Primal - _Prorok_
(Quid Est Veritas Productions, 2012)
by: Dan Lake (8 out of 10)
"This work is about madness, darkness, cruelty and beauty of apocaliptic [sic] prophecies, and about insanity of man's minds creating them."

So states the minimalist monochrome cover art that accompanies the brutally raw five-movement statement called _Prorok_ by Polish solo project Primal. Four of _Prorok_'s segments stretch beyond the ten-minute mark, turning the album into a Weakling-esque test of blackened willpower. _Prorok_ doesn't flirt with the sort of grandiose structures peddled by _Dead as Dreams_, but Primal's songs certainly share the tendency to express expansive atmospheres within the din. In the first track, subtly multiplying church bells are quickly overcome by jagged guitar torture and infeasibly fast percussion. In fact, the drums are so shockingly compressed and high in the mix that, whenever they're present, they absolutely rule the music. When the vocals wander out of the murk, they don't adopt any of the styles proscribed by modern extreme music, sounding instead like Princess Leia's Boushh-obscured voice reading poetry to Jabba in the belly of the Sarlacc.

This is a work of supreme antagonism. Primal seem to want very much not to be listened to, so unapproachable is their sound. But the metal audience seeks out and embraces the unlistenable, and _Prorok_ offers just enough musicality within its barbed and hulking mass to entice the more masochistic among us. You will not pump your fist or bang your head, but you will be eviscerated and your liberated abdominal organs will mouth secret blasphemies to you in a stark and slimy language. Within the pain, you will listen.


(article published 12/5/2013)

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