Primordial
Redemption at the Puritan's Hand


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
May 9th, 2011 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album to keep those chomping at the bit for more of what Primordial creates satisfied, but one that may leave some fans hungry for something more

I see Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand in two ways: being another Primordial album that builds upon the success of To The Nameless Dead with a restrained evolution that introduces some new hooks and edges but keeps the base formula alive and well; and as a capitalization of their previous effort that takes another route, one that doesn’t change quite enough to be a thoroughly interesting piece of music. Fortunately for Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand, I catch myself thinking the former far more often than the latter, but that doesn’t mean that thoughts of fetid stagnation are a distant presence. The album is tricky in that way; not only does it shuffle its cards in such a clever manner so as to bring what’s fresh and appealing to the ear forward, it also slyly ushers the memory of what’s been written in the past behind the curtain for none to see. For that, I give Primordial credit, because the first-listen appeal to this album is almost ridiculous, with the aggressive opener “No Grave Deep Enough” and the perfectly placed “The Mouth of Judas” restoring attentiveness to peak levels from the dwindling heights they slowly trickle away from as each standout fades.

Primordial’s riffing has been a touchy subject in the past, with their fantastically epic compositions distracting everything from the benign and, quite frankly, dry riffs that they’ve stuck in verse and chorus to sustain the album’s enormous and massive atmosphere. Partly, that problem is solved on Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand, but not entirely. There are melodies that dwell throughout the album that are incredibly refreshing to the build-and-demolish pattern of nearly every track; enough to give the benign twang of the bass guitar that lingers in the background something to latch on to to save it from the wallows of repeated, rhythmic plucking. To that end, it is nice that the production here gives the record a chance to display all of the band’s talents, regardless of what the songwriting dictates. When the instruments are given something to do that is worthy of hearing, rest assured that the mix leaves no such moment to pass. This cyclical pattern that Primordial enjoy so much does have its benefits, however. The atmosphere of Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand is unwavering and consistently awe-inspiring, with the attitudes of upbeat, swaying valor and deep tragedy swelling and overflowing from the album’s bounds. When everything is said and done, it is the atmosphere that will linger the most.

The most dividing aspect of Primordial’s sound is certainly not the riffs, and not the high quality drums that do their best to bring life to moments when all else is dull, but is instead the vocals. A.A. Nemtheanga’s voice is praised by some, and looked at skeptically by others. His delivery and sense of emotion is rather unorthodox: the pitch of the vocals extend only so far, never really pushing their bounds to a level that belongs alongside the more notable crescendos of the album, and instead seem even restrained. They remain primarily clean, as fans of the band will have no qualms with, but the incorporation of harsh vocals as an integral part of a track instead of some sort of spice, such as those displayed in “No Grave Deep Enough” and “God's Old Snake”, is a missed opportunity. Still, the tunes ranging from triumphant to sorrowful get their fill with the vocals, which remain solid despite their inability to heed any urge to change things up a bit. It may seem like a large burden to place on the vocals, but with an album so reliant on them for its success it is a load that must be borne.

For what it is, Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand is nothing to be disappointed with, but is also nothing to be completely ecstatic over. The album peaks several times to glorious heights but also segues down into valleys that are decently written and well performed, but lack any true lasting power to make you want to listen to them again. What keeps you, then, from simply ignoring half of the album in favor of your three or four obvious favorites? The secret is in the details. While these songs may pale overall in comparison the giants of the album, they contain small moments of glory that unfortunately do not linger as they do in songs like “Death of the Gods” or “The Mouth of Judas”. If you’re here for the powerhouse atmospheric engine, then you’ll love Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand, but if you’re in it for more than what the atmosphere brings forth, you may note some flaws in the formula. Will they break the album’s back? Not at all, because there is enough contained within Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand to keep a wide demographic of listeners quite happy.



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user ratings (133)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2011


16452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Been putting this review off for a bit, partly because I moved to a new apartment over the past several days, but here it is.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2011


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review, man. Draws on a lot of my opinions of the album.

