Out Now

(Metal Blade)

Anyone who has witnessed one of Primordial’s (frustratingly rare) live shows will have the experience burned into their memory. The Irishmen are one of the most emotionally intense, moving and supremely powerful acts on the extreme metal scene – and in A.A. Nemtheanga, they have a frontman who can rule over an audience…from first note to last.

Bottling that primal energy and releasing it as a live album will always be difficult but this opus – recorded