Primal Fear (1997-present) is a Progressive Metal band from Esslingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany.
rimal Fear was founded in October 1997 by singer Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner (Real Name: Mathias Lasch). Scheepers and Sinner were constants in the heavy metal scene before the band was founded; Ralf Scheepers being singer in the bands Tyran Pace, F.B.I. and Gamma Ray. After a gig with his Judas Priest cover band in which Mat Sinner and Tom Naumann helped out, Primal Fear was formed. They then signed a record deal with 'Nuclear Blast' in late 1997. Their debut album Primal Fear was released in February 1998 and entered the German LP charts at 48 thus making it one of the highest c hart entries of a debut album in German metal. The same year they toured with German Metal veterans Running Wild and HammerFall.
In July 1999 the 2nd album, Jaws of Death, was released. Shortly after its release, guitarist Tom Naumann left the band due to health problems. During the tour through Europe, Brazil and Japan he was replaced by Alex Beyrodt. In January 2000 Henny Wolter joined the band as a permanent replacement. In early 2001 the third album, Nuclear Fire, was released. At the following world tour the band played in the USA for the first time and were guests at the Metal Meltdown Festival and the Milwuakee Metalfest.
Their next album, Black Sun (2002), was released and entered the German LP charts at 55. Halford guitarist Mike Chlasciak contributed the guitar solos for the songs Fear and Armageddon. The highlight of the following double-headliner tour with fellow band Rage was a gig at the Scala in London, UK.
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That same year Henny Wolter left the band and was replaced by the returning Tom Naumann. With this line-up, the band again toured through Brazil and ended the Black Sun tour. In April/May 2003 the band participated in the Metal Gods tour together with Rob Halford, Testament for the USA and Canada. During the Tourdrummer Klaus Sperling was replaced by Randy Black temporarily butafter the tour he joined the band permanently when Sperling left due to personal problems.
In February 2004 the 5th album, Devil's Ground was released and made 67 on the German LP. April of the same year the band started another world tour in which the band toured through Europe, the USA and South America.
Directly after the tour the band released their 6th album in the fall of 2005, Seven Seals. To promote the album the band went on Europe and Japan tour together with fellow power metal band Helloween.
In July 2006 the band surprisingly left 'Nuclear Blast Records' and signed a long-term contract with 'Frontiers Records'. As a parting gift, 'Nuclear Blast' released the "best of..." compilation Metal is Forever.
In February 2007, during the recording for the next album, New Religion the band decided to allow Henny Wolter to return as 2nd guitarist, and Tom Naumann would leave. That September it entered the German LP charts at 60.
Early March 2008 the band announced that long time guitarist Stefan Leibing had temporarily left the band because he wanted to spend more time with his family. He was replaced by Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson, who already contributed 2 guitar solos for the New Religion album.
May 2009 saw the release of 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) through 'Frontiers Records'. The Video for the song Six Time Dead (16.6) premiered on May 8 on the band's official MySpace channel. The Album reached #46 on the German, #52 in Swedish and 28# in the Japanese album charts.
The next album Unbreakable followed in 2012.
On 11 August 2014, drummer Randy Black parted ways with the band due to "irreconcilable differences" between him and Ralf Scheepers. The band announced that former U.D.O. drummer Francesco Jovino would replace him along with returning guitarist Tom Naumann.
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Primal Fear performing live at The Garage in London, 25th September 2009. Photo by: Thargol.