2010 : Metal Blade Records
Format : 2 x DVD
Primordial are one of those enigma bands that are hard to pigeon hole, blending elements of Black and Death metal, 70′s Hard Rock as well as Celtic folk influences. For me it’s a recipe for one of the most dynamic, and probably underrated Heavy Metal bands of all time. Due to the bands use of Celtic imagery and several songs proclaiming the deeds of their Irish heritage, most of the time the band is labeled as Pagan Metal, and that works as well as any.
The first disc of this double DVD set begins with a January 2009 show in the bands hometown of Dublin and as you can imagine, the crowd is completely focused on the band. The show is shot with several different cameras, some of them from within the crowd itself. It’s chaotic and constantly moving, shifting seamlessly from one angle to the next. Sometimes throwing in slow motion or slightly out of focus bits just to keep it interesting. As cheesy as it may sound, it does give you the feeling of “being there”. You can almost smell the smoke and beer soaked sweat.
The thirteen tracks pretty much run the gambit of the bands career and the sound is spectacular, a testament to a near 20 year span. I don’t think you can find a set of more accomplished musicians in all of metal. And lording over it all is the corpse painted vocalist Alan Averill. For my money, this guy has the best set of pipes going and….he understands showmanship. He pulls you in like some psychotic Shakespearean actor from bygone days.
And isn’t this what it’s really all about? You’ve got to have the chops to play live and do it well, sure, but why do I want to drop my hard earned cash to see some idiot trying to look as eeevil as possible, standing between some third rate Halloween props or worse yet, some Nathan Explosion look alike who only moves to windmill his hair. Give me 50 foot horned skulls, shooting flames from the nostrils and spitting fountains of blood. Ok, maybe that’s extreme, but give me a fucking SHOW…and Alan knows how to deliver.
And while disc one is just a great concert film, hell, my 14 year old top 40 radio daughter walks in and asks, “Is it wrong that I like this?”, disc two is pure fanboy gold. There’s clips from three festival shows in 2008, interviews and a documentary on the band.
Bottom line, most concert DVDs are “fan only” affairs and can be pretty boring. This is extremely well done and anything but. It’s one I’ve already drug back out a few times and know will continue to earn it’s moneys worth.