Now this is a real discovery! I’m sure we will be hearing a lot more from PRIMEVAL MASS, because on Nine Altars they have created a smoking blast of evil metal that rips at every turn. This is even more amazing when you learn that this is basically the work of one guy named Orth, who is influenced by everything from CORONER to STORMWITCH to ABSU to RUSH. You can actually hear those influences, and more, during the course of the album!
On the whole, PRIMEVAL MASS is driven by speed, although they are capable of slower and more melodic moments. First two cuts ‘Circle Of Skulls’ and ‘The Irkallan Born’ are jolts of thrashing speed metal with a heavy early ’80s flavor. You can hear early KREATOR and DESTRUCTION for sure here, but it’s not a slavish ripoff, and there’s a merging of different styles that keeps Orth’s work from just being a clever tribute. The differences become more apparent on ‘Night Rapture’, which captures a kind of progressive thrash vibe merged with black metal darkness. Then we have a blazing instrumental ‘Amidst Twin Horizons’, where the guitar work just absolutely shreds with melodies like MERCYFUL FATE meeting IRON MAIDEN.
The best is yet to come, because ‘Burning Sorcery’ and ‘Firecrowned’ unleash incredibly technical riffs at the speed of a nuclear cyclone. Seriously, this is jaw-dropping stuff that trashes a lot of tech-death wankery and still retains a classic metal vibe. The album ends with the epic and completely different ‘The Hourglass Still’, which is much slower and more melodic. Here I am reminded of the slower stuff from GOD DETHRONED. Honestly, the song is at least three minutes too long, but the wailing guitar solo in the middle of this again demonstrates Orth’s guitar skills. Also, I have to mention the guy is also a beast on drums and PRIMEVAL MASS really sounds like the work of an actual band instead of just one talented guy.
I cannot imagine this will remain buried in the deep underground for long. This is the kind of band that Metal Blade, Season of Mist or Century Media should be looking to sign. A tremendous record all the way around!
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
Kaloptron IX Records
5.5 / 6