Released 25 November 2016 via Metal Blade Records
So here is how today’s review started, a conversation between me and our Chief Editor Dani. Dani: "Do you like Primordial?" Me: "Hum yeah(sounding unsure), they are Irish aren’t they?" (big bluff on my end) Dani: "They are really good." Me (having checked YouTube, Wiki and ITunes): "Yes, great to have guys that calibre from the greater Dublin area!!!"
That’s how the dumbo in me got handed over a live album from a fantastic local band who had played Wacken and Hell Fest... and I did not know them. So much for a guy who has been in the music business for more than 30 years you may say :). But today is not about me, it i about Primordial and an 11 track album taken from one of their performance at a German festival (Bang Your Head). I like live albums. They are a bit like a compilation with an attitude and if - like me (but probably not) - you do not know Primordial, this is an ideal introduction to their music.
The sound is very good and the band themselves would claim there is not one "f*cking overdub" on it. At the beginning the band introduces itself proudly as being from the Republic of Ireland (I know I guess everybody knew that except me). The first track is "Gods to the Godless" which gives his title to the album.
All the flagship titles from the band are on "Gods to the Godless", such as the 'Coffin Ships' or the epic 'Where Greater Have Fallen', very commonly categorized as black metal, neo folk metal or I even read Pagan metal. I think they are closer to Anathema in their musical intent than to Venom, at least their musicianship is at the same level. I really like the voice from Nemtheanga who superbly manages to transpose almost effortlessly the atmosphere and intensity of the studio tracks on stage.
There is a superb version of 'The Alchemists' which I highly recommend. The album captures the exchange between the band and the public pretty well and as you would expect, there is a bit of Irish metal banter too before the introduction of the last title 'Empire Falls'.
If you are a fan and follow them I am sure you will be glad to add this chapter to your Primordial collection and if you did not know them (I know I was probably the only one, stop it now :) ) you are given a chance to catch up with an important band.
If I was to pick 3 only: The Alchemists, Where greater Men Have Fallen, Coffin Ships
Live Test: I suppose I will have to go and see them (and apologize).
Review by Pascal Derrien