Prophetae is the third album from one man Polish black metal project Primal, an encounter which immerses imagination and senses in an investigative compelling web of sound and emotion. Exploring the themes of madness, darkness, cruelty, and the beauty of apocalyptic prophecies as well as delving into the insanity of man’s minds in creating them, the five track release unveils a tortuous seduction and a caressing abrading which envelopes and permeates everything from ears down to emotions. It is a challenging encounter but one which is simultaneously enthralling and intrusive in its touch, an expanse of starkly toned soundscapes and ravenous fermentation.
Primal is the work of Warsaw musician/songwriter PrimalOne, a project he began in 2008. Across the years he has released a couple of demos, Ominous Deity and a self-titled EP both in 2010, a split with Iugulatus and Deep Desolation, and a couple of albums starting with Deathzone in 2011 and Obłęd a year later, the pair split by the Duch EP. Recorded in 2012 also and released to the rear of last year, Prophetae is bred from the constant anger and defiance to religious idiocy which marks PrimalOne’s creativity and work. As the quintet of songs soaks through the pores and submerges ears, there is a ripe passion aligned to antagonism which spurs on the invention and intent of the pieces, it alone bringing stern textures and imposing structure to the tempestuous evocation of the tracks.
I opens up the release, church bells laying out their persuasion before being suffocated in an avalanche of destructive rhythms and carnivorous riffs; all determined to challenge and consume the suggestive religious peace. The track is ferocious and merciless in its ravaging of the ears, blackening out light and escape as its vitriolic narrative is offered through heavy nasally spoken words and aural predation. The track alone is an exhausting experience, its moments of respite and melodic acidity as magnetic as the fury before and around them. It is not the most violent encounter you will come across within black and extreme metal but one of the most incessant and insatiable, a description applying to the whole album.
The raw breath and glaze of the track adds to the corrosive provocation and pagan-esque whispers of the premise, fuelling extra venom and beauty in the more patient and classically honed parts, a potent blend emerging again in II. From its dark cavernous depths, the track coaxes and seduces the imagination, rhythms ensuring intimidation and danger is lurking whilst the resonating elegance of the track’s entrance brews a rapturous appetite. The track is soon unbolting its raucous energy and corruptive intensity, guitars winding their incendiary and inflaming melodic toxins throughout the heavy attrition spawned body of the track. There is a bolder anthemic urgency to the track than to the first but only within a determined stalking of the listener, the again spoken and generally unintelligible but thought inspiring vocals adding to the dark demonic drama and senses binding success of the track.
The seven minutes III is relatively short within the album but wastes no times in notching up the raw caustic surface lure of the album, steering the listener through a blackened network of crowding sonic corridors and emotive windings, all converging to test and provoke with insidious charm and uncompromising intent. As the track plays out the body feels as if locked in a dungeon of intense and chilling incitement, trapped underground with a coarse and scourge bred presence which toys with the psyche whilst sparking multiple incendiary reactions.
From the choral sample waking up IV, the track prowls and probes the senses; its lumbering gait dignified yet threatening as sonic flames circle over the smouldering venom you feel brewing within. The track never veers from the object of its steely glaze, twisted vocals adding their evocative narrative to the unmovable intent of sound and intensity. Waves of urgency and muscular intimidation ebb and flow across the track, never diverting it from its focus, the masterful and magnetic repetitious core as infectious as the guitar craft and fiery atmospheres around it.
The closing V opens as its predecessor and with a more voracious and vicious volition emulates its unbridled and unyielding persecution of its recipient. It is only part of the story though as haunting and ingeniously warped twists of the opening vocal harmonies bring a blackened angelic colour to the pestilential glory of the track, whilst there is a general discordance to the tone and heart of the excellent track which draws a rich submission.
Prophetae is not a kind or easy listen but unreservedly rewarding, a full stimulation to thoughts and emotions. There are moments where the album has an arguably unadventurous evolution across tracks which are for the main 10 to 11 minutes long, deviations in sonic and imposing scenery minimal but such the power and potency of the bait it does not become obvious until hindsight kicks in. The album is an absorbing triumph nevertheless and Primal a proposition which deserves proper attention.
Prophetae is available through Q.E.V.Productions/The End Of Time Records now.
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