Monday, August 22, 2011

Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness

You may have noticed some gaps in posting happening lately, especially on the weekends. This sort of unexplained gap is not uncommon for your host, but I've decided to shift into quality-over-quantity mode. I am usually able to post throughout the week, and sporadically on weekends, but I'm going to have to try to make the most of my free time and only post when I actually have something to say, at least until the end of summer.

That said, there's no better introduction to this new mode than Primordial, one of my long time favorites and a band that stays in constant rotation in the Swamp, staving off the darkness. Frequently described as Celtic/folk/black metal (a combination of modifiers that would normally cause me to stay far, far away), Ireland's most reliable and perhaps longest running metal act is really an entity unto itself. Beginning with this album, they venture more into Slough Feg-styled epic heaviness unburdened by cheap genre tags or gimmickry. While still venturing on occasion into blast beat/tremolo territory for effect, this is really a study in massive melodic force. Steered by leather-lunged A.A. Nemtheanga (of Blood Revolt) and anchored by a water-tight rhythm section, Primodial's twin guitarists weave Celtic themes and melancholy lyricism into the black metal framework the way Thin Lizzy did for hard rock way back in the day. In fact you can almost sense a sort of spiritual kinship between "The Coffin Ships" or "Cities Carved in Stone" and Lizzy's Irish folk influence.

I chose this album because it's the first one where the mix felt perfectly balanced for me. The earlier albums are crushingly heavy and much closer to standard blackness, and the ones following this continue down this path with increasing focus and steely-eyed warrior spirit. Every single one of them is good, though, especially this year's "Redemption at the Puritan's Hand." Take heart.
Oh god, that bread should be so dear
And human flesh so cheap

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails