Monday, December 15, 2014

the monolith: Primordial (Ireland): Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade Records)

Primordial (Ireland): Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade Records)
There are so many different eras of Primordial that it is only appropriate to ask which Primordial is the one that a person is referring to when discussing the band. The truth is that Primordial 2014 is very, very far from the black metal/pagan metal sound of the 90s, and it is the same band in name only, given the gigantic changes in musical direction. Primordial 2014 stubbornly plays midtempo, rendering Primordial 2014 a melodic, melancholic doom band. The band leaves no room for doubt: They appear to excel at the various genre changes, and as the years go by, the band seems to receive more and more ridiculously positive acclaim, making one wonder whether the band members have enlisted their moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins and best friends to write outrageously positive reviews all over the internet. Here’s a challenge: Can you find a band more universally praised than Primordial?!
One would think that it is the doom/sludge/“post-metal” crowds that are really enjoying the doom of Primordial. The vocals are melodic-melancholic, and the guitar works with the “less is more” philosophy of riffs, while the drummer patiently labors away. The few places where the band shows some speed, like on the song “The Seed of Tyrants,” that really sounds out of place with the slow vibe of the album as a total work. Why do it? To appease some people? They obviously don’t enjoy it and it sounds forced.
Many, many people seem to love the band’s current musical direction. For instance, the reviews on Metal Archives of the 2007 album “To the Nameless Dead” do not hesitate to call that album the greatest or the best and things like that. Now, this new “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” continues that course and the band’s feet are firmly planted in the slow music. The band has mastered the latter-day direction and now it’s only question of whether this album will be called a greater masterpiece than the others.
On the other hand, if you are the type of listener that would love to see Primordial play less monotonously slow metal, and would like a more balanced combination, as on the 2000 album “Spirit the Earth Aflame,” then you will be so, so, so disappointed and truly wasting your time. This band is so far gone from that, that only if they sense a great frustration amongst the listeners, would they possibly reconsider dialing back the repetitively, monotonously slow doom direction they enjoy so much. In that sense, Primordial sounds very now, very 2014, at a time when doom/sludge/slow/post-metal seems so popular. As already mentioned, the current musical taste seems to prefer the slow Primordial by a large margin.
Therefore, which Primordial do you prefer in 2014?
The following track is representative of the vibe of the album.
Primordial - Come The Flood

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