Primal Rage - Oblivious
You have no idea how much I respect bands that play their music while they know that it isn’t what the masses consume at the moment. And let’s be honest, at this time, Heavy Metal is not as popular as in the eighties. Metalcore rules the scene right now.
Luckily, 4 guys from the north-western part of the Netherlands also decide to not walk the way of the popular rock / metal music.
Primal Rage makes heavy metal. Heavy metal that is influenced by Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Megadeth and the likes of those.
After reading the bio, my hopes are high. Could this band finally be the salvation for the Dutch heavy metal scene? The saviors of the music I love so much?
The first song, ‘It Makes Believe’, kicks in with a thrashing heavy metal riff and when lead vocalist Jon Symons releases his first vocal frustrations, it looks like my high expectations are about to come true. There is that energy, that devotion, that passion I was looking for in new heavy metal bands. However…
Although the raw, low vocals (reminded me of James Hetfield!) suit Jon like fur suits a seal, his high vocals are not quite what I like. His high notes are clean and straight, but he just isn’t a Nils Rue (Pagan’s Mind), Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon) or Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden).
The music is very well performed and I absolutely loved the Megadeth-like solo in ‘Balance’, but it’s just too basic most of the time; absolutely no competition for bands like the ones mentioned above. I don’t want to disencourage this motivated quartet, but it seems to me that they’re still hanging on to the bands they took their influences from too much to be able to develop their own style (especially singing-lines, very Metallica-esque, and the guitarriffs that could just about belong to any of the bands that influenced them).
The production is quite okay, though. Not the really low-budget product you’d expect from a relatively unknown no-label band. The sound is very clear and the distortion-guitars sound really heavy, as well as the clean guitarriffs. In fact, this is the second-most well mixed ‘no-label’ product I’ve heard in years (only slightly better was Neverland – Neverland).
The logo and artwork look inspired and suit the music.
So you see, there are some plusses and minors on this record. Overall I’d say that this isn’t quite what you’d absolutely want to buy, because there just are loads of better records out there, there’s no denying that.
But I’m also not denying that Primal Rage sounds like a good, motivated live-band. And that’s what you should check them out for.
Primal Rage are:
Jon Symons – guitars, vocals
Niek de Jongh – drums
Tim Symons – bass, backing vocals
Eric Liang – guitars
- It Makes Believe
- Old Things Washed Away
- Primal Rage