Based in the UK, a country surprisingly (and disappointingly) sparse in quality Melodic Metal bands, it’s great to hear a class act like Primitai flying the flag so confidently for old Blighty. Fledgling UK Metal bands (who aren’t pummeling their way down the extreme metal path) tend to aim for the tried and tested we-invented-it-after-all NWOBHM or True Metal route, some plump for Power Metal, many choose a Doom inspired or retro sound and there’s plenty of AOR/Hard Rock acts sprinkled around. It’s often forgotten that early 80’s UK acts like Tygers Of Pan Tang, Praying Mantis, Chateaux and post-Bruce era Samson were really Melodic Metal bands riding along on the NWOBHM wave, all getting more melodic as the 80’s continued. But the quality of US and European Metal in the late 80’s really swamped UK Melodic Metal bands with Kerrang’s US biased coverage virtually killing them off completely by the 90’s.
That was then, and Primitai are now, possessing UK Metal core but not afraid to embrace the Metal pedigree of scenes outside the UK (an approach that’s working very well for the aforementioned Tygers Of Pan Tang nowadays). Primitai having been honing their style and turning out quality releases for over 10 years now – this being their 5th full length outing. The experience of being the go-to UK band when support slots are being offered has clearly helped the band mature and that professional, mature song-writing is evident throughout the album. It’s a heavy album too, the emphasis is on Metal, which is also great to hear – once the orchestral intro is spent it’s full-on Metal all the way, not a ballad in sight!
There’s some great guitar work as you would expect (and hope for), whether it’s a cracking riff or shredding lead work, Primitai tick all the boxes. This excellent guitar is backed perfectly by heavy drums, splashed with double-kick and thundering bass. Vocalist Guy Miller is on his 4th album with the band and has been a key ingredient in crafting the band’s sound to the point it is at today. For those who haven’t heard the band before, the vocals are somewhere between Peavy Wagner (Smolski-era Rage, rather than his testicle-twisting earlier style), especially on tracks like ‘Into The Light’ and ‘Curse Of Olympus’, coupled with Carsten Schulz, that when combined with the music gives Primitai an audible link to Domain and especially Evidence One. The lyrics are intelligent and there’s plenty of memorable choruses (‘Into The Light’, ‘No Survivors’ etc.).
Primitai come across like a confident Metal unit who are now refining rather than forming their sound. With a hopefully settled line-up, this album builds nicely on 2016’s “Night Brings Insanity”, taking the elements that worked that time around and building on them. This is an album full of great songs and entertaining Metal moments, from a band who sound like they are really coming into their own. As a Brit myself, Primitai make me hopeful for the UK Metal scene once more and long may they continue.
(8/10 Andy Barker)