Primordial – Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand
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Primordial have never released a weak or mediocre album. This is because of their old school ethics towards a unique sound and chemistry, not to forget Alan Averill's strong voice; the lyrical balance between logic, history and philosophy works in their favour.
Enter Redemption at the Puritan's Hand, "the death album". In art's tradition of introspection on one's deeds and misdeeds, it is a seasoned look at faith and mortality. Those familiar with the band's past know Primordial's place as outsiders to spirituality. Yet this time, they look from the inside through more than one lens. Cases in point: "Lain with the Wolf" and "God's Old Snake" reference opposing belief systems, respectively portraying an embrace of one's bestial nature over religious standards, and a purpose in life through spiritual revelations.
While they also stick to universality, evidenced by the politically-specific "The Black Hundred" and "Death of the Gods", Primordial have taken a step back for self-inspection. The songwriting has taken a slight detour, opting for less heaviness to match Alan's meditations. Though a less heavy Primordial might not sound appealing, the opposite route would miss what helps set Redemption apart from most other metal. Extreme metal fits with extreme feelings, and a heavier record about death would ill fit these stories, which neither romanticize or vilify the topic.
Redemption is an anthology about death and belief that gains more meaning on each read and listen. The songs gain strength from one another more than on their own; though "No Grave Deep Enough" stands powerfully on its own with militant 6/8 beats and the vocals' sudden spring into tune. From accepting one's "sins" through lack of faith to questioning religion during times of crisis, the album avoids ideological extremes, even with its autographical slant. It takes tact and experience to avoid getting carried away with death and faith, and Primordial show yet again that they have both.
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"Lain with the Wolf"
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"Bloodied Yet Unbowed"
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