Primitai – ‘The Calling’ album review

Band: Primitai
Album: The Calling
Release Date: 26th May, 2018
Label: Dissonance

 

 

Review by Sean

 

The opening is different to the usual Primitai fare. Here we actually get an intro track, as opposed to just firing into the album. It’s odd, but pleasant. It’s a sign that the band are making something that they want to be seen as bigger, more polished, and I like it, for what it is. There’s some simple strings mixed in with some synth work, and it sets the eerie tone for the first proper track.
Said track is called ‘Demons Inside’, and… it’s odd, again. There’s one or two spots where the key seems a bit off, but I’m guessing it was done intentionally to bring on a feeling of being uncomfortable. Also, given the track and what it’s about, it actually fits. The guitars are on point though, as you’d expect from what I consider to be genuinely two of the most underrated guitarists about right now. Massive kudos to Srdjan Bilic and Sergio Giron (hereafter referred to as Power Surge) because,as I’ll point out more and more throughout the review, their telepathy and playing is beyond comparison.

‘Overdrive’ is the first single from the album, and if you’ve looked into the band at all recently, you’ll likely have heard this. It’s more of the usual Primitai sound; catchy chorus that you’ll try (and fail) to match vocalist Guy Miller on, a pounding and driving rhythm section, thanks to the new (album-wise) partnership of Jonathan Warren (drums) and Scott Miller (bass), and exceptional 80s styled metal guitar work from Power Surge.
Next track ‘Curse of Olympus’ was my favourite the first time I listened to this album. It’s a sign of a more grown up group of guys, that keep their signature sound but also work to add something to it. The sound over the whole album is more polished, and no more so than on this track. It’s a highlight for sure, and a definite good sign that the lads are improving with each release.
Following on from that is ‘No Survivors’, and it’s almost Maiden-esque in its structure, and sound. Absolutely something the lords of metal would be proud to have on their next album,had they written it first, and another sign why Primitai are the band that Britain NEEDS to carry the torch and fly the flag of British Metal.
‘Memories Lost’ is my joint favourite track on this album. Those that know me and my love of the band will know how much I prefer the more downtrodden, slower songs that Primitai do,and this and another on here (we’ll get to it) tie for my favourite. Just everything about this track is faultless. The guitar work is soulful in places, fiery in others. The drums are on point, as is the bass, and Guy puts his all into this song, and it shows.

Another example of how Primitai are changing how they do things is ‘Into the Light’, which has a string/synth intro to it that really is unlike anything else they’ve done before, and then when the song kicks in fully, it’s more of that more polished, smoother sound. It’s nice to hear them going for this, and it’s another highlight of the album, something I could definitely see as a second single release. It’s got some lovely guitar work throughout, and it’s quite an uplifting track, almost power metal at some points.
‘Into the Dark’, however, as you’d expect, has a different tone to it. No soft intro, it’s just straight into the song. It’s more in line with the signature Primitai sound, though the Primitai sound mixed with the stuff they’ve added in with this album. If this is what future Primitai will sound like, then sign me up, lads. I’m on board.
‘Tempest Returns’ is something that would have been at home on their previous offering, ‘Night Brings Insanity’. It’s got a heavier edge to it, while still keeping that Primitai sound that no other band can seem to nail. A special shout out to Power Surge for their solo work in this one. I can tell this is gonna be a live classic, and I can’t wait to hear it at a venue near me soon (hint,hint, guys).
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and so it is with this as well, as we reach album closer, title track, and my joint favourite, ‘The Calling’. Simply put, this is a joint favourite of mine, because the sound on it hearkens back to the sound from 2010s ‘The Line of Fire’, and I will always love that album, no matter what. It’s another “Primitai Special”, by which I mean a good song length, packed to the gills with slower sections, faster sections, catchy lyrics that could be about anyone but you swear is about you, and soloing that it quite simply out of this world. A fucking belter of an album closer, and I cannot wait to ruin my vocal chords singing along to all of these live. Well done lads.

In closing, it’s a great album that gets better with each subsequent listen. It starts off a little bit trepidatiously, but it very quickly picks up, and it’s something everyone should own a physical copy of. Is it the best album they’ve done to date? Not quite. Is it the best album released so far this year? Fucking right it is.

 

 

 

Track Listing:
01. Possess Me
02. Demons Inside
03. Overdrive
04. Curse of Olympus
05. No Survivors
06. Memories Lost
07. Into the Light
08. Into the Dark
09. Tempest Returns
10. The Calling

 

Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/primitai