Dark, majestic, epic: Thy Primordial is good black metal, trying hard to be their version of the over determined subgenera. Moving between conventional drumming techniques and staying mostly in tight blast beats, drummer Minth lays down an endless battery of sound to push each song forward like a battle cry. Continually surprising in terms of guitar solos, “Under Iskall Troll Mane” tends to utilize very rockish, almost Hendrix-minded licks up the neck. Songs like “Mitt Sokandes Ritual” will raise an eyebrow or two when the different tones start pumping out of the speakers. Not bad, just very unexpected, considering the dark classic black metal sounds used on the rest of the album. It actually makes for a more interesting breakaway from what you would think would get used for guitar work. “Bortom Nattsbart Alla” is a dynamic and powerful track, with great tempo/rhythm changes, which tend to capture the epic approach of the darker side of metal. The trading back and forth between both guitarist during the solo is a delicacy not handled so well since Slayer’s early albums. Though there is a rather pronounced difference in terms of production on the first six tracks and the last three–seven through nine being rawer, simpler, and more akin to the early stylings of the Norwegian scene–both sounds are done with artistic care, and given their due. The band comes together with pristine technicality most of the time. Since they are so focused on speed and all out aggressive black metal, there is the occasional moment of break from suture, where things start to separate musically. Pulling in separate directions, drums and guitar can fail to line up for short passages. Fortunately these moments are only found here and there, and are not that pronounced. The only other problems I had with the album was the poor mixing that was done on the last three tracks, especially on “Morkrets Faste”–it was so hard to pick out the vocals, that they might as well have not been there. Fans of black metal rejoice!! Thy Primordial will give you the corpse face theme music you need to burn churches, defile graves, or just praise the glory of balsamic music.
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