It’s been four years since I last heard an offering from this Irish quartet, but their four year hiatus from releasing material has been far from idle. Indeed, notwithstanding line-up instability the band have undergone a major stylistic upheaval and reinvention. So, what have we been left with?
To begin, fans of “The Euthanasia Programme” may want to approach this somewhat hesitantly, as gone is the ambitious nature of the long, progressive and technical Death Metal showcased on that EP. It has been replaced by a much simpler, more aggressive intense mixture of Black, Death and Thrash Metal. The overall effect is very extreme, with the music blending the best bits of their listed influences. Indeed, to take one look at their My Space friends list, is to see exactly what kind of music you should expect. Everything from MARDUK to ANGEL CORPSE as well as the best selection of the flourishing Aussie Black/Thrash scene.
The material is a definite improvement, as is the direction, but the execution is at times lacking, with certain tightness problems. The production likewise isn’t ‘as good,’ though this should be lauded rather than criticized because it is much more in key with the intended effect. The guitar sound is buried in a muddy, dank mass of noise, with the aggressive ‘pop’ of the snare being the key supporter of an aggressive and militant ambience.
Opener “Wrath Of The Righteous” blasts forth with the ferocity of a blackened ANGEL CORPSE, but there does seem to be a deeper purpose behind the music. Although PRIMAL DAWN do maintain their negative emotion, through a confessed hatred of the value’s of today’s values; within the lyrics and reflected in the music, is a more positive and constructive purpose - a frustrated scream for betterment.
Not much by way of conclusion, this EP contains some brilliant and strong material showcasing the successful development of the band’s identity. Moreover, the slightly positive feel is uniquely successful and wholly refreshing, leaving PRIMAL DAWN as, at the very least, one of the more interesting contenders in their field. (Online June 14, 2006)