Might bump this up just for "The Mouth of Judas". Dunno.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2011


16452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That track, along with a few others, are the reasons why this is a 3.5.

cvlts
May 9th 2011


8968 Comments


Some beefy run-on sentences goin on in here. Love it.

Doesn't seem like something I'd dig but I'll give it a look. Sweet review brah!

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2011


16452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah there may be run-on's and I apologize because I'm kind of dead to the world but I'll try and sift through them to fix them.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
May 9th 2011


8906 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

yeah I agree with this review, it's pretty much the same as mine, good one bro :]

beefshoes
May 9th 2011


4242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I ordered this from Amazon last week and it still hasn't came in. I want to hear this soooo bad.

Digging: Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

Willie
Moderator
May 10th 2011


16073 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Excellent review. I love this album, I can't help it. The only other album that I have from these guys is Storm Before Calm and it's cool too. I've listened to the two before this one a few times and they didn't grab me like this does... also the drummer is a beast.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 10th 2011


10615 Comments


Bangin review, Crysis. I was indifferent to their last album, but I'll get to this eventually

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2011


7110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As usual:quality review.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2011


16452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys.

I love this album, I can't help it.

For whatever reason that 4.5 surprises me, I think I remember you posting your soundoff as a 4. Can't blame you, though, some tracks here are incredibly good. Agreed about the drummer as well, I don't think he gets enough credit.

Bangin review, Crysis. I was indifferent to their last album, but I'll get to this eventually

If you were indifferent to their last then I'm not quite sure how much you'll like this because of the obvious similarities it holds, but give it a shot anyway and see.

Tyrael
May 10th 2011


20929 Comments


No Grave Deep Enough, The Mouth of Judas and Lain With The Wolf are some of my favourite songs released this year. Good job Crysis, as expected.

Wizard
May 10th 2011


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I see Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand in two ways: being another Primordial album that builds upon the success of To The Nameless Dead with a restrained evolution that introduces some new hooks and edges but keeps the base formula alive and well; and as a capitalization of their previous effort that takes another route, one that doesn’t change quite enough to be a thoroughly interesting piece of music. Fortunately for Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand, I catch myself thinking the former far more often than the latter, but that doesn’t mean that thoughts of fetid stagnation are a distant presence.

Brilliance in a nutshell and I'm really starting to see it your way (just not for 'Mouth of Judas' which is still a borefest on this album : P). Seriously great review, I love the run-on sentences too, they fit the epicness of this band hahahaha.

The only other album that I have from these guys is Storm Before Calm and it's cool too.

What the fuck Willie? CHECK OUT EVERYTHING BY THIS BAND!!!

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2011


16452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha thanks Karl, glad to see you agreeing with me for the first time in a bit ;)

"The Mouth Of Judas" is incredible, though.

MO
May 10th 2011


18894 Comments


Great review Crysis. Pos'd.

Wizard
May 10th 2011


19556 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's too pussy for this band.

liveinflames
May 10th 2011


9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why does no one ever mention God's Old Snake? Ok Mouth of Judas is great and everything, but this song has a pretty different feeling than the rest of the album, with that catchy rhythm (how the fuck do you write this word?) and a great mini-solo at the end. And although I favor his clean vocals more, I think he used harsh vocals just the right amount in this one, could be even more perhaps. It's a good change.

But overall, nice review, though I'm giving it more points since I'm a Primordial fanboy

jingledeath
May 10th 2011


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ace review, agree with rating.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2011


16452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Jingle. A 3.5 just seems right for this album... I'd feel guilty giving it a 4 because there are some notable flaws and equally guilty slapping it with a 3 because it's not just barely above-average.

Itwasthatwas
May 11th 2011


770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

agree with the rating, this isn't quite as good as past efforts.
maybe this is out of line, but i'm curious as to why this review isn't a full feature? that anaal nathrakh review has been up there for nearly 2 months, and while jared's writing is great, right now this album is much more relevant than that one



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