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Review: Primordial – Exile Amongst the Ruins

by Miloš Šebalj

Primordial – Exile Amongst the Ruins

  1. Nail Their Tongues
  2. To Hell or the Hangman
  3. Where Lie the Gods
  4. Exile Amongst the Ruins
  5. Upon Our Spiritual Deathbed
  6. Stolen Years
  7. Sunken Lungs
  8. Last Call
Label: Metal Blade Records
Date: March 3, 2018

Bloody hell! 65 minutes of music! Since I bought the “mediabook” version, which means another 38 minutes to that sum! Too much for a single album? This is Primordial I am talking about here! I have a feeling they could go on for days without stopping, and without a single wasted minute in their tracks.

The greatest of the Irish Metal scene are back to grace us with the follow-up to “Where Greater Men Have Fallen”. And there seem to be no surprises here. Primordial invented their brand of Dark Metal more than 20 years ago and they are keeping to it. They have somehow managed to be too soft for extreme Metal and too extreme for traditional Metal yet to raise a significant amount of fans from both sides to their tunes. That just goes to show that they are quite capable of creating high quality music. Easily recognizable too.

Primordial have their own setup by which they go, yet they always manage to keep it fresh. Considering the fact that “Exile Amongst the Ruins” is their ninth album to date, that is quite an achievement.

As I said, they don’t offer us anything new on this release. Everything we are used to hear from a Primordial album is there. First of all, the ever gloomy atmosphere. Keep in mind they are not using anything but the “traditional” Metal instruments and you should be amazed at their effort. The same melancholic and oppressive feeling you get from this record doesn’t leave you when it’s over. The characteristic vocals of A. A. Nemtheanga brings chills down your spine. The hopeless, yet at the same time, resilient color of his voice delivers another specter to the mentioned emotions that cover this album. Musically speaking, “Exile Amongst the Ruins” is packed to perfection. Attention to details has become another trademark of Primordial over the years. Guitar work is constantly dancing on the razor’s edge between beautiful harmonies and primitiveness. Nicely accompanied with the diverse rhythm section creates the arrangements that keep the listener involved which is very important when you have over an hour of music. Subtle hints of traditional Celtic tunes is still present. These guys never let those influences to surface too much, yet the attentive listener can certainly find them. In total, what you get here is Extreme Dark Metal, bordering with Pagan influences, Black Metal, Doom Metal… Monumental tunes lasting 8 minutes in average that you just can’t get enough of.

I’m not the one to judge if this is the best Primordial album so far. What I must say is that this is another excellent album! Yes, I said “another”. They have 9 of those so far! And Primordial doesn’t seem to let go.

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