Primordial - _The Burning Season_
(Hammerheart, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
While _A Journey's End_ [CoC #33] was one of 1998's finest and most surprising releases for me, 1999 comes to an end without the release of a new full-length from Primordial, which is a shame. But with the band now signed to Hammerheart after the end of Misanthropy Records, _The Burning Season_ is an MCD intended to fill the gap between _A Journey's End_ and the next Primordial full-length. It contains two new songs and two re-recordings. "The Calling", which is basically an excellent long kind of intro, and "The Burning Season" are the novelties. The title track, which is therefore the main highlight as far as new material is concerned, is what might be called expectable (in a good way) after _A Journey's End_: not very different, but still excellent. The progressive blackening of Alan's voice towards the end of the song is especially remarkable. "Among the Lazarae" is a seven year old song from their _Dark Romanticism_ demo tape, but this re-recording turned out to be a highly enjoyable track for me as well. (Not knowing the original, I cannot compare the two versions.) Very slow and doomy start, followed by a spoken section, and then out of nowhere comes a blackened fast part with matching vocal delivery and great, subtle guitar melody. It then becomes slower again and eventually ends with another spoken part. Finally, closing track "Let the Sun Set on Life Forever" (quite an evocative song title as well) is a re-recording from their debut _Imrama_ [CoC #8]. Another slow and doomy start leading to a highly effective blackened attack which then slows down again, but despite the similar description the song is quite different from "Among the Lazarae". Personally, I find this new version of "Let the Sun Set on Life Forever" superior to the original one from _Imrama_, and it's not simply a direct re-recording just to get a different production on the same song. Primordial have again achieved a superb blend of dark emotion, atmosphere and music with this half-hour long MCD, which wasn't easy considering it includes two re-recordings. I can hardly wait for their next full-length.

(article published 15/1/2000)

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