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ALBUM OF THE YEAR! - 100%

Ulver_, November 9th, 2005

Well, it was clear that it would finally come down to this. "The Gathering Wilderness" is Primordial's gift to humanity. All these years of label changes, insecurities and struggling to survive in the metal scene strengthened Primordial and they also made them more "bitter".

In 2005, with the strong shadow of a big label finally covering them, the Irish quintet returns with their 5th album. Which is their best. "The Gathering Wilderness" is a sum of all that make metal music what it is: passionate, dark, authentic, heartfelt, raw, aggressive, epic, lyrical, mournful, sincere, in one word...metal.

Nowadays, metal music has lost its way, up to a certain point. Trends and attitudes that weaken it appear every day. So, this is the time when bands like Primordial and album like this are needed. Primordial show us the grim face of reality in their own undisputed way. Musicwise, what I heard is a divine mix of epic Bathory, Burzum with Primordial earlier attempts. I know I may sound blasphemous, but this album has nothing to be jealous of "Hammerheart". It's true. The raw and ugly production of Billy Anderson makes the band's sound as strong as never before. Another highlight is the riffs. Oh my God! A songwriting orgasm is what I hear, inspiration is the 6th member of Primordial I guess. Nemtheanga's vocals I left for the end...he sings in such a passionate way, I cannot believe it. It's been years since I last heard such a performance, he's devastatingly expressive and believable. All vocals are "clean" with only some black metal-ish shrieks remaining. But, don't worry, this album is more "black metal" than many other corpsepainted wannabes...Oh well, this is "The Gathering Wilderness", the best metal album for 2005. Embrace it.