Review Summary: Irish metal masters release their strongest album to date and up the ante for all other supposedly "epic" bands.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Nationalism and pride are To the Nameless Dead’s central themes. Though these themes are somewhat unique to most metal music, the intensity with which Primordial’s enigmatic frontman, Alan Averill, delivers his lyrics is what truly gives the album its feeling and power. His bellows, screams and, on occasion, croons make To the Nameless Dead’s eight melodic and tightly paced tracks absolutely epic. One needs look no further than opener “Empire Falls” for evidence of Averill’s skill behind the mic, as his smooth transitions from open-throated singing to harsh screaming put most other “metal” vocalists to shame and his delivery makes the eight minute long track seem half that, at most.
The album’s deceiving brevity is perhaps its biggest selling point. At almost 55 minutes in length, the album flies by in what seems like no time at all, an aspect due in no small part to the flawless songwriting. Each track builds to its initial explosion, as guitarists Ciáran MacUiliam and Michael O'Floinn deliver beautifully harmonized riffs so massive they could topple the very monuments Averill sings so passionately about. The tribal drumming that builds “As Rome Burns” is a definite highlight as well, as is the blast beat section that pops in and out of the zenith of the album, “Traitors Gate.”
The band comes full circle, as that lone thrashy track echoes to their humble beginnings as a death metal cover band in their hometown. But, make no mistake, while Primordial have sampled just about every style of metal there is, To the Nameless Dead is their most mature and developed album yet, and it is one of the highest points of what has been a stellar year for heavy music in general. If you have even one ounce of metal appreciation in your body, you absolutely need this record.