Primal Fear is a German power metal/heavy metal band formed in 1997 by Ralf Scheepers (Vocals/Ex-Gamma Ray), Mat Sinner (Bass and Vocals/Sinner), Stefan Leibing and Tom Naumann (Guitars). Scheepers formed the band after he was not hired as Rob Halford’s replacement in Judas Priest, a job for which he was a finalist; the replacement job went to Tim “Ripper” Owens. Their latest album called 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) was released in 2009 and will be supported with a double-headlining European tour with Brainstorm

Primal Fear was founded in October 1997 by singer Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner (real name: Mathias Lasch). Scheepers and Sinner have been constants in the heavy metal scene before the band was founded. Ralf Scheepers sang in the bands Tyran Pace, F.B.I. and the international successful band Gamma Ray. After a gig with his Judas Priest cover band Just Priest in which Mat Sinner and Tom Naumann helped out the idea arose to found Primal Fear. They signed a record deal with Nuclear Blast Records in late 1997. Their debut album Primal Fear was released in February 1998 and entered the German LP charts at place 48 thus making it one of the highest chart 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.

The next album Black Sun was released and entered the German LP charts at place 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. The 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 and a few other bands and toured through the USA and Canada. During the Tour drummer Klaus Sperling was replaced by Randy Black. After the Tour Randy joined the band permanently as Sperling left due to personal problems.

In February 2004 the 5th album Devil’s Ground was released and entered the German LP charts at place 67. 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 recorded their 6th album Seven Seals in Vancouver and Stuttgart. It was released in Fall of 2005. 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 recordings for the next album New Religion the band decided after long discussions about the future of the band that Henny Wolter will return as 2nd guitarist and Tom Naumann will leave the band. The album was finished under the direction of producer Mat Sinner and engineer and co-producer Charlie Bauerfeind and was mixed by Roland Prent in the Galaxy Studios in Belgium. It was released in September 2007 and entered the German LP charts at place 60. They started their New Religion tour as co-headliner of the the sold out Power Prog VIII festival in Atlanta, USA. Afterwards they toured together with U.D.O. through Europe. They continued the tour in January 2008 due to the band’s 10th birthday and once again toured through Europe.

Early March 2008 the band announced that long time guitarist Stefan Leibing had temporarily left the band because he wants to spend more time with his family. On future releases and tours he will be replaced by a Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson, who already contributed 2 guitar solos for the New Religion album.

In December 2008 the band entered the House of Music Studios to record their next album 16.6. which will be released in May 2009 through Frontiers Records. In January 2009 the band finished the album. They say that “the music includes a lot of the vibe of our very first albums” and that “a new Primal Fear album always contained some new musical challenges, real surprises”. The Album was released on May 22 in Europe and June 9 in the USA. The Video for the song Six Time Dead (16.6) has premièred 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 band will tour in South America, North America, Canada, Europe and Japan to promote their new album. They’ve also said that they’ll record a new live CD and DVD during every leg on the tour and that they’ll do a bigger North America tour and another European Tour in 2010.

Primal Fear has agreed to be Wacken Open Air tour held in Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. This festival includes more than 60 bands and is one of the biggest summer heavy metal tours in the world

Band members

* Ralf Scheepers, lead vocals (1997-)
* Magnus Karlsson, guitars (2008-)
* Henny Wolter, guitars (2000-2003, 2007-)
* Mat Sinner, bass, vocals (1997-)
* Randy Black, drums (2003-)

Former members

* Tom Naumann, guitars (1997-2000, 2003-2007)
* Klaus Sperling, drums (1997-2003)
* Stefan Leibing, guitars, keyboards (1998-2008)

* Primal Fear (1998)
* Jaws of Death (1999)
* Nuclear Fire (2001)
* Horrorscope (5-track EP) (Shaped CD) (2002)
* Black Sun (2002)
* The History of Fear (DVD + CD Bonus) (2003)
* Devil’s Ground (2004)
* Seven Seals (2005)
* Metal Is Forever – The Very Best of Primal Fear (2006)
* New Religion (2007)
* 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) (2009)

Primal Fear

Primal Fear
CD, February 1998 – Nuclear Blast

1. Primal Fear 0.34
2. Chainbreaker 4.24
3. Silver & Gold 3.13
4. Promised Land 4.24
5. Formula One 4.57
6. Dollars 3.58
7. Nine Lives 3.08
8. Tears of Rage 6.48
9. Speedking 4.00
10 Battalions of Hate 3.50
11 Running in the Dust 4.38
12 Thunderdome 3.45

Total playing time 47.39


Jaws of Death

Jaws of Death
CD, June 1999 – Nuclear Blast

1. Jaws of Death 0.23
2. Final Embrace 5.08
3. Save a Prayer 3.36
4. Church of Blood 5.14
5. Into the Future 4.05
6. Under Your Spell 5.34
7. Play to Kill 4.01
8. Nation in Fear 5.24
9. When the Night Comes 5.15
10. Fight to Survive 6.00
11. Hatred in my Soul 4.55

Bonustrack (Limited Digibook Edition)
12. Kill the King (Rainbow Cover) 4.32

Bonustrack (Japanese Release)
12. Horrorscope

Total playing time 54.07


Nuclear Fire

Nuclear Fire
CD, 29 January 2001 – Nuclear Blast

1. Angel in Black 3.58
2. Kiss of Death 3.50
3. Back from Hell 3.46
4. Now or Never 5.33
5. Fight the Fire 4.23
6. Eye of an Eagle 4.28
7. Bleed for Me 5.04
8. Nuclear Fire 4.23
9. Red Rain 4.51
10. Fire on the Horizon 3.31
11. Living for Metal 3.42

12. Living for Metal 3.42

Bonustrack (Japanese Release)
12. Out in the Fields (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott Cover)

Bonus-Video (CD-Rom)
– Angel in Black

Total playing time 47.29


Black Sun

Black Sun
CD, 24 April 2002 – Nuclear Blast

1. Countdown to Insanity 1.43
2. Black Sun 4.02
3. Armageddon 4.05
4. Lightyears from Home 4.40
5. Revolution 4.02
6. Fear 4.20
7. Mind Control 4.58
8. Magic Eye 5.16
9. Mind Machine 5.37
10. Silence 4.39
11. We Go Down 5.53
12. Cold Day in Hell 4.10
13. Controlled 3.36

Total playing time 57.01


Devil’s Ground

Devil’s Ground
CD, 23 February 2004 – Nuclear Blast

1. Metal Is Forever 4.46
2. Suicide and Mania 4.03
3. Visions of Fate 4.50
4. Sea of Flames 4.01
5. The Healer 6.40
6. Sacred Illusion 4.03
7. In Metal 5.15
8. Soulchaser 4.52
9. Colony 13 3.55
10. Wings of Desire 6.46
11. Heart of a Brave 4.55
12. Devil’s Ground 2.09


Seven Seals

Seven Seals
CD, 05 October 2005 – Nuclear Blast

1. Demons and Angels 5.32
2. Rollercoaster 4.28
3. Seven Seals 3.54
4. Evil Spell 4.32
5. The Immortal Ones 4.19
6. Diabolus 7.54
7. All for One 7.53
8. Carniwar 3.17
9. A Question of Honour (Sinner Cover) 7.26
10. In Memory 5.07


Metal Is Forever – The Very Best of Primal Fear

Metal Is Forever – The Very Best of Primal Fear
Compilation, 29 September 2006 – Nuclear Blast


1. Metal Is Forever 4.46
2. Chainbreaker 4.25
3. Seven Seals 3.54
4. Nuclear Fire 4.23
5. Final Embrace 5.08
6. The Healer 6.40
7. Rollercoaster 4.28
8. Armageddon 4.05
9. Angel in Black 3.58
10. Under Your Spell 5.36
11. Evil Spell 4.32
12. Running in the Dust 4.37
13. Suicide and Mania 4.03
14. Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove 5.17
15. Fear 4.20
16. Tears of Rage 6.47

DISC 2 (European 2CD Edition)

1. Out in the Fields (Gary Moore & Philip Lynott Cover) 3.57
2. Kill the King (Rainbow Cover) 4.32
3. Speed King (Deep Purple Cover) 3.59
4. Die Young (Black Sabbath Cover) 4.05
5. Metal Gods (Judas Priest Cover) 3.37
6. Breaker (Accept Cover) 3.29
7. Seek and Destroy (Metallica Cover) 7.10
8. Two Minutes to Midnight (Iron Maiden Cover) 6.01
9. The Rover (Led Zeppelin Cover) 4.46

Total playing time 118.34


New Religion

New Religion
CD, 21 September 2007 – Frontiers Records / King Records

1. Sign of Fear 4.47
2. Face the Emptiness 4.36
3. Everytime It Rains 3.53
4. New Religion 4.04
5. Fighting the Darkness 8.45
6. Blood on Your Hands 4.02
7. The Curse of Sharon 4.41
8. Too Much Time 5.14
9. Psycho 3.55
10. World on Fire 3.54
11. The Man (That I Don’t Know) 6.11



CD, 22 May 2009 – Frontiers Records

1. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2. Riding the Eagle
3. Six Times Dead (16.6)
4. Black Rain
5. Under the Radar
6. 5.0 / Torn
7. Soar
8. Killbound
9. No Smoke Without Fire
10. Night After Night
11. Smith & Wesson
12. The Exorcist
13. Hands of Time

14. Cry Havoc
15. Scream
16. Six Times Dead (16.6) (Video)