Primordial - "Where Greater Men Have Fallen" (CD)
"Where Greater Men Have Fallen" track listing:
1. Where Greater Men Have Fallen
2. Babel's Tower
3. Come the Flood
4. The Seed of Tyrants
5. Ghosts of the Charnel House
6. The Alchemist's Head
7. Born to Night
8. Wield Lightning to Split the Sun
Reviewed by Diamond Oz on November 17, 2014
Over the band's illustrious career, Primordial has always made sure to take time when it comes to writing albums, resulting in some of the best records ever made by a black metal band outside of Norway. If there's any downside to this, it's that the band is constantly competing with itself to match previous efforts and churn out another slab of greatness. New album "Where Greater Men Have Fallen" will certainly fit in well with past releases in the eyes of fans, but newcomers might be left wondering what the fuss is about.
The title track gets things underway and is a real stand out, containing all the things that have made Primordial a great band to many metal listeners. It's extremely dark and somewhat eerie, yet remains a lively affair throughout, complete with a real anthem of a chorus, earning positive comparisons to previous songs such as "Empire Falls." It's unquestionably one of the best songs on the album, which is not always a plus when it comes to the opener.
"Born to Night" is another track which longtime fans will especially enjoy. It takes a while to build up but eventually turns into a real stomping beast, though coupled with a majesty which only Primordial seems to be able to bring to extreme metal. After this we get the closing "Wield Lightning to Split the Sun," which is frighteningly bleak, whilst retaining an epic tone throughout. These qualities craft two very good songs and a solid end to the album.
There are some other flashes of excellence on display. "Babel's Tower" is a solid doom laden song which is very good, though arguably outstays its welcome, whilst "The Seed of Tyrants" is probably the most furious song on the record, beginning with a shout of "Traitors!" and exploding into a blistering black metal song that never lets up. However some other tracks contain some great moments which the rest doesn't live up to, such as the battle cry guitars of "Come the Flood" and the crushing riffs of "Ghosts of the Charnel House."
All in all, it's a good album, one which fans will be pleased with, however there isn't enough here to rank it as high as some of Primordial's previous work, despite some similarities. While there are some very, very good songs here, several of the tracks are rather unremarkable as a whole, though they still remain better than the standard many other bands have set for themselves. If you're a long time fan of the group, or the style in general, there's no reason why you won't enjoy it, but those seeking to become fans might want to check out some of the older material instead of starting with "Where Greater Men Have Fallen."
Highs: The title track, "Babel's Tower," and "Born to Night."
Lows: "Come the Flood" and "The Alchemist's Head."
Bottom line: A good album from a very good band, but not one which will shine as Primordial's best work.
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