It doesn’t seem like 2014 that the very enjoyable Where Greater Men Have Fallen album came out, but apparently it was. Blimey.
For many years now Primordial have developed their own style of music, taking their roots from black metal and adding their own brand of individuality and flair to it. Their music is a passionate form of heavy metal, one that has few peers and is in the enviable position of only really sounding like itself. Taking elements of black and doom metal into their sound, this is once again a strong collection of songs that are weighed down with emotion and feeling, all wrapped up in a sturdy metallic case.
Exile Amongst the Ruins sees all of the familiar Primordial trademarks in place, as well as some less common ones; parts of this album are quite stripped back and bare compared to some of their work, whereas others have acquired either a progressive hue or more blatant blackened characteristics. Some of the riffs are more direct and metallic too, going straight for the throat rather than building up and ebbing as is frequently the case. There are some pretty damn fine riffs here, in fact, mixed in alongside the more nuanced delivery. In some ways this is a slightly darker and rawer Primordial than we’re used to, as well.
It’s always great to hear the dramatic and talented vocals of the band’s singer, and his performance is always one of the more obvious highlights of any Primordial album. He uses his full range very well here, whether it’s expressive and commanding singing, or harsh blackened screams. Whatever he does, he makes a strong impression.
With quality songwriting and plenty of memorable substance, this album is full of blackened heavy/doom metal, with plenty of atmosphere, character, quirks, and individuality. Exile Amongst the Ruins is easily one of my favourite Primordial albums to date. Admittedly, I always think that of any of their releases, but this album’s high quality levels cannot be denied.
Very highly recommended.