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The Gathering Wilderness

Primordial

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Album Review

In their early days, Primordial played a hybrid of black metal and pagan metal inspired by their native Ireland. Over time, their sound became more idiosyncratic, arguably culminating on The Gathering Wilderness. The album features one of the best recordings ever heard in metal. It may not be as loud as its contemporaries, but that's because it avoids over-compression and keeps its dynamics. The drums sound beautifully natural, guitars sizzle and burn, and the production retains a ragged edge that perfectly fits the material. Here, Primordial fully integrate their homeland's stirring melodies into an electric framework. Rolling 6/8 rhythms propel this Irish longboat forward. Alan Averill's hyper-passionate vocals take getting used to, but they're heart-swelling. In "End of All Times," he howls "I feel like a wounded animal/In the dying throes," and you believe him. "The Coffin Ships" finds Primordial at their darkest, as glowering clean tones give way to martial walls of distortion. The highlight is the title track, which rumbles with menacing toms, droning melodies, and chant-like vocals. The best metal stands for something; this record speaks for one's soul, one's homeland, and metal itself. Utterly magnificent.

Customer Reviews

Black Sabbath, Battle Drums a sprinkling of Maiden.

I have to admit that after buying this on the strength of the previews I was initially a little dissappointed. I felt that the songs were a little too long and a little repetitive although I did like the vocals (mainly clean with some growling for good measure). Then as I listened to it more and more I found the building nature of the songs addictive and my initial concerns that there were no guitar solos evaporated as I realised that the need for any solos was essentially redundant and if included would actually be out of keeping with the feel of the album. The combination of tribal/battle drumming, galloping guitars and the superb and often emotionally charged vocals result in a superb album that now has pride of place as one of my top 5 albums of 2005/06. I urge you that if you like the feel of the previews, give it a try. I am sure you won't regret it.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Skerries, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1987, Irish death/thrash metal outfit Primordial began primarily as a cover band, peppering their sets with the occasional original tune as their confidence grew. Singers came and went, and the band eventually settled into a groove in the early '90s, recording their first demo, Dark Romanticism, in 1993 for around 50 pounds. The EP sold over a thousand copies and the group found themselves heralded as frontrunners in the burgeoning second-wave black metal movement. Primordial signed with...
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The Gathering Wilderness, Primordial
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