Primordial Redemption at the Puritan's Hand

Primordial Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
Promoting the new Primordial album, frontman A. A. Nemtheanga has said, "you know what to expect." It's an apt statement, but not an unflattering one, considering how high expectations for any new Primordial release must now be, after the towering monuments that are The Gathering Wilderness (2005) and To the Nameless Dead (2007). Expressing a persistent fixation with mortality, Redemption at the Puritan's Hand is familiarly dark, marked by the band's Irish environment and identity, but only slightly, a faint but unmistakable accent colouring the brooding momentum and aggressive battery. Opener "No Grave Deep Enough" eases us into the mood and the theme, building from a steady grave-digging rhythm to the galloping of death's horse to a full on, nearly blackened assault. It doesn't get much better than this ― in general or throughout the record. Redemption at the Puritan's Hand isn't the kind of album that unfolds over multiple listens. It tackles your senses immediately so that you're either won over or immune to its appeal. But as each song unfolds, there's also a risk of becoming numb to the band's effects. So much intensity so soon means that, despite the easing of slower rhythms and acoustic passages, by the time an hour has flown by, you might be tempted to take Primordial for granted ― don't. Take a break and listen again. (Metal Blade)