Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Primordial: Where Greater Men Have Fallen (2014)


If you’re one of the few metalheads who isn’t familiar with Primordial, you’re missing an essential and truly unique piece of the metal landscape, and you need to go buy 2005’s The Gathering Wilderness right now. But most of you already have strong opinions on the band, mostly positive. Where Greater Men Have Fallen is a predictable continuation of the band’s trajectory, with predictable results. And I’d say that’s a very good thing.

Most of us would agree that Averill’s vocals are the real draw to this band, and he’s still in fine form. His emotional gravity is unmatched in the metal world, and tunes like the title track (and really, the whole album) make good use of it. For those who have complaints with the band, there isn’t a lot to assuage your doubts. Sometimes, the instruments can be rather boring (“Babel’s Tower”). Even the black metal riffing of “The Seed of Tyrants” isn’t anything special. Because this is a singer’s band more than anything else.

But if you doubt the instrumentalists, there are two tunes that might be enough to change your mind. “The Alchemist’s Head” has an awesomely dark and violent riff, while “Born to Night” has sort of an old-school heavy metal vibe poured through the Primordial filter. Maybe that will be enough for you, or maybe it won’t.

In the end, it’s another fine release from this one-of-a-kind band. They don’t stray from what makes them unique (the vocals, in case you just skipped to the end and had never heard them before). And they remain fantastic at it. In a genre with legions of bands who sound alike, being one-of-a-kind would be more than enough even if they weren’t fantastic.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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