Primordial - _Spirit the Earth Aflame_
(Hammerheart, 2000)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
Following such a superb record as _A Journey's End_ [CoC #33] and an MCD like _The Burning Season_ [CoC #45], I expected nothing but sheer brilliance from _Spirit the Earth Aflame_. And after the title-track intro, "Gods to the Godless" provides you with an immediate taste of the impressive feeling, atmosphere and strength Primordial can imbue their music with. It is very epic and sombre, with an instrumental side similar to _A Journey's End_ (as is generally the case throughout) and offers the first indications that Nemtheanga's clean vocals still are not replacing his harsh vox, which in fact abound throughout _StEA_. The record reveals itself more epic and overall less doomy than _A Journey's End_ (though it still certainly has quite a doomy atmosphere), with dark, hateful passages arising more often than on its predecessor -- especially impressive during "Gods to the Godless". The third track "The Soul Must Sleep" is also very good indeed, doomier and very emotional, and is then followed by the title track from the _Spirit the Earth Aflame_ MCD -- another very good song that fits perfectly within the album, though a bit of a waste for those who own the MCD. Another mid-paced track, "Glorious Dawn", then follows, carrying vitriolic black vox throughout and a very effective fast passage. The highly evocative and war-like instrumental "The Cruel Sea" then precedes the album's final track, "Children of the Harvest", which is a less than brilliant closer but still acceptable. Overall, _StEA_ did not disappoint me despite my huge expectations, although it was not every bit as amazing as I though it could be -- maybe I expected too much from the band, but only time will tell. In any case, _StEA_ is very satisfactory: emotional, intelligent and quietly majestic.

(article published 12/8/2000)

5/19/1999 P Azevedo Primordial: Dark Songs of Erenn
3/4/2012 P Azevedo 7.5 Primordial - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
12/2/2007 K Sarampalis 10 Primordial - To the Nameless Dead
3/10/2005 P Azevedo 9.5 Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
9/1/2002 P Azevedo 9 Primordial - Storm Before Calm
1/15/2000 P Azevedo 9 Primordial - The Burning Season
9/1/1998 P Azevedo 9 Primordial - A Journey's End
3/14/1996 N Bassett 8 Primordial - Imrama
2/20/2006 P Azevedo Primordial / Ceasa / The Ransack O Discerning Portuguese Metalheads, Where Are Ye?
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