PRIMORDIAL - The Gathering Wilderness

Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness

7 songs
59:32 minutes
***** ****
Metal Blade


So far, I connected Ireland and metal only to the folk imps Cruachan, not noticing that there has been a band steadily releasing critically acclaimed metal albums since the early 90s. I have no way to compare Primordial's new album The Gathering Wilderness to their four preceding albums, so I have to limit my impression to the seven majestic songs on this release. With all of the songs between seven and ten minutes, Primordial show that long running times are necessary for the heavy sound they are elaborating. And even if my first impression was that this is the missing link between the third and the fourth Bathory album, it would be unfair to dismiss Primordial as just another Viking metal band. First of all they have rather a Celtic background, and more importantly, they had Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Melvins) as a producer, a guy who is an expert with heavy but not actually metal sounds.

Already the grooving opener The Golden Spiral proves that this was a very wise choice. Instead of having your typical cold, clean metal sound, you get the more rocking variety, as if Lemmy decided to play heavy metal instead of rock'n'roll. The vocals are very harsh yet always retain a certain melody, while the bass guitar is pumping very strongly for a dark metal band. Primordial even decided against drum triggering, giving the rhythmic backbone a much more organic feel. The songs combine, without an exception, melancholy and heavy rock, never even touching bloodless gothic sounds.

Always steering clear off the clichés, The Gathering Wilderness is one of the few truly original metal albums I have encountered in the last years, and apart from Opeth, you won't find a band which is willing to walk their own way. This should be an album not only suitable for black, dark, thrash, death and heavy metal fans, but has the potential to even arouse emotions in your general public. Highly recommendable!

Back to Reviews