Primordial
Where Greater Men Have Fallen


4.0
excellent

Review

by ComeToDaddy USER (48 Reviews)
December 1st, 2014 | 78 replies


Release Date: 11/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Reclaiming a sense of urgency.

After years supplying a steady stream of great albums, Primordial lost something important. Caught in between the pounding drums and vicious waves of guitar that characterize the band’s sound, there was a sense of urgency. There was passion behind every tom hit, and pride behind the powerful vocals. When the band unleashed tremolo riffing and vicious blast beats, you could feel the anger seeping through the speakers. Monolithic tracks like ‘The Coffin Ships’ and ‘Failures Burden’ had so much emotion and intensity behind them, which made it a real shock come 2011 when the band sounded so flat. They hadn’t lost any of their song-writing chops, and the album contained more than its fair share of standouts, but it just didn’t have the impact of the Irish metallers past works. But thankfully, sometime in the 3 years since Redemption, they’ve found it again. From the moment the title track comes storming out from the gates, Where Greater Men Have Fallen doesn’t let up and stands as the bands most consistent and heavy album to date.

The most prominent change is apparent right from the opening 5 seconds of the album - the riffs. While the band has always excelled at writing expressive guitar lines, they always felt more like a tidal wave of sound for Nemtheanga to roar in the face of. This is the first time in their long career where the guitar has really found its own voice, and this shift lends the album variety seldom found elsewhere in the bands catalogue of releases. From the driving low end of what is possibly the bands best opening track ever, to the triumphant riffing that breaks up ‘The Seed of Tyrants’ and the headbanging potential in the bestial ‘Ghosts of the Charnel House’, the guitar is the key factor that staves off stagnation and carries the momentum forward. For a band so comfortable with their formula built over so many years, this small change makes a huge difference to the albums replayability. While the choice to make a more aggressive album results in a more limited tonal palette than Redemption contained, the final product is a rejuvenated, fresh sound; a rare feat for metal bands pushing 20 years old.

None of this is to take credit away from the other band members however, as every facet of Primordial’s sound remains as strong as ever. The vocals are still engaging and emotive, with a greater focus on Nemtheanga’s aggressive roar. In a similar vein to ‘Traitor’s Gate’ from To The Nameless Dead, the black metal rasps also make a return in the latter half of the album, providing some vocal variety to keep the listener on their toes. The drums have always been the driving force behind past releases, but the guitar stepping up allows the drums to take some time and flesh out each song, providing some diversity instead of constantly resorting to pounding toms and crashes. As is often the case, the bass isn’t something to write home about, but it rears its head in more than a few places and adds much welcomed depth and power to the albums climaxes. The busier mix on display here works in favour of the heavier style adopted, but the folk aspect of their sound has taken a significant hit as a result. Sadly, the only song here that contains anything resembling the folk stylings of old is the opening minute of closing track ‘Wield Lightning To Split The Sun’, which ends up being one of the highlights because of that. Sure, this choice gives the album a definite place in their discography as a heavy and straightforward album, but it cost an integral part of the bands identity in the process.

Despite this, their sound is still distinctly their own, and there is nothing to be found here that would make long-time listeners balk or avoid this release. The band have abolished all of the awkward pacing and highlight/filler issues that have plagued them in the past, and Where Greater Men Have Fallen stands firm from front to back as a very solid release from a very solid band. There is more than enough meat to this album to content fans, and the trademark atmosphere these Irishmen conjure is as powerful and evocative as it’s ever been. The fact that they’re still on top of their game after all these years is impressive in itself. At the end of the day, Primordial haven’t reinvented themselves, but this album is a triumph all the same. The band never planned to write for a new audience – and as long as they’re happy to keep churning out albums, we’re happy to keep eating them up.



Recent reviews by this author
Spectral Voice Eroded Corridors of UnbeingSukekiyo ADORATIO
School of Emotional Engineering School of Emotional EngineeringSpectral Lore Gnosis
Power Glove EP IIAgent Fresco Destrier
user ratings (177)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
December 1st 2014


1792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm back friends! It's been a long month since I was last here, and I thought I'd dive back in the deep end with a review. I've got a couple of half-written ones that I'll clean up and submit later, but I'm pretty rusty for the time being. Constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated!

Archelirion
December 1st 2014


5647 Comments


Woopah, you're back!

Review's great, have a pos. Gonna listen to this later (my alarm didn't go off, so I should probably be getting ready for lectures than Sput'ing... but hey-ho) - I've never listened to them before, but they sound like I should have done.

EvoHavok
December 1st 2014


7680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked "Babel's Tower". Will listen to the whole album. Great review!

Digging: Children of Bodom - Hexed

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2014


11552 Comments


Good to have you back. Great review, pos.

Digging: Airged L'amh - One Eyed God

ComeToDaddy
December 1st 2014


1792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's good to be back. I'd definitely recommend them, have listened to them since To The Nameless Dead came out and they're super consistent



Yeah Babel's Tower is a dirge and a half, the video is a bit dramatic but I enjoyed it.

AngryNeighbor
December 1st 2014


219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fantastic stuff, top 5 AOTY material.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
December 1st 2014


6681 Comments


nice, gonna read later

ExplosiveOranges
December 1st 2014


4408 Comments


HE'S BACK YES

emester
December 1st 2014


8251 Comments


Title track is phenominal

Great to have you back CTD

Gmork89
December 1st 2014


7807 Comments


Excellent review, I couldn't get into their last album but I'm definitely giving this a shot.

pos

Totengott
December 1st 2014


4224 Comments


Pos, great review and welcome back.

TzarChasm
December 1st 2014


279 Comments


This band is the shittiest shit I ever shat. I have one of their CDs and to this day I have no earthly idea what convinced me to spend money on it. Seeing them live at ProgPower a few years back sealed the deal: shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

climactic
December 1st 2014


22385 Comments


sweet i didnt know this existed

Willie
Moderator
December 1st 2014


17623 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1

I didn't like this nearly as much as the previous release.

Tyrael
December 1st 2014


21113 Comments


rules hard

VisionsFromTheDarkSide
December 1st 2014


2409 Comments


Awesome review man, pos'd. Need to listen to this hard

Ignimbrite
December 1st 2014


6527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a really solid album, but it's missing any track as fantastic as No Grave Deep Enough or Lain with the Wolf from Redemption imo.

ComeToDaddy
December 2nd 2014


1792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah the highlights were more outstanding in that one (The Mouth of Judas too hnnngggg) but it was just so inconsistent in quality, this trumps it for me because I don't feel any trigger urges on the skip button

Wizard
December 2nd 2014


20209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Couldn't agree more with this review. Well written and you know what the hell you're talking about regarding this band. I admit, I didn't really like this too much at first but all of a sudden, it just beats you in the head when the mood is right.



And to everyone who enjoyed their last album, you all like your beer watered down ; ).

emester
December 2nd 2014


8251 Comments


so happy that this is really starting to grow on me



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy