DECADES #2: PRIMORDIAL “Storm Before Calm” – What Is Still Sleeping Within

I always held great respect for the spirit of a true Irishman. It was (and is) a symbol of never giving up no matter what tragedies you might encounter in life; the essence of the eternal fighter. If I were to transform the above words into music then I would not need more than the songs of PRIMORDIAL and the lyrics of Nemtheanga.

It must have been some cold evening sometime in the late winter of 2002 when I first met with their music. Enchanted by the eye on the cover art, staring right through me, I inserted “Storm Before Calm” into the stereo and Ciaran’s guitar chords instantly placed their claws around my heart. This was the dawn of “The Heretic’s Age” but what did it remind me? Surely it wasn’t anything like the Norwegian blackmetal I was mostly familiar with at the time. And then it hit me, “yes, this is the proud descendant of a record similar to what none would ever see the light of day again – I’m talking about “Hammerheart” of course”.

From that moment and onwards the seven tracks of this album would be my steady companion during any difficult time should I encounter. The bursting riffs after the acoustic intro of “Fallen To Ruin” would always provide unique chills to my spine, and then “Cast To The Pyre”, with its steady epic rhythm, called for me (and everyone) to stand before any unfinished business needed to be completed before moving forward. “It is not enough to kindle the fire, one must BE the fire” claims Alan trying to awaken “What Sleeps Within” and everything leads to most epic song ever written since “One Rode To Asa Bay”; nothing will ever transcend above the third verse of “Sons Of The Morrigan”.

There is not much meaning in writing about the musical direction of the album. It’s simply the blend of epic metal at its best, black metal of mostly Central European origin (early SAMAEL i.e.) and the Celtic roots of Eire that make PRIMORDIAL so unique. In the next few months after that first contact, I became familiar with their previous works too– that is the magnicifent folk/blackmetal “Imrama” masterpiece, the agony and nostalgia of “Journey’s End” and the call to arms from “Spirit The Earth Aflame”. Naturally, I embraced all the albums they released afterwards up to last year’s thrilling “Redemption At The Puritans Hand”, as I now am bound for life with this band’s music, but nothing will probably replace what “Storm Before Calm” stands for me.

During the last years I have wondered many times why a band with such quality records, praised by fans and critics, having appeared in magazine covers and top-tens, still after more than 15 years of existence hasn’t gain a status (in popularity terms) equal to bands like AMON AMARTH or whatever the hell is promoted these days as the new “metal kings”. Why in Greece for example, where they have a very strong fan base in terms of devotion, are they still playing in clubs of 400 people capacity at most? And then the answer is right in front of me. This is music for the non-compromising. And compromise is the modern worlds new religion…

~ by antifleshnimbus on May 8, 2012.

%d bloggers like this: