gone back and listened to Primal Fear’s back catalogue, I consider Rulebreaker one of their best, if not their best, release to date. No fillers, all Killers(!), Ralf’s greatest vocal performance, and maybe the best production out of 11 albums give me reason enough to make that bold statement. Primal Fear truly contributed to the ‘Real Book of Heavy Metal’ with Rulebreaker.

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“I’m resigned to the fact I’ll buy whatever these Germanic metal mavens churn out and if you like your metal uncomplicated, meaty and catchy, you best do the same.” – Steel Druhm, angrymetalguy-com

“There’s nothing to this album that hasn’t been done before by PRIMAL FEAR (or their core muses, for that matter), but it is, by and large, a well-greased engine with enough piston kicks to engineer an entertaining ride.” – Ray Van Horn, Jr., blabbermouth.net

“Regardless, as a fan of the band, or genre in general, you won’t go wrong with picking this one up; just let it grow on you a bit.” – D.T. Metal, metalstorm.net

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer