By Jonathan Smith
As a reissue of one of their first efforts, Imrama is still an impressive display of all of the elements that would come to define Ireland’s Primordial in more recent years. Everything one has come to expect from the band is here — Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill’s mix of clean, soaring vocals mixed with black metal shrieks, the softer pagan metal moments mixed with harsher distorted chords, and the lyrical stories invoking a narrative of histories gone but hardly forgotten. The songs are shorter than the epic tracks found on an album like To The Nameless Dead, but this is hardly an issue that hinders the song progression. The emotional intensity of later albums is not necessarily as present on Imrama, but the seeds are all here. For those who already have the original, this reissue contains bonus concert material on a DVD, a powerful incentive to pick up the album again given the band’s impressive live performances. For those just discovering Primordial, Imrama is an important moment in the band’s history that will further draw people into the fold.