Primordial: REDEMPTION AT THE PURITAN'S HAND

Posted 07/12/2011 by cal

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Following not-so-closely on the heels of the band’s most overtly accessible and consistently successful album, 2007’s To The Nameless Dead, Ireland’s premier waltz-metal band has basically stuck with the winning formula for its new Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand.  The new album is a little more oppressive, a little less dynamic, and ultimately more of a regression than an evolution of the Primordial sound.

The biggest problem is the overly simplistic riffs and uncharacteristically straight play, polished but dull.  Alan Averill’s vocals are full-throated and as evocative of his warrior-poet lyrics as ever, with maybe even a slightly enhanced range of guttural/melodic combinations, but particularly on the final track of the album, he’s totally undermined by monotonous guitars that sound like they’re being played by robots.

There are some really good moments, like the deep, tortured choral vocals that haunt “The Black Hundred”, and the adrenalized jagged guitar riffage in the middle section of “The Puritan’s Hand”.  But even this song gets extremely repetitive at its end, layering on another guitar, hitting the cymbals more frequently, but not adding anything interesting to the mix.  The device would work just fine if it didn't appear so often.

It's a good album in the fine Primordial tradition, but the formula may have reached its boiling point four years ago, and if so, Redemption is the beginning of diminishing returns.  As such, this one’s only worth getting to know so you can bang your head properly in case the band ever tours in your area (hint: every third beat).

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