Primal: Prophetae

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Primal: Prophetae
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Primal: Prophetae
Black Metal
Quid Est Veritas Productions
August 1st, 2013
Release length: 50:47
Bandcamp
Myspace
ReverbNation
Warsaw, Poland’s Primal return with its third full-length album, Prophetae. Released through Quid Est Veritas Productions in August of 2013, it continuing the legacy of being a one-man project. It is described by founding/sole member PrimalOne as being about “madness, darkness, cruelty and beauty of apocalyptic prophecies,” as well as the “insanity of one man’s mind” according to the official Bandcamp page. Given the usually raw nature of the effort under this name, such a lyrical and musical theme would feel right at home. But does this creation of five extensive tracks drive the point home, or does this entry leave a lot to be desired from the build-up it clearly was given?

Prophetae stays consistent in the raw audio quality. The music retains a subtle sharpness that enhances the dulled harsher vocals that sometimes come off more like delusional ramblings that often fit the unsettling or melancholic atmospheres the music gives off. There is a good deal of static, as if a transfer from an older, somewhat worn cassette, but only on the guitars as displayed around six-and-a-half minutes in on “I” when the music becomes haunting through effects and deeper groaning, losing the noise all together until the guitars pick back up. Even with the larger amount of static, the performance here still sounds great. It’s a mixture of melancholic melodies in some spots that usher in a hint of an icy cold touch, while the rest varies between commanding drums at a faster speed and mid-tempo paces that allow the vocals to stick out from the distance they happen to be at, though impossible to understand.

“II” has more of a marching beat to the drums at times, and the vocals come through more like heavily echoed and worn spoken word dialogue that again pretty much impossible to decipher given the volume of the music up to about five minutes in. At that point things slow down, allowing the bass to come through a little louder as the guitars carry a hypnotic Black Metal rhythm for a short while before returning to the steady faster pace once more. “V” is more of a venomous performance at times, though can become more discordant, especially when accompanying the additional female voices that carry as if brought in on the wind. Some of the melodies set up in the riffs seem infectious, but are shattered by complex changes in the notes that make it a little more chaotic in some areas until the much darker conclusion.;

But its “III,” that stands out largely due to how much that static adds. The depressing riffs and highly echoed vocals work perfectly together, and the additional noise makes that emotion feel even more raw and genuine than it otherwise would have been. Of course it does tread into some more disturbing elements later on, as well as a crushing environment with additional technicality on the guitars approaching the five minute mark. “IV” is a nice follow-up to it, reaching deeper into the dark and tense depths of one’s own mind, that part where you go when there’s nothing left to lose and the voices tell you to do things, a segment emulated precisely through the continued spoken word approach.

Prophatae doesn’t seem to have an overlapping point from start to finish that the aforementioned description PrimalOne placed on the Bandcamp page will make you believe, but each song does carry further into the deepest, most desperate depths of one’s own mind. From melancholy to depression to having nothing left to keep you from obeying the sinister voices in your head, Primal does a good job at setting up foreboding aural landscapes that carry enough diversity to keep you engaged, though all flowing smoothly from one shift to the next. The static can be a bit distracting at first, becoming the sole reason you may not enjoy this outing right off the bat. But, given a few spins, you’ll learn to embrace it for the impact it does have on establishing the mood for each track, as well as Prophatae itself.

01. I – 10:35
02. II – 10:13
03. III – 7:40
04. IV – 10:22
05. V – 11:58
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Primal
Primal

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