|Review: Primordial - Exile Amongst the Ruins|
|Exile Amongst the Ruins|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2018
Genre: Pagan Metal
Review online: May 22, 2018
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Exile Amongst the Ruins
Rated 4/5 (80%) (12 Votes)
Primordial seem to be settling into a late-career groove, producing albums that are still good, and still have flashes of utter brilliance, but overall are just not as good as what they created in their creative heyday over a decade ago. Four years after the nicely heavy attack of Where Greater Men Have Fallen we get this new one, and while it has some fantastic moments, it largely comes across as tremendously safe.
This is still Primordial – the songs are long, the lyrics are serious and well written, and there is plenty of dark atmosphere. The album's one really spectacular moment is the second track, "For Hell or the Hangman", which is an absolute blazing bonfire of a song that will doubtless stay on Primordial's live set list until the end of time. This song has all the marks of this band at full power, with propulsive riffs, a hugely catchy chorus, and Nemtheanga sounding as desperate and powerful as he ever has.
Sadly, after that performance, the rest of the album can't really hold up. The guitar sound is good, the riffs are solid, and the songwriting is a bit too studious and controlled. "Upon Our Spiritual Deathbed" is a good tune, "Stolen Years" is moody and evocative, and "Sunken Lungs" is pretty fucking crushing. Closer "Last Call" is kind of emblematic of a lot of this album: too long, too slow, too intellectual, and without enough real interest to carry it through the running time. Overall, this is not Primordial's best work, though it still is nowhere near bad. If you like Primordial you won't be sorry, and you have to hear "For Hell or the Hangman" at least once in your life.
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