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Rise Again

Green China (2013)
Rating: 8/10

Quintessentially British quintet Primitai are fronted by Guy Miller, who has a lethal set of lungs on him to say the least, perfectly suited to this type of hammer and tong molten metal mayhem.

Rise Again is the third opus from these guys and the first to feature new guitarist Tom Draper, who replaces founding member Nick Saxby. Draper forms the twin axe attack, which also consists of Srdjan Bilic. The pair are backed by the fortress of drummer Chris Chilcott and bass rumbler Jamie Lordcastle, whose surname suggests he’s stepped out of an episode of Game Of Thrones.

I have to admit to having not heard their previous albums, Through The Gates Of Hell (2007) and The Line Of Fire (2010). For fans it’s certainly been a long wait between records, but one certainly worth it if the opening strains of the band’s first single – ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ with its stirring chords and rustic melody – are anything to go by.

Primitai are most certainly a full-blooded metal band who should appeal not just to you modern metal maniacs, but those who have their heart firmly set in the 80s too. Miller’s vocals have all the heart and gritty soul to get the veins pumping, and I really like his accessible yet furious barks. They sit well alongside the sharp percussion and sturdy guitar attack, the result being that ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ is a real fist-pumper. Almost anthemic in its warrior chants and devilish structures, ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ is nonetheless as warm as a bowl of porridge on a winter’s morning.

Nothing beats a twin guitar outbreak, and nothing can stand in the way of a track like ‘Scream When You See Us’, which boasts the guitar talents of Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner. As a track it’s a master class in how to melt together killer melody with hot-blooded, chest-pounding lyrics, with Miller roaring “Running for your life… for a glimpse of life” over a juddering bass and drum attack, and those searing guitars which explode like fireworks as we reach that infectious chorus. Fantastic stuff indeed.

Elsewhere, we’re treated to the monstrous tensions of ‘The Cannibal’, which begins with a folk-inspired march, before breaking into a majestic trudge over those crashing cymbals. It’s here that Miller displays his vocal versatility, taking on a narrative tone until the track speeds up to more than a gallop, before the angst seethes through.

‘The Cannibal’ is certainly the most impressive track on offer, displaying an incredible maturity as each instrument shines. Strangely, it was this track that seemed to take me over and I kept on reverting back to it. Once the rest of the album is given time to breathe, however, even the most hardened of metalheads among you will find yourself nodding along to the driving title track – featuring those thunderous drums – as well as the metallic fury of ‘Pound For Pound’ and the raging seas of ‘The Huntress’, where once again the drum is king.

Rise Again is a pure metal album and yet is showcases deft melodies, particularly in the aforementioned ‘The Huntress’, which has that classic feel while merging a hard rock edge. The band can add a brooding mood, too. Album closer ‘What Watches Over Me’ is a simmering landscape featuring soulful croons until it breaks into stormy stride. The track also has ballad-like qualities, and sums up the effortless power these guys boast. It’s proof that whatever mood takes them, Primitai are a real force who’ve risen again, and this time, we should all take note.

Neil Arnold

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