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Nice, but not by any means original - 80%

Idrownfish, July 8th, 2010

The recently added "random band" link is not exactly as useful as I thought it would be (the amount of crappy bands that released a demo and split up twenty years ago only to show up at your screen is impressive) but it does give you the chance to listen to interesting bands from which you would have never heard about in any other way. Everytime it happens to me (twice in total. Meh.) I review something that the band recorded, so after downloading it (oh, come on, it is simply impossible for me to actually put my hands on a copy) I am here to say that this is a surprising release.

Not surprising because it has quality, since according to the band’s myspace Primal Order was born from the ashes of several other bands, therefore the mature songwriting that is present in this recording is expected even if this is the band’s first release, but surprising because this is a 2010 release that approaches death metal in a very traditional way. Instead of relying on synthesizers and other kinds of equipment in order to generate the fancy effects that are regularly seen in contemporary death metal, the whole recording seems to be made with two guitars, drums and human voice (there might be bass here, but if there is the bassist wasted his time). Six of the tracks start with cymbals announcing the soon-to-come music, which makes everything sound sincere and traditional.

This album is far away from being a display of technique, yet technically speaking it doesn’t fall short. It is filled with creative riffs and interesting breakdowns, which makes the whole experience overwhelmingly catchy yet unpredictable as hell. The vocals are as harsh as death metal vocals can possibly be, yet the vocalist (who frys every single note) often reaches the modal register, which makes his vocals sound like black metal vocals sometimes. The omnipresent drum breakdowns rarely fail to impress, and the tempo is changed often during each track. Solos sometimes kick in, usually during mid-paced sections, and although they are not always melodically interesting, they all make you headbang like crazy.

The album, however, does have its flaws. Some breakdowns end up being unintentionally sucky (mainly in Doombringer), sometimes the listener gets barraged by a wall of noise (the most memorable one appears just before the solo that closes “Lust” and I can’t help but feel that each track doesn’t really stand out from the next one. Actually, without considering “The Conqueror”, which is by far the best track present here, few passages are extremely memorable.

This is album that provides intense headbanging and would be great if played live, but is not by any means original. It does sound like old (and good) death metal, but in the middle of several death metal albums of the 90’s it doesn’t really stand out. It is nice to see something that tries to resurrect a style that died just a few years after I was born, but this album is more noticeable because of its release date than because of its quality. Conform is undeniably good, but not a must-have.