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Primordial: Exile Amongst the Ruins

27 years and 9 albums into their career, Irish heavy metal act Primordial have pretty much moved out of the 'veterans' territory and are quickly approaching legendary status, surely there already in the opinion of many. Exile Amongst the Ruins is their latest effort from Metal Blade, and comes nearly four years after the excellent Where Greater Men Have Fallen. The 2018 line-up of Primordial consists of:

A.A. Nemtheanga - Vocals
Ciar�n MacUilliam - Guitar
Michael O'Floinn - Guitar
P�l MacAmlaigh - Bass
Simon O'Laoghaire - Drums

The bands ever present mix of raging black metal, Celtic themes, and a touch of doom permeate much of the album, starting off with the lethal "Nail Their Tongues". Nemtheanga's blend of tortured clean vocals and harsh black metal screams soar over relentless tremolo picked guitar riffs and thunderous blast's raw, it's primal, and it's deliciously old school Primordial, 9-minutes of unbridled fury. "To Hell of the Hangman" is more of a mid-paced number and sees the band going off in more of a mainstream metal style, but it works, Nemtheanga's anguished vocals driving the insistent riffing and rock solid rhythms, while the lengthy "Where Lies the Gods"offers up some Celtic flavors, acoustic guitars, and elements of crushing doom. I do want to mention that no songs are shorter than five minutes here, most topping the seven & beyond length.

The title cut lumbers along in anthemic fashion, the Irish & doom flavors shining brightly, and the chorus quite catchy. For me, the album starts to lag slightly around the middle, as "Upon Our Spiritual Deathbed" musically stays in a very similar place to some of its siblings here, despite a terrific vocal from Nemtheanga, and the melancholy "Stolen Years" also kind of meanders a bit, but the lush guitar chords and yearning vocals are hard to ignore. Probably the highlight of the album is the barnstorming "Sunken Lungs", nearly 8-minutes of hard charging Irish heavy metal, Nemtheanga's vocals fiery & potent, and he's supported by some terrific old school metal riffing and O'Laoghaire's acrobatic drumming. It's followed by the equally powerful & closing track "Last Call", which is partly tranquil and introspective, yet often times doomy and quite anthemic. Riffs aplenty as well as terrific vocals, this is a great way to end this very solid album.

Exile Amongst the Ruins is somewhat of a grower, as the first few spins didn't really reveal all the riches that are actually contained within the album, but it definitely gets better with each listen. I still think there's a bit of bloat around the middle of the album, but it starts off with a bang and ends with an explosion, so we can kind of look past a couple of somewhat mediocre tunes when the rest is so damn strong. Chalk it all up to another winner from Primordial, a band who are currently riding a very long hot streak that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
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

Added: March 26th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1971
Language: english

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