Primordial are an Irish black metal band that use elements of Irish folk music. They’ve been active since 1987 & Where Greater Men Have Fallen is their 8th full release.
Opening with the album title track, Where Greater Men Have Fallen, the band instantly remind you of their inherent heaviness with a moody beat that kicks in suddenly & never lets up. It’s a faster number by Primordial standards & by time the incredible vocals kick in you’re in love already. It’s one of the most epic songs on the album lasting 8 minutes.
Babel’s Tower puts you in a dark mind with a slower pace but with plenty of melody while Come the Flood follows in a similar style. The 4th track, The Seed of Tyrants has an explosive start (Traitors!) before really laying the black metal on thickly. It’s one of the heavier songs on the album with vocals being less melodic but not compromising on impact.
The opening of Ghosts of the Charnel House is a punchy intro letting the drums & guitars work their magic. It’s almost a rock and roll style riff except for the drums crashing around in the background. The combination of melodic vocals mixed with more guttural moments backed up by some the best Primordial riffs makes this an absolute belter of a track.
The Alchemist’s Head initially sounds like a traditional black metal song but changes pace around the halfway mark with almost whispering-like vocals & quiet strumming. It builds & builds before smashing back into the earlier heavier sounds.
The 2nd to last song, Born to Night is an instantly familiar song to Primordial fans relying heavily on just guitars for the first 3+ minutes. When it does kick in to a heavier notes it comes out of the blue, it’s really well done & is one of the best songs on the album.
The album is tied up wonderfully with the final song, Wield Lightning to Split the Sun having more of that traditional Irish folk in the opening. The drums hit hard & the song really gets going…it so good & impossible to not bang your head too.
This is an incredible end with some of the best vocals on the album; the song is just an epic listen & feels like the end of an important journey. My personal favourite song on the album.
One of the best albums Primordial have done to date & one that just keeps giving the more you listen to it. If you’re a long-time fan then you’ll be happy with this & if you’re new this is a great entry point.
Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade Records)