Primal: Obłęd

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Primal: Obłęd
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Primal: Obłęd
Black Metal
The End of Time Records, Quid Est Veritas Productions
November 1st, 2012
Release length: 41:52
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Primal is another one member operation from Poland that is helmed by a man simply called “PrimalOne.” Forged out of Warsaw in 2008, this effort issued two demos in 2010 before releasing the Chapel of Fear split with Deep Desolation in 2011 through Quid Est Veritas Productions. Since then, there have been two additional EPs, and three full-lengths, the most recent being ObÅ‚Ä™d in November of 2012. With the previous recordings not really being the most remarkable of Black Metal outputs, one can only wonder if things have improved over these few short years…

ObÅ‚Ä™d starts off with a twisted, obviously altered audio sample what sounds like an old record of a crooner singing with the speed of the turntable slightly reduced. After forty seconds of this, “…i wszystko byla dobre” kicks in with rich, sharpened leads, as well as some background riffs that give the music a nice hint of static. The vocals are harsh, but a bit hushed from the slight distance and echo they carry. The chorus has some hooks at work, as well as some haunting riffs and layered spoken words that sound like multiple whispering voices. There also appears to be additional keyboards at times that build onto the largely aggressive performance.

The success of this aura is vital to some of the later slower songs. “…i smierci juz nie bedzie” is a far more oppressive offering with a slower tempo boasting drums that act like a malevolent march to ones own demise, especially around the three minute mark. The vocals are more on the raspy side as well, carrying a distortion that makes them sound more unnatural and sinister, working perfectly to the hellish vibe the slightly dulled riffs give off. This is a stark contrast to “Proznia,” which dismisses any sort of venomous hatred of nightmarish sensation for a well executed haunting melody. The creepy riffs and heavy static in the background keeps the restricted pace flowing naturally as it dishes out chilling chords, disembodied harsher growls, and a truly eerie presence. This one really stands out as the strongest offering, especially when compared to the last three.

“Wojna” and on bring in more of a commanding performance without that ominous vibe “…i smierci juz nie bedzie” has. “Egzorcysm” does carry some impressive eerie riffs from time to time that end up layered over some ritualistic drumming. In some spots they can also build up to a release that doesn’t quite hit, or, like around four-and-a-half minutes in, present an creepy Meshuggah-esque groove before returning to normal. Neither of these three are bad, but definitely don’t have the same bite as the songs before them.

ObÅ‚Ä™d starts out a rage filled Black Metal assault, but ends up a nicely varied and atmospheric album. Primal has undergone a great deal of growth in just a short amount of time, but does still show a little more room to expand in the last few songs. This is far from a bad thing when you look back at the less-than-impressive debut album, Deathzone. With Primal looking to be one of the more successful underdog stories of the one-man Black Metal army that is sweeping the underground, now is the best time to check out what this act brings to the table. ObÅ‚Ä™d is a safe choice for fans of the style thanks to the atmospheres presented and solid performances, all making an album you won’t soon grow tired of, and can be thrown on despite the situation or state of mind you happen to be in.

01. Genesis – 0:40
02. …i wszystko byla dobre – 8:10
03. Proznia – 8:09
04. …i smierci juz nie bedzie – 7:03
05. Wojna – 5:21
06. Jak groby otwarte – 5:18
07. Egzorcyzm – 7:13
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Primal
Primal

Physical review copy of this release provided by Quid Est Veritas Productions.