BY Laura Wiebe TaylorPublished Jun 22, 2009

I've read that Primordial are absolutely a black metal band and I've read that they absolutely are not. Listening to Imrama again, nearly 15 years after its original release, the confusion seems understandable. But even at this stage in their career Primordial present a challenge to classification, and the uncertainty over where these Irish pagans fit is part of their attraction. The ten remastered tracks from the band's debut album might be enough of a lure to entice newer fans to buy the re-release. Imrama is worth having for itself, sounding far more developed than what you'd expect for a band's first full-length album. But this Metal Blade reissue has other treasures to offer: the four-song Dark Romanticism demo (like Imrama, available elsewhere a few years ago) and a bonus DVD featuring a live and raw Irish performance from 1994, plus an informative commentary track. The booklet, packed with lyrics and vintage images, is a strong added touch. This collection of songs and visuals presents a coherent aesthetic: forbidding, grim but also passionate. It's an early sign of the fervour Primordial have yet to lose.
(Metal Blade)

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