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Primordial – How it Ends


Last Updated on 05:26 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Epic / Pagan / Celtic Metal
Country: Ireland
Label: Metal Blade Record
Year: 2023

The concept of the final end, the last act of drama, the agonizing conclusion of life, surprises us emotionally from the very first note of How it Ends, the new album by Primordial, in a haunting narrative that begins with the arrival of the final battle. The posture of the body on the cover with a rush towards the unknown, reveals from the beginning the inescapable conflict.

The title track literally grabs violently your attention, showcasing a band that seems to have fully decided on its musical vision, with beautiful melodies that stick immediately. “Who dares To sing/Out of tune/And rewrite the refrain/And live out of time/We must sing/The song of these people/It’s of/A deep/Unyielding pain,” screams A.A. Nemtheanga, with a cry of desperation and anguish for those who want to react, to rise against the crushing reality. If it all ends like this, it will be an epic ending, no doubt.

Primordial’s roots are deep, branching from Thin Lizzy to Bathory and from My Dying Bride to their own past, but clearly looking at the present, the need for rebellion, in our minds, our  thoughts, our emotions and in art. The progress of the album up to Pilgrimage to the Worlds End is extremely shocking, with very well-crafted compositions that build an emotional charge that never leads to an outburst. The minutes pass and catharsis never comes, the notes dress up a journey into the unknown without a compass, everything prepares you for the eruption that will remind you that you are alive.

If we can divide How it Ends into two sides, the second would start with the darkest and most hypnotic moment of the record, Nothing New under the Sun, which swings like a cobra in front of you, dizzying you with the ultimate purpose of surrendering to the ancients Irish rhythms of Call to Cernunnos. It is the constant looking back in time and in their careers that allows Primordial to move forward with awareness, courage and determination. They are lyrical yet robust, and nowhere is this more evident than on All Against All, where they visit the “end of history” at various points in time, while at the same time recalling the dark black metal aesthetic that characterized them in the beginning, to accompany the eternal drive of gods and men, for destruction.

The new album of the Irish is made to expand and to explore, it’s staged against the superficial approach of modern songwriting, it demands your undivided attention and emotional presence. At the close of the slow-moving epic, death is redemption and the greatest gift is the courage to look it in the eye. Death, Holy Death should have been sad and yet it works in a contradictory, almost uplifting way. It is truly an experience that will accompany you for a long, long time.

On what terms does the end finally comes for Primordial’ s new album? It ends with a glorious bang! This is the Emerald of the new millennium and the perfect culmination of one of these Irish most inspiring records. With an utterly orgasmic heavy metal essence, Victory Has 1000 Fathers, Defeat Is an Orphan, neatly captures the end of the line, unleashing the most dynamic moment of “How it Ends”. It is rare, but not impossible to overcome yourself and compose such beautiful songs, integrated into a central narrative, into an idea.

Primordial’s music is so deeply human, so warm and alive, like an ending that means there was a beginning and a middle, a circle of life that was worth it. An awakening of the senses and emotions. Well done!

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