End Of Time Records 2014
The Polish master's of sepulchral black metal, Primal return for their fourth full-length album and it is just as obscure and morbid as ever. Their haunting style of midtempo incantations takes a strange turn as the first riff that greets us on track I is a cold melodic blast that rains down like a storm of ice. The track eventually slows to a demonic crawl with raspy, subterranean vocals and rumbling double bass. Then the blustery riffs return only to collapse into shuddering, mournful rhythms. A surreal passage of minimalist beats and warped guitar creates a strange vibe within the song and then surges into gloomy melodies. The final minute of the track is ambient synth and noise with muted, spoken words. Tapping cymbals and solitary synth bends into a riff that mimics the initial flow of the song on II. The drums build and the guitars layer in a miasma of darkness and evil. The deep, spoken rasps of the vocals flow along with the ebb and flow of the guitars and roiling drums. Overall the song has a real nebulousness to its structure, like a slowly churning see of rumbling drums and near-melodic guitars. III intertwines vocals threads around sullen, midtempo plodding songwriting. The forlorn melody that flows across the top of the song's foundation floods the track in a dismal glow. The angelic religious singing that opens IV is quickly wiped away by pillars of sorrowful guitar crossed by arcs of desolate melody. There is a current of determined hatred circulating through the riffs of the track. The final track, V, begins similarly to IV, however there is a more dynamic energy to the riffing and the addition of female vocal samples becomes unsettling and haunting. The chiming of church bells sprinkled periodically throughout the track are a nice touch. I know I have mentioned drums throughout this review, but I will note that they are programmed drums, but with the focus being on the guitars and vocals this is barely noticeable and for me doesn't detract from the music. Primal creates a similar mood as Samael with their midtempo pacing and demonic blackness. This is pure morbid void and hateful spirit.