There's no doubt that you know what you are going to get with Primal Fear and ultimately for me that is what stops this album getting 5 stars. I suppose if you adopt the motto if it ain't broke don't fix it then everything in this album makes sense. It is muscular, head banging stuff with enough shredding solos and twin guitar breaks to cheer up the most jaded pallet but I just wanted that little bit more. The lyrics are straight from the metal scrap book. Deals with the devil, riding on dragons, are the sort of thing we have here, along with the statutory orchestral bits, even the clanging church bells, there's no cliche left untouched. So if I have such a low apparent opinion of the album why do I even give it 4 stars? Because it's bloomin' good fun, that's why. It's beautifully played, it's powerful, it's a good album but I just wanted something a bit more out there, a risk taken or two. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of the band or the genre then this is well worth getting, it just doesn't move the band on that much.