Album Review: Primordial – Spirit The Earth Aflame

Before getting ‘Spirit the Earth Aflame,’ I had never listened to Primordial. I’ve heard of them before via college roommate who listened to nothing but folk metal but besides that the opportunity never came up for me to listen to them until now. After listening to a few tracks and doing some research on the band I came to find that ‘Spirit The Earth Aflame,’ is nothing more than two old releases (‘Imrama’ and ‘A Journey’s End’) put together to come out with a two disk album with a total of 17 songs that span just over an hour and a half. The first bit of advice I would give before attempting to listen to this album is that you should have some time on your hands seeing as it is a very long album.

The album opens up with the title track ‘Spirit The Earth Aflame’ which for some could be a little boring. It isn’t the long epic journey music that loyal Primordial fans have come to love from this Irish five piece but it is the song that gets you prepared to voyage through a 17 song journey. It is almost like the band put the track here as a warm up seeing as there are elements in the opener that are consistent throughout the album. These elements include chorded guitar riffs on top of a drum groove that dominates most of the songs. In fact as much as I loved how the drums rarely went into a simple high hat snare drum beat, the drumming seems to dominate most of the album. Particularly in the opener where a combination of bass drum and tom drums give off the feeling of pulling the music out from the earth.

If you’re looking for a new black metal band to listen to you may want to keep looking. Although there are some black metal elements to ‘Spirit The Earth Aflame’ there are not enough to keep the regular black metal enthusiast happy. To begin the album isn’t littered with blast beats but rather beats with rhythm that help carry the songs. A second reason those who thought this band was black metal will be disappointed is because the guitar parts do not involve the tremolo picking of dissonant notes. It by no means is an evil sounding album and I don’t think the band set out to make it an evil sounding album or for that matter to make evil sounding music which is a very different idea in today’s metal.

My biggest problem with the album is that it also has a few live tracks that by no means match the sound quality of the studio tracks. The hard hitting drums that I grew accustomed to hearing became hard to hear when it came time for the bands cover of ‘Total Destruction’ by Bathory. I can’t seem to understand why they would include these live tracks after having a great beginning.

After listening to the entire CD, I must recommend that anyone who wants to give Primordial a try should listen to the second track on the album titled, ‘Gods to Godless.’ It is by far the best track on the album with heavy guitar and once again drums that seem to take control over the music. The band even threw in a bass solo half way through the song to add some more flavour.

Over all ‘Spirit the Earth Aflame’ is a decent mix of two albums put together. The sound quality is great until you get to the live songs. The music isn’t bad if it’s what you’re into. As far as the original studio recorded songs, great in almost every department; they’re heavy, melodic and just over all very well written. As far as the live tracks go they could have been mastered again to keep out the buzz that no one wants to have ringing in the ear piece of their headphone.

Rating – 6

     

About Dan Clark

I'm a student at the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania who is working on becoming a journalist. I have an interest in all genres of music but focus primarily on Metal, Punk, and Alternative Rock.

2 Responses to “Album Review: Primordial – Spirit The Earth Aflame”

  1. doing some research on the band I came to find that ‘Spirit The Earth Aflame,’ is nothing more than two old releases (‘Imrama’ and ‘A Journey’s End’) put together to come out with a two disk album with a total of 17 songs that span just over an hour and a half.
    …..complete crap! This is their 3rd full length album released after Imrama and Journeys. So do your research better!

  2. Sorry, Missed that. What I was trying to get at is that their is older material on this album from songs that appear on both Imarama and Journeys. Sorry