Having been won over by the third album Prophetae from Polish black metal project Primal, the sending over of the band’s first full-length Deathzone just meant we had to take a swift look. Unsurprisingly the album compared to the later release is less defined in its savage yet alluring soundscapes with a more caustic rawness fuelling the ravenous atmospheres and pestilential enterprise uncaged, yet the intrusive imagination and stark confrontational tempestuousness which equally made Prophetae stand out, are already a strongly brewing temptation within Deathzone.
Formed in 2008, Primal is the solo project of Warsaw musician/songwriter PrimalOne. Before the 2011 release of Deathzone he had released a couple of demos in the shape of Ominous Deity and a self-titled EP, both in 2010, and been part of Chapel of Fear, a split release with Iugulatus and Deep Desolation a year later. Post the debut album, 2012 saw the release of two albums in Prorok and Obłęd as well as the Duch EP with another EP called Matka Noc coming out, along with Prophetae, the following year; latest album Muzyka żałobna getting its release in 2014.
Deathzone opens with the magnetic and haunting entrance of Angel’s Hatred, its sinister coaxing soon a boiling cauldron of vocal enmity and sonic tempestuousness driven by barbarous rhythms. As has become expected in a Primal release, unpredictability enjoyably afflicts the attack and invention of the song, a strength just as ripe on this first full-length as in later encounters. Predatory and tantalising, the track is a stirring start to Deathzone with its blackened infestation of varied metal bred flavours, and matched in creative kind by the savage and nagging trespass on the senses of Wrath of the God. The guttural insidious texture of PrimalOne’s vocals is perpetual spite, inflaming and tempering the searing ebb and flow of sonic enterprise and melodic toxicity as guitars virtually stalk the imagination with dark ravenous rhythms in tow.
Across the album some striking guitar solos are offered by guest Markiz, the second track at times a cauldron of his craft as too moments within the bestial air and body of the album’s title track. At times the coherency of the blazing exploits of Markiz with the cavernous and tenebrific sound and heart of the song are less than polished, but constantly the combination is accomplished and gripping throughout the whole of Deathzone, song and album.
A flirtation of an instrumental allows a taking of breath before Book of Revelation crawls menacingly and intriguingly into the imagination. Its steely tendrils and winy sonic endeavour is a riveting spicing and lead into to the track’s immersive and addictively inhospitable maelstrom, a successful ravishment in many ways breeding the following demonic smog posing as The Prophecy, an incitement of torment beleaguered wails around a satanic narrator, which in turn makes way for Liars and its compelling dark hearted canter of ruinous intent crafted into virulent predation fuelled rock ‘n’ roll.
Completed by the raw, almost apocalyptic landscape and turbulence of Son of the Morning, a song which gets harsher and more vicious with each passing of its nine minutes, and more riveting, Deathzone is a powerful encounter which now viewed retrospectively reveals many of the ingredients and strengths which made Prophetae, our introduction to Primal, a thoroughly enjoyable and stirring release. Deathzone is also an album which grows with each listen to stand on its own as a worthy proposal for closer attention.
Deathzone is available now via The End Of Time Records as a name your price download @ http://primalband.bandcamp.com/album/deathzone
Pete RingMaster 21/10/2015
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