Released: 2014, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Since their 1993 classic demo, Dark Romanticism, PRIMORDIAL have not stopped releasing quality after quality records, including their previous output of 2011’s Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand. Following on from the high reputation this record kept up, the Celtic troupe now lead on with Where Greater Men Have Fallen. Released by Metal Blade Records and recorded deep in the woods of Ireland by former Angel Witch and Cathedral producer Gomez, PRIMORDIAL here take on album number eight, and “another chapter” as vocalist Alan Averill “Nemtheanga” rather keenly puts it.
Starting off with the title track, and eight minute stormer obviously dubbed, “Where Greater Men Have Fallen”, the five piece has obviously kept in touch with their ever-staying Celtic roots, and Ireland’s deep past. With its “live” feel, the sombre yet rousing melodies and triumphant drum beats are exciting prospects which hint at more greatness to come. This is then delivered with a cry of “traitor!” to kick of the fast and furious song, “The Seed of Tyrants”. Pummelling with a bass drum heavy attack and crashes of cymbals, the track also sees black metal styled guitars whirl and run rings around eachother, as if demented on the battlefield.
My personal highlight comes in the form of track five, “Ghost of the Charnel House”. Heavy, raucous drumming is infused with doomy elements borrowed from acts such as Cathedral and a sludgier Witchfinder General, whilst melancholy takes over the memorable chorus. With his high baritone wails but also gritty deep utterances, Nemtheanga shows of a talented array of vocal tricks. Closing off the record, the acoustic styles of “Wield Lightening to Split the Sun” feel warming and folky, as they are met with the atmosphere of soulful chords and vocals harmonies that come.
Broad and dynamic, this is an engaging edition to the PRIMORDIAL back catalogue, and whilst not quite touching the excellence of some of their earlier works, it would be unfair to deny that the song writing abilities of the band and also the unique and broad range of vocal styles employed by A.A. Nemtheanga have matured and aged beautifully. A fantastic piece of work by what is now a heritage act of British black metal.
Review by Jarod Lawley