Metal Blade has been churning out PRIMORDIAL reissues in full force because the originals are out of print. The Storm Before Calm reissue deserves some revisiting as there are a few gems on this disc.
Seconds within hitting the play button, the songs have been noticeably remastered with a cleaner sound and heavy hitting production. “The Heretic’s Age” grasps hold quickly with the Celtic inspired/black metal riffing that separates PRIMORDIAL from other bands within the genre. Their mid-paced style always incorporates minor chords and gloomy hooks mixed with great vocal lines. The drumming is more than adequate, and while the guitars keep consistent with the black metal style, it is singer A.A. Nemtheanga who plays an integral part of this band. Nemtheanga’s clean vocal breakdowns alway signify the catchy parts of PRIMORDIAL tracks.
As “Fallen to Ruin” starts with an acoustic intro, the energy picks up and crescendos ever so slightly into a dark and moving piece. Although “Cast to the Pyre” drags the album down a bit, the band segues nicely with each song, and “Suns First Rays” paints a grandiose picture with an excellent black metal feel with hints of Irish influences. The instrumental, “What Sleeps Within,” displays their Irish pride with riffs influenced from Irish folk songs, and once again distinguishes PRIMORDIAL’s unique style from the average folk black metal band from Europe. Towards the latter stage of the album, “Sons of the Morrigan” is quite the gem, as it ends with a brilliant riff that sticks in your head. The last track, “Hosting of the Sidhe,” is just filler, but makes the listener want more, and with longer songs than the average band, Storm Before Calm produces a full experience with only 7 tracks.
While the reissue includes a live DVD as an extra incentive, the songs alone should garner interest for fans of To the Nameless Dead, and reinvigorate old fans that have forgotten about this album. (Metal Blade Records)