Label: Atomic Fire Records
Date: September 1st, 2023
September 1st, for teachers in Serbia, is the beginning of the school year. For Primal Fear, September 1st, 2023, is the beginning of another chapter in their career and “Code Red”, although I am primarily a teacher, today is my homework. Ok, my homework is a bit late, buta nerd as I am not can not base review only on first impression. It takes a lot of spins to get into the core of an album and write proper reviews. And since I have been following PF career from the beginning of time, I need to leave the album to rest a bit so I avoid favouritism.
Steel winged eagle rising like Phoenix on the front cover symbolises the great comeback of Mat Sinner who had been struggling with health issues in past years. This album is also a transition from one to another label. Since 2002 and album “Black Sun”, PF were under the shield of Nuclear Blast. “Code Red” is the first album released for new established label Atomic Fire Records.
I think that all PF fans know what to expect from the German metal commando. At least musically. Lyrically, this album is more socially engaged than previous ones, inspired by the current world situation. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”, once said another German mastermind, Albert Einstein. The stupidity inspired PF weather they write about fake democracy, nostalgia, relationships, culture, religion…
“We’re losing track, this all will end in total chaos
But who’s to blame nobody knows…”
Pessimistic cry for help, desperate search for the savior who will guide us back to sanity, search for another hero. “Another Hero” officially announced the album. On that occasion, Ralf Scheepers said:
“Sometimes I wish there would be ‘Another Hero’ who shows mankind how to get along with each other in peace and harmony.”
“Who doesn’t?”, you might ask yourself at the moment when another war begins… And yes, we have to “Bring That Noise”. This is the song focused on the pandemic we all want to forgive, the virus that changed this planet, and in our metal universe the virus that brought many in the music industry to collapse. Globally, it seems that people simply do not care anymore, they go with the flow no matter what happens, and we need someone to bring the noise, a new hero that will save us from the madness.
The third song, “Deep in the Night” is a slower one, and focused on relationships and cheating. I think here we have no need to debate about the message that the song delivers. The song was released as the second single, on July 20th, 2023.
“Finding out to being cheated is one of the worst experiences for a young man or woman. Unfortunately it’s happening to almost everyone of us in life and if not I hope it never will! But one thing is for sure, if it happens to you, it will definitely help to make the cornea around your heart grow even more. It affects your trust and if you take it too personally you will probably never be able to trust anyone again. Nevertheless, there are fortunately always people who penetrate this cornea and reach your heart with their beautiful souls.”
The circus of life might be the best sentence to describe the world in which we are living. “Cancel Culture” is something that we are facing, from where I come from, at least for the past 30 years. And unfortunately, everyday life of both, young and old generations is trapped in the virtual world:
“Bullying, mocking and hating and what aboutism
Using our consoles and keyboards like weapons in war
It seems like the web has become a place to release anger
For people who don’t have a life need to upfront
Besides “Another Hero”, “Cancel Culture”, at least for me, is the song that delivers the strongest message on this album.
Not all is pessimistic, there is a light at the end of a tunnel and it has always been MUSIC! I do not know about any other music, but I know metal. Unity and family are the keywords, and although the band here puts the lines on personal level:
“This certain bond
This certain chemistry
Between all members of this band
We tour the world, we share our privacy
It’s the anchor of our unity
Together we are shouting out…”
On August 31st, 2023, PF released the very effective video for this song.
The message is unique: music gives you power! And this is the nostalgia note I already mentioned.
The next two songs point to religion and fate (I do divide those two terms).
Layer after layer, we come again to the attitude that we all expect from PF – never give up, stay strong, keep it up, never let the enemy win.
“Raged by Pain”, same as “Steelmelter” is the classic PF song, pure banger, after which comes something I like about PF. Ballads are inevitable, and PF always find the right measure and never the edge of kitsch zone. After all bad experiences that life delivers, the mpst imortant is to find your soulmate, the one that will stand beside you, day by day, night by night, forever…
In the end, “Fearless” says that good things last forever, they make you wiser, stay tuned and go your own way.
Primal Fear will last forever, the battles they fought made them wiser and no matter what, they go their own way…