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PRIMORDIAL - The Gathering Wilderness

Discussion in 'RC Forum Reviews' started by General Zod, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    [​IMG][​IMG][font=&quot][​IMG][/font][​IMG]
    Label: http://www.metalblade.com/
    Release Date: February 22, 2004
    Home Page: http://www.primordialweb.tk/

    I was a little surprised to see that PRIMORDIAL’s latest effort, The Gathering Wilderness, was given to me for review. While I really love the lone PRIMORDIAL disc in my collection, Spirit the Earth Aflame, I just assumed this disc would have been snapped up by one of the other Royal Carnage reviewers, whose tastes run more to the extremes in Metal, than do my own.

    The Gathering Wilderness is PRIMORDIAL’s sixth release, and their first for Metal Blade Records. For me, PRIMORDIAL is a band who can best be appreciated through headphones, in a dimly lit room, at a comfortably loud volume. And it’s in this manner that I approach The Gathering Wilderness. As the opening notes of “The Golden Spiral” pour through my headphones, I sense this is going to be an incredible, one hour journey. Like most of PRIMORDIAL’s songs, “The Golden Spiral” is a mid-paced track, epic in nature, made up of varying parts Black, Doom, and Folk Metal. However, the atmospheric qualities that it exudes are most closely associated with Black Metal. Regardless of how you choose to classify it, it’s pure musical bliss.

    I won’t even take a stab at what lies closest to the surface in PRIMORDIAL’s pool of musical influences. To me, PRIMORDIAL simply sounds like PRIMORDIAL. Their songs have a sense of sincerity, that’s rare in today’s Metal scene. They’re a band most comfortable playing mid-tempo songs, that mix impassioned clean and Death vocals with an insurmountable wall of sound. The repetitive rhythms they use have a beautiful, trance-like effect. It would be easy to completely lose yourself in these captivating rhythms if it weren’t for the amazing drum work of Simon O’Laoghaire. After listening to this disc a half dozen times, I can honestly say that Simon has moved atop the list of my most favorite drummers.

    The title track from “The Gathering Wilderness”, starts with a quiet intensity that’s almost unsettling; the lightly distorted guitar, the soft tribal beat which eventually joins in, the subtle chanting that follows. You can sense the coming storm, and when it hits, it’s as intense as you had hoped/feared. I have to say, I truly love the way vocalist A.A. Nemtheanga phrases the lyrics. There is a spontaneity to it, that suggests he has a perfect sense of the music beneath.

    Lyrically, PRIMORDIAL, and more specifically vocalist Nemtheanga, view both man’s future, as well as his past, through the bleakest of eyes. The lyrics here should not be glossed over, as they’re truly worth absorbing. I especially enjoyed the commentaries that follow each song, as they allow the reader to view the lyrics in the context which their author intended.

    The third track, “The Song of the Tomb”, is one of the heavier tracks on the CD. From Alan’s opening scream, to Simon’s pounding snare, which like the crack of a whip, drives the song galloping onward. It’s perhaps the most straight forward and least dynamic song on The Gathering Wilderness, but strong none the less.

    “End of All Times” features with PRIMORDIAL’s trademark wall of sound riffing, and never let’s up. It’s strange how Ciáran MacUiliam’s and Michael O'Floinn’s guitars can be so present, yet still allow Alan’s voice to be front and center.

    It isn’t until the fifth track, “The Coffin Ships”, that we hear Nemtheanga’s voice in all it’s glory. What he lacks in range and finesse, he more than makes up for with sheer intensity and passion. Never is this more apparent than when he sings of Ireland’s struggles during the Great Potato Famine, and the people who abandoned the Green Isle in search of a better life in America. The music is sensational throughout (especially the acoustic part at the 2:18 mark), and if you choose to sample only one PRIMORIDAL song, it should be “The Coffin Ships”.

    The Gathering Wilderness winds down with “Tragedy’s Birth” and “Cities Carved in Stone”. The former, straight forward and aggressive, the latter, mournful and dark. By PRIMORIDAL standards, neither are spectacular tracks, but they don’t detract from the overall quality of the CD.

    The Gathering Wilderness is the sixth, and perhaps the finest chapter in the PRIMORDIAL story. While longtime fans will surely spend countless hours debating where this effort falls in their discography, it’s hard for me to imagine a better PRIMORDIAL disc. The Gathering Wilderness is one of those rare releases where artistic integrity, creativity, mature song writing and production yield something so special, that it should be listened to by all.

    Rating: 9/10
    Reviewer: General Zod
     
  2. speed

    speed Member

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    Maybe they know your talents more than you think; you did a splendid job with the review.
     
  3. General Zod

    General Zod Ruler of Australia

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    Wow. Thanks. This review took me the longest of the reviews I've done to date.

    Zod
     
  4. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    Great review. I agree about the way Nemtheanga phrases his vocal delivery - that "spontaniety" is also another example of "stream of conciousness" singing. (See: Phil Lynott and Mike Scalzi - hmm, I guess it must be a celtic thing).

    "Coffin Ships" will probably be song of the year...but who knows, it's early and there's some good stuff on the horizon. Best song on the album, either way. It moves me to the brink of crying like a girl.

    Either way, it's top 10 album for sure. Can't wait for you to hear A Journey's End. Man o man, it's like the beginning part of a trilogy...
     
  5. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    This album kicks all kinds of ass.
     
  6. Demilich

    Demilich Remember

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    Hearing those vocals on "The Coffin Ships" for the first time was a fucking killer!
     
  7. J.

    J. Old Fart

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    did y'all read the Moonsorrow interview over at Metal Observer? When asks what song he (the Moonsorrow dude) wishes he would've composed, he said The Coffin Ships.

    Respect. Primordial rules.

    EDIT: Sorry here is what he said:

    Which album in musical history would you wish was yours and why?



    All of our albums. In addition I wish I would've composed "The Coffin Ships" on the new PRIMORDIAL album.
     
  8. matt99_crew

    matt99_crew Member

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    Yes, yes Zod. Well done. Fantastic album.
     
  9. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    I'm about to buy this album today/tomorrow. I'll be buying it from Metal Blade Germany (digipak with DVD). If anyone knows where to get this in the USA, please let me know.
     
  10. Demilich

    Demilich Remember

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    Half.com? I was thinkin about tryin that shit out, since there were some of em on there.

    the one person i emailed said the one she had wasn't the DVD digipack one, and that's the one i want. :(
     
  11. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    bn.com has it, so I assume it's widely available.

    EDIT: not the DVD version, dunno.
     
  12. Hell Mike

    Hell Mike fuck melodic black metal

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    I've got the DVD one because I rule and you suck
     
  13. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    It's only out in Europe. I asked The End and they said no way, too expensive. So I shall order direct from the krauts.
     
  14. NAD

    NAD What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse

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    Have fun paying $48 in shipping. :ill:
     
  15. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    The Metal Blade Shop-Server is offline for a short term !!


    Please come back soon to place your order.

    Thank You.

    And I thought these Gerries were supposed to be 'efficient'. :loco:
     
  16. Carbonized

    Carbonized Hermit

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  17. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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  18. Carbonized

    Carbonized Hermit

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    heh well you're fucked out of some green either way by the Pound or by the German hefty shipping. i bought a disc once from Germany a few years back and it ended up costing me about $35.
     
  19. Demonspell

    Demonspell cheating the polygraph

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    Great review of a superb album, the only thing I disagree with is the assessment of the last two tracks...I explained why I love Cities in the earlier Primordial thread and while Tragedy's Birth does have to follow the album's masterpiece (being praised by a a band renowned for epic songwriting like Moonsorrow is a huge compliment), it still kills, especially the instrumental break.
     
  20. Krilons Resa

    Krilons Resa Jerry's married?!

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    Excellent, excellent, BRILLIANT album.

    Great review too btw.
     

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