No matter how many genres heavy metal has splintered into on the day of judgement, its core values – superior musical ability, songwriting integrity and a commitment to good times, however mindless they may seem- will remain, largely unmolested by fleeting fancy and modern mores. That’s because those values are identifiable as standing for something, sigils that are flown proudly as a gathering point for those who believe, sure in the knowledge that those huddled beneath that banner will never betray the faithful. That’s why heavy metal like that exposited on Primitai’s third full lengther – honest, frill-free and proud of it – will never die, and why, however prosaic or quaint you may think it to be in the face of dubstep and it’s skittering disciples, scurvy swine to the last that would dilute the metal bloodline with nary a thought for the consequences, you should take Rise Again deadly seriously.
There’s nothing old-fashioned about Primitai, because the values they uphold are timeless. Mind, you can’t just walk in off the street and make an album as good as Rise Again, Christ no. Rise Again is the result of what happens when you dedicate your life to something, and classic songs like The Cannibal and Holy Defender are what remain long after the flesh has weakened and the spirit departed; When Prinitai are long gone these songs will still be heard whwerever metalheads gather, played with the same amount of reverence that will be accorded the old Gods Priest, Maiden, Manowar and Dio et al - of that I am sure.
If this all seems a bit over the top, I make no apologies. Rise Again deserves it. Primitai deserve it. James LordCastle, Chris Chilcott, Srdjan Bilic, Guy Miller and Tom Draper have created something of a latter day heavy metal masterpiece here, and the world needs to know just how strong an album it is.
Quite literally there is not an ounce of fat on show here as the band go about their business with steely-eyed intent, creating ten classic slabs of traditional metal in which I can detect not one chink or weak spot. The two songs I’ve mentioned are the best in my opinion, though on another day I might offer up The Huntress as a viable alternative to those two – it’s really of little consequence. I should also mention that latterday Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner guests on second track Scream When You See Us, but his presence merely augments what is already a titanic slab of earworm-rich radio-friendly metal. It doesn’t define or overwhelm it – Primitai don’t need outside assistance to achieve their goal, which I assume is to bang heads and is entirely achieved within these grooves. I could go on for longer enthusing about this record, but you look a bit pushed for time so let me simply entreat you – all of you – to buy this excellent record.