Thursday, December 15, 2016

review: Primordial

Gods to the Godless (Live at Bang Your Head Festival Germany 2015)
Metal Blade Records
Release: 25 November 2016
I'm no expert on Primordial and I do not pretend to know their highly-acclaimed music very well. I used to like the band, but I lost interest with 2005's The Gathering Wilderness and the subsequent albums. I still have The Gathering Wilderness, but I don't hear the masterpiece that so many others hear. The sound quality is good, but I just do not like the midtempo and it bores me.
I was not too excited about this live album, but I was interested for one reason alone. I wanted to hear if a live set sounds as boring as their latter-day albums. This is Primordial live, so this should be a good representation of their current mindset. What I wanted to hear was whether they could manage to sound interesting to me with this selection of songs.
After listening to this album a whole bunch of times, this is my verdict. Even though they don't want to rock in a real way, and even though they are so stubborn in their midtempo ways, the album manages to keep my interest because they have a great presence to them; they choose to avoid monotony and avoided playing slow all the time. In addition, the drumming is a highlight because it has a good energy and the drummer is really working with what he has been given. Maybe he is also trying to keep it interesting to himself; the band sounds good and professional.
This live album will not make me listen to their post-2005 studio albums because I do not trust this band. I cannot believe that nobody in the band says to himself or to the others, "Say, fellows, don't you think we ought to pick up the pace here a bit. I mean, we are a metal band. Let's not turn in a folk rock band, eh?! We used to know how to rock out a bit more, didn’t we, when we had the black metal elements?”
However, this album still leaves me with a good feeling and a good impression. I will keep the album. I won't delete it. It is a nice view into a band that changed a whole lot from the early days. Undoubtedly, they are very good at what they do and this album is proof of that. A crazy idea occurred to me just now: maybe I should check out their next studio album and see if I understand a bit more. Maybe.
[review by MMB}

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