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Sunday, December 11, 2011
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Polish one-man army Primal (run by a guy who calls himself PrimalOne; you might remember his name from his collaboration with Iugulatus and Deep Desolation) was formed in 2008, and as from the beginning of this decade, Primal have been pretty productive. With both bands mentioned above there was a split in 2011 (called Chapel Of Fear), and besides a couple of demonstrational recordings, Primal recorded and released several EP’s and full lengths in mean time. This review deals with the first full album, originally released at the very end of 2011, a co-operation in between two young but promising and upcoming labels, Quid Est Veritas Productions and The End Of Time Records. The release is limited to five hundred (hand-numbered) copies, by the way.

The album consists of eight tracks, two short ones and six that last in between six and nine minutes. And what these compositions stand for, well, an adept like me gets horny by thinking about this material only. Deathzone stands for filthy, obscure, even occult Black Metal with an unusual Old School vibe. Old styled it certainly is, yet not of the predictable kind. It’s not like this album sounds as if it were part of the Second Wave current; no Nordic epics or pre-post-Black assault are to be heard right here. No, this material has something rather specific, rather differing from the majority. There is (subtle) a hint of mechanical grandeur (drum computer, not?), and the riffing too isn’t of the natural kind either. And that might be difficult to digest, because this uncomfortable sound might bother some. Also the sulphuric vocals and the contradictorious riffing are points of intolerable acceptance in case you do not dare to enter new dimensions. I for myself, and if you dare to be subject to this stuff you will too, cannot but hail the grotesque intensity and persuasion, the crafted experience and the will to create another dimension of utter bleakness. Seriously, despite the totally sick and asphyxiating approach, Primal’s material has something unique, something not been done before (or at least not that often). The thrashing solos, the noisy production, the unique contrast in between melodies and rhythms; it’s just a glimpse of PrimalOne’s vision on the (current) scene. There’s pride, but it’s not epic; there’s a primitive and nihilistic approach, but it’s not lo-fi; there is a suffocation and abyssal obscurity in sound, but it is not cheap; there is an atmosphere of primal ugliness, but it is not traditional - at all. As a matter of fact, Primal created something that is hardly evident, but distinctive and apart from the majority. And still this material fits within the acceptable limitation of unacceptable anti-limitations. Isn’t that a sweet compliment? No, seriously, despite the little wretched and forced production, the result called Deathzone can be considered a milestone, for it is unique, and harsh but oh so beautiful.

Mingle some Hoth with Satanic Warmaster, spice this stuff with some Graveland and Gorath, pour a little of Kuturlat and Aderlating on it, dress the whole with early Bathory and Gorgoroth, and finish the stuff with hints of Watain and Iugulatus. The result might be extremely tasty… Primal ear-food…