Released: 2009, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Metal Blade Records has reissued the debut full length IMRAMA from Ireland’s favorite heathen sons Primordial. The album neatly packaged in a deluxe two disc digipack format with the band's logo and artwork embossed in gold on the album cover features a bonus DVD tucked away inside that contains the four song DARK ROMANTICISM demo from 1993 as well as footage of five classic Primordial songs from a show in Cork City, Ireland in 1994. A nice 16 page booklet featuring lyrics, the original album artwork, older band photos and various band nostalgia make this a must have for dedicated followers of the group.
Of course this early material from Primordial is a far cry from where the band is at musically today, what with its often disharmonic and bleak Norse sounding buzzsaw guitars interweaving with Celtic folk music in an end product that is not unlike early Enslaved. Pretty decent production values though for an independent band recording from 1995 all things considering. Vocally this bounces back and forth between screechy black metal passages and folkish spoken word elements, occasionally giving way to full on folk singer banter. Keeping in mind the timeframe in which this was originally released makes this pretty groundbreaking stuff.
The DARK ROMANTICISM demo actually features pretty damn good production values and the earliest known recordings of future classics “The Darkest Flame” and “To The Ends Of The Earth” this is definitely a worthwhile addition.
The live bonus DVD on the other hand is meant only for the staunchest supporters of the group. Sizzling pops and hisses meet head on with some of the assiest audio this side of Dublin as the early incarnation of Primordial perform in an intimate club setting. Visually the band carries much stage presence and whips through a pretty energetic stage show.
Overall I think this will make both diehard fans of the band happy and serve as very well put together starting point for passers by. The IMRAMA reissue also goes nicely with a few pints of ice cold Guiness.