Following on from the success of last year’s excellent Metal Commando album (top ten all over Europe, and Japan, but more importantly weighing in at the number twenty seven spot on Sentinel Daily‘s top one hundred album of the year rundown), German power metal stalwarts Primal Fear have come up with this neat little five tracker to keep us going until a new full-length effort hoves into view.

Opening with the title track, it’s immediately apparent that the band aren’t just pulling a track off the album and chucking it together with a couple of studio outtakes and some uninspiring live offcuts; no, they’ve completely re-done I Will Be Gone, in the process turning it into a stunning semi acoustic duet between vocalist Ralf Scheepers and Finnish ice Maiden Tarja Turunen. To label this experiment a success would be an understatement of massive proportions, and I’ve a feeling this is going to rush to the top of a lot of Primal Fear fan playlists when it’s unleashed upon the masses.

Superb new track Vote of No Confidence follows; a crackling, energy-laden mid-paced headbanger, it’s worth the price of admission on it’s own, coming equipped with a gargantuan chug, some truly spine-tingling Scheepers screamaging and a refrain that strangely brings to mind, somewhat improbably, Pat Benatar’s 1985 classic Invincible.

A short instrumental, Rising Fear, bridges the two halves of the EP, with the second stanza kicking off with the chortlesome Leave Me Alone. Another unalloyed, up-on-your-feet-banger, Leave Me Alone features a mirth-ridden which appears to consist of bassist Mat Sinner chanting ‘bugger off!’ in a gruff voice before Scheepers, erm, rams down the point with a Halfordesque take on the command. ‘MAKE YOURSELF SCARCE AND FUCK OFF!’ he cries, notes hitting the stratosphere, and, once you’ve stopped laughing, you’ll find yourself  coming to terms with the fact that, as a piece of melodic heavy metal, it’s pretty much second to none.

Talking of Second to None, that’s the title of the EP’s closing track; Another Priestesque stomper, it’s just Primal Fear doing what they do best – but if you’re a fan you’re going to want to hear it.

Great stuff then, and an absolute must-hear of gonzoid, old-fashioned, heads-down no-nonsense heavy metal is what you crave. Now, bugger off and let me get back to listening…

I Will Be Gone
releases on April 9th.