Joe Potash – Guitars, vocals
Reed Thomas – Bass, backing vocals
Mike White – Drums, percussion
Brian Leahy – Keyboards
1. A Primeval Realm
2. Black Flames And Shadows
3. Electric Knowledge
4. Galaxy Lifter
5. Heavy Is This Mind
6. Night Of The Wolfmoon
7. Primordial Light…Departure
Considering it’s just shy of forty minutes long, ‘Primordial Light,’ the debut full length from Primeval Realm seems remarkably short. Whether that’s because in these post-Jerusalem times it’s rare to find a doom metal album that doesn’t take a week to listen to, or because an inordinate amount of it is made up of instrumentals isn’t immediately clear, but good lord it feels incomplete. However, this New Jersey quarter do manage to squeeze a remarkable amount into the running time and for anyone weaned on St. Vitus or Candlemass, there’ll be loads to enjoy.
‘Black Flames And Shadows’ for example sounds like a mash-up of all the best bits from the Down back catalogue. It arrives with a slow, plodding riff that could have crawled up from the bottom of a swamp, while singer Joe Potash croons over the top like a stoned preacher and a fast-paced, blues-inflected guitar solo whips it all into a delirious, bleary eyed melee. The enthusiastic ‘Electric Knowledge’ meanwhile comes across like ‘Bury Me In Smoke’ being played too fast and features a surprisingly catchy chorus, to the extent that it could even be a radio hit if any DJ was ever insane enough to put it on.
Shame then that the swaggering, whisky-drenched momentum comes to a halt with ‘Galaxy Lifter,’ a bloated and overlong instrumental track that siphons all the energy off as it meanders through riff after riff for seven long minutes. It’s uncomfortably close to what happens when a band finds they’ve run out of material, still haven’t used up their allotted stage time and decide to “just jam.”
Thankfully though they’ve got two more blinders up their sleeves to make up for it. ‘Heavy Is This Mind’ for one thing is terrific, a remarkably positive anthem that has a real classic rock vibe to it while the following ‘Night Of The Wolfmoon’ is pretty much the exact opposite. A monstrously heavy and deeply ominous slab of darkness, the smell of arcane death permeates this one and it’s probably the best track in their arsenal.
Once they’re finished though, there’s only the closing ‘Primordial Light…Departure’ to round things off in a relaxed, chilled out vibe and it’s all over. It’s not exactly an abrupt ending, but the bongs have barely been lit and the coiling smoke hasn’t even reached the ceiling and it’s hard not to wish for another song or two.
That said though, when ‘Primordial Light’ is good, it’s a great big, loveable drunken redneck, boogieing in a shack. Primeval Realm proudly fly the flag for an old fashioned Sabbath-style stomp, but a longer record wouldn’t go amiss next time.
Review By Tim Bolitho-Jones