As another band lured to the banner of English label Dissonance Productions, who seem to be hell-bent on cornering the market in up-and-coming Brit metal talent – Primitai, despite this being their fifth full-length outing, run the risk of becoming just another band in a burgeoning ‘movement’, absorbed by the collective without really being given the chance to prove their worthiness or viability.
At least that would be the case if Primitai weren’t so bloody good. Seriously, it’s a travesty that this London quintet aren’t better known by now. Any band with a pedigree of songs like The Cannibal and Holy Defender (from 2013’s superb Rise Again album) or this new album’s centrepiece, the utterly triumphant No Survivors, should surely be occupying the upper spots on Euro festival bills by now, but they’re not, and it’s the job of magazines like Sentinel Daily to highlight that injustice and to help to do something about it.
Primitai are shot through with class. They take everything that was good about metal in the eighties – Dio-fronted Sabbath, the dual guitar histrionics of Maiden and Priest, the power metal of the US as evinced by bands like Leatherwolf and Fifth Angel and, perhaps crucially, the melodic sensibility of the whole hair metal movement – and roll it all up into a thunderous melange of their own that is a delight and a privilege to be a part of as a listener. It’s heavy, but there are melodies everywhere you care to look, just as classic heavy metal should be.
Although every song on The Calling is of a uniformly high standard, there are highlights, most notably the afore-mentioned No Survivors and Into the Light, but whichever track your ears fall upon delivers the goods on first listen and simply doesn’t stop giving.
Memories Lost is a classy slice of melodic metal slightly reminiscent of UK precursors Marshall Law; Guy Miller’s commanding vocals demand the attention of the listener from the get-go (this man really is one of the unsung heroes of Brit metal at the moment, an international-class singer and no mistake) whilst the superb guitars of Srdjan Bilic and Sergio Giron weave deliciously around him, riffing or soloing with equal verve and real purpose – there are no wasted notes on The Calling.
Bands like Primitai keep the sound of metal people like me grew up with alive; possibly this is the reason they aren’t as big as they should be, as older metal fans retreat into a world of comfortable nostalgia, eschewing the oportunity to embrace new sounds and trad metal somehow fails to resonate with the broader mass of younger fans who consider themselves modern metal aficionados; However glorious material like Into the Light surely deserves the widest audience possible and hopefully the band’s move to Dissonance will at least facilitate a bigger audience. They certainly deserve it, because The Calling is a fabulous release.
The Calling is out on May 25th through Dissonance Productions. You should buy it.