Nothing seems to make sense, I'm tired of it all, I've stopped searching for meanings... there are none. Time heals nothing, all it does is make you more bitter, more twisted yet sucks the life out of you... leaving you too apathetic to seek revenge… revenge on a society that has lied to you since the day you were born. Only humanity would fill its days with so much fucking misery to prove to itself that it must be worth something. To who? To who are you worth something? Who would ever fucking miss you... who will miss you when you are dead? I will tell you... no one...
This excerpt, which is from the introduction to “Cast to the Pyre”, I guess you could say describes Storm Before Calm
in a nutshell. Bitterness and resentment towards modernity are probably the most outward of themes present here and on most of Primordial’s work, but it’s anything but whiny.
Unlike most folk metal, Primordial’s music isn’t about taking the listener on flights of fantasy to a world far away from our own. Instead, Primordial fills their music with the woe of free romantic spirits that have been tattered by our modern age of technology and “progress”. I’ve heard people comparing Primordial to bands ranging from Graveland to Candlemass, but honestly none of those comparisons do justice to Primordial’s unique sound. Taking no specific direction from anyone before them, Primordial has crafted their own brand of gimmick-free black metal tinged folk metal that eschews the sometimes ridiculous image of the former and leaves out the cheesiness of the latter. Lively and dramatic in its presentation, Storm Before Calm
takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster that doesn’t let up until its duration is spent.
Primordial no doubt have their own style of playing and writing that helps make the album stand out. The melodies Primordial uses on Storm Before Calm
can’t really be compared to anything else I’ve heard in the metal world, both in flavor and design. The fact that Primordial are excellent at structuring songs and making everything fit together in a way that is both flowing and thematically sensible doesn’t hurt their case one bit. “Sons of the Morrigan” has definitely grown to be one of my favorite metal songs of all time because of the way they make their unique melodies and meld them with creative and not-so-straightforward drum patterns without forcing it at all. “Hosting of the Sidhe” is an oddity of a song, using fairly normal melodic riffing that builds and builds as the song progresses played over tribal drumming and a spoken-word narration. Each song has its own something special about that makes it stand out from the others while maintaining that distinct primordialism that Primordial is so well-known for.
Vocalist Alan Averill adds a lot of character and emotion in his performance with his distinct “shout-singing” along with fairly normal cleans and black metal shrieks. His lyrics usually have some sort of anti-modern overtone to them, but he handles the subject matter creatively and somewhat covertly. I usually don’t talk much about vocal performances on metal albums, but goddamn does this guy have his thing down pat.
Oh, and most of the album is in 6/8, which is kind of cool I guess.