Review: Primordial – Exile Among The Ruins 7.9

  • Primordial
  • Exile Among The Ruins
  • Black metal/folk metal
  • Ireland
  • 2018
  • 7.9/10

Bandcamp

As a teenager growing up listening to metal in the early 00’s, Primordial had always been in my peripheral but every time I listened to a new album of their I was unable to appreciate it. I don’t mind giving them another go now that my ears have developed so much since then as I’m sure Primordial have also. Immediately off the bat we have a typical early days of prog metal start to the album. Something that I always notice when I’m browsing YouTube for new albums to check out is that I often just start on the second track no matter what. Too often the first track is a quiet instrumental, sound bite or skit. Once it picks up though, it’s nice.

Exile Among The Ruins sounds cult-like and often conjures up mental images of a demonic ritual.  It feels like an older atmosphere of black metal but cleaned up a significant amount, bordering on gothic metal or first wave doom metal. The vocals reach a high note and tend to stay up there throughout most of the LP. The dark mood comes mostly from the guitars which come together nicely for some interesting passages.

 

The celtic part of the record is strong with a lot of traditional sounding instruments and clean string arrangements building towards the start of some riffs. They complement the clean vocals. Primordial manage to create some truly powerful moments without resorting to the typical heavy tactics, it’s almost as if the power of storytelling fuels their music. With that creative aspect comes a lengthy album though. It’s like watching a fantasy film in terms of how long it lasts and how much attention it demands.

The track “Stolen Years” reaches the peak of the albums dramatic feelings with a long low-key doomy piece of music you’d expect from Candlemass (their cover of Solitude) or even as soft as Anathema. After which it builds back up for another quick burst to close out the album with. Primordial manage to be heavy in theme and drama but never take it to a point of melo-drama or cringe. It feels righteous and strong in its posture. They’ve been making this sort of music a long time and have refined it along the way.

A heady album well worth the listen.

 

 

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