Album Review – Primeval Mass / To Empyrean Thrones (2016)

A primeval and aggressive feast of Black Metal crafted by a proficient and occult one-man army from Greece that will darkly guide your soul to empyrean thrones.

Rating4

cover“Amongst the Ruins of Cosmos…To Amaranthine Empyrean Thrones.”

Although there are tons of Black Metal one-man armies spread all over the world, and despite getting accustomed to their undeniable talent and eccentricity, I have to say those lonesome metallers of evil continue to impress me every single time I get to review their music. This time, what we have in our hands is a top-tier feast of the occult entitled To Empyrean Thrones, the brand new release by Greek Black Metal act Primeval Mass. If you love the heavy and thrashy sound of sheer aggression and the disturbing sense of pitch black darkness, you’ll have a blast listening to this excellent album.

Spawned at the dawn of the 2nd millennium in Athens, Greece by multi-instrumentalist and warlock Orth, Primeval Mass have been causing a significant impact in the underworld of extreme music with each and every release since the band’s inception, which includes two full-length albums (As Solemn Maelstrom… and Blood Breathing Idols), a couple of demos and some split records. However, after taking a listen at the band’s previous releases, it becomes clear that To Empyrean Thrones (conceived, arranged and performed in its entirety by Orth) is by far Primeval Mass’ boldest, most solid and most exhilarating opus to date. In addition to that, I guess I don’t need to mention how kick-ass the album art is. Designed by the exceptionally talented Karmazid, it’s incandescent, obscure, and therefore perfect for representing high-quality Black Metal.

There couldn’t be a better way to start the album than with the creepy and atmospheric In Fiery Ascent, which intro goes on for almost three minutes in a great display of Blackened Doom before darkness rises in the form of blasting Black Metal. Orth showcases his total control of all instruments during the almost ten minutes of blasphemy brought forth in this ruthless tune, followed by the amazing For Astral Triumphs. Orth definitely puts the pedal to the metal in this great composition, growling like a possessed beast amidst nonstop blast beats and endless savagery, with its harmonious guitar riffs and solos bringing balance and intricacy to the overall result.

primeval massAdding Death Metal and especially Thrash Metal elements to the music, with some riffs reminding me of the early days of Slayer, Orth fires another high-octane demented tune to haunt our souls named Their Eyes of the Abyss, one of my favorite tracks where his harsh vocals rise to a whole new satanic level. And when you think Orth will keep storming our souls with his fast and furious brutality, he surprises us all with Behind the Watching Shadows, a melancholic instrumental Doom Metal aria spreading despair and sorrow through its soulful riffs and sluggish beats. Of course, it doesn’t take too long for the sonic havoc to start again with yet another thrashier than usual Black Metal tune called With the Emblem of the Blackwinged (beautiful song name, by the way), with its disturbingly amazing rhythm enhanced by Orth’s hellish growling. Moreover, its unstoppable drumming will puncture your ears while the guitar lines will cut your flesh like a sharp razor during its seven minutes of mean and ruthless music.

Going back to the foundations of Black Metal, the ambience becomes the main element in The Grand Ordeal, with Orth’s solid guitar lines guiding the musicality together with his bloodthirsty growls, whereas in Hour of the Stellarnaut, a professional exhibit of what true Black Metal can offer fans of extreme music, our fearless metaller breathes fire an sulfur through all instruments. And how about a 12-minute dark opus entitled The Mansions of Night to conclude the album? Featuring hints of Doom Metal, this is a powerful and complex composition that switches from slower but brutally heavy passages to extremely fast riffs and beats, culminating in a spot-on Stygian ending. I’m not sure how Orth can keep that level of ferocity on vocals for such a long period of time, but the final result is amazing anyway.

In summary, To Empyrean Thrones sounds so professional and impactful it’s hard to believe only one single person was responsible for giving birth to such a strong album. Well, that’s the reason why Black Metal never gets stale, thanks to the passion skillful musicians like Orth have for this type of music, and I can’t wait to listen to his future endeavors if he continues following this hellish path.  Thus, in case you want to join him in his shadowy journey to empyrean thrones, all you have to do is connect to Primeval Mass through the band’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, SoundCloud or ReverbNation, and get your copy of the album at the Primeval Mass’ official BandCamp page.

Best moments of the album: For Astral Triumphs, Their Eyes of the Abyss and With the Emblem of the Blackwinged.

Worst moments of the album: The Grand Ordeal.

Released in 2016 Katoptron IX Records

Track listing
1. In Fiery Ascent 9:55
2. For Astral Triumphs 7:29
3. Their Eyes of the Abyss 4:04
4. Behind the Watching Shadows 4:45
5. With the Emblem of the Blackwinged 7:02
6. The Grand Ordeal 4:05
7. Hour of the Stellarnaut 2:56
8. The Mansions of Night 12:06

Band members
Orth – vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, bass, storms and invocations

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