Just before I was to review Primordial‘s eighth studio album I was asked to compile my top 10 albums of 2014 for Planetmosh and had it all worked out until I played Where Greater Men Have Fallen. After the albums hour long duration it was a no brainer that it would top my list. Formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1987 by current bassist Pól MacAmlaigh and guitarist Ciarán MacUilliam the band have created a sonic masterpiece that is so epic it could easily be used as a soundtrack to a disaster movie. Fans of Mastodon and Tool will lap up the vast array of crushing grooves running throughout personified by album opener and title track.
It’s thundering intro gives way to steel foundry heavy riffs with the drums of Simon O’Laoghaire sounding like they are being struck with lump hammers as a mighty vocal roar from Alan (“Nemtheanga”) Averill is delivered in an almost preached style. I first saw Primordial play at Bloodstock Open Air in August and Alan’s vocals stood out immediately as he belted his lyrics out like a hybrid of Alex Harvey and Burton C Bell. Most of the tracks here breach the seven minute mark but the music is that compelling the running times are irrelevant highlighted by following track ‘Babel’s Tower. It’s eight minutes are full of measured grinding grooves, providing a doomy backing for Alan’s impassioned delivery. My first impression was of an extreme version of ‘Kashmir’.
Other personal highlights are ‘Come The Flood’, a mesmerising opus of caustic music, pushing the boundaries of metal. The intro to ‘Seed Of The Tyrants’ strangely reminded me of ‘Long Stick Goes Boom’ by Krokus as it moves into an almost spoken word vocal over an intense wall of guitars. The quirky ‘The Alchemist’s Head’ shifts between progressive and melodic death metal. The calm before the storm lengthy guitar intro to ‘Born To Night’ is taken over by a heavier ‘Black Rose’ main riff with a lung punishing vocal but the best is saved for album closer ‘Wield Lightning To The Sun’. A cathartic vocal is backed by almost claustrophobic heavy music.
Where Greater Men Have Fallen is currently available via Metal Blade Records.
Primordial band line up :-
Alan (“Nemtheanga”) Averill – Vocals.
Ciarán MacUilliam – Guitar.
Michael O’Floinn – Guitar.
Pól MacAmlaigh – Bass guitar.
Simon O’Laoghaire – Drums.
Album track listing :-
Where Greater Men Have Fallen.
Come The Flood.
The Seed Of Tyrants.
Ghosts Of The Charnel House.
The Alchemist’s Head.
Born To Night.
Wield Lightning To Split The Sun.