Primordial – “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” (Metal Blade Records)
For me there are few bands around that can evoke the spirit as much as Primordial. One of the original pagan / black bands from the 90s, they have always been champions of the Irish metal scene and I would say proud sons of Ireland to boot. Releasing their ground breaking “To The Nameless Dead” in 2007 really saw things take off for the band and since then they have released two albums in similar vein. “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” proudly continues that trend in a now established style from AA Nemtheanga’s impassioned vocals and passionate cries to the dark, pagan Celtic riffs of Ciarán MacUilliam and Michael O’Floinn, all wrapped in an epic but melancholic atmosphere on deep, moving songs like ‘Babel’s Tower’, ‘Come The Flood’ and ‘The Seed Of Tyrants‘. This isn’t easy listening and it’s not meant to be: Primordial sing about stuff that most people tend to keep locked away in their minds like child abuse by the church, but moreover society’s guilt in not wanting it to come to light and even in some cases been seen to be shielding the perpetrators. As such Primordial’s love of their nation is also reflective of their anger and shame at it, vividly captured in Nemtheanga’s highly emotional singing and the band’s intense musicianship, malevolent and brooding on the one hand, whilst elsewhere blast beating almost as a catharsis to the guilt shared by all. Simply overwhelming on the senses, I would say that Primordial aren’t even metal these days – and they don’t have to be given their obvious intensity – as their full on Celtic rock draws from the dark pagan spirits of their Emerald Isle and is a power beholden to none.