Entering the realm of Primordial’s music is an experience that involves so much more than just listening. It’s a mystical journey to a place where Europe’s spirits and pagan Celtic roots come back to life and guide us through a path of beauty, inner strength, communion with nature, and sorrow. Like its predecessor, “Exile Amongst the Ruins” – their 9th studio record – is no exception to that feeling, one that takes us once more to that wonderful place.
Their masterful combination of black metal, Celtic music and folk is like no other out there. However, despite keeping the same formula from their previous works, they still managed to deliver a fresh and inspired album. Everything in A. A. Nemtheanga’s vocals, the melodic lines of the guitars that pierce through the heavier and darker riffs and a sturdy drumming work come together in a manner that borders perfection.
“Nail Their Tongues”, the album opener, starts off with echoing bells in the distance, introducing a melody that gives you the feel of the embrace of an eerie cold night, thus marking the beginning of our journey. What follows are seven more songs that transport us along a path of blissful sorrows searching for spiritual enlightenment.
Albeit it’s a rather homogenous album quality-wise, it’s easy to differentiate the songs from one another, and you find that some might stand out or speak to you more than others. Songs like “Stolen Years” (one of the singles) or even “Upon Our Spiritual Deathbeds”- whose lyrics focus on the state of spiritual disbelief and numbness of today’s Western society – were the ones that spoke the loudest to us.
“Last Call” ends the journey with a slowly fading sound, as a warning to help us awake back to the world of the living, after which we shall need a few seconds in absolute silence to be able to fully grasp the power and the voyage that this record represents, before getting up and go about with our lives as usual. However, one must recommend that you’ve come to the ritual that is the listening experience provided by Primordial’s new opus with a wide open-mind and fully undivided attention.
To summarize, it’s another quality and emotionally charged work delivered by Primordial and that will surely make its way to a brief list of contenders for best record of the year. A must-listen for all the fans and for everyone who wishes to embark on a mystical journey that goes beyond music itself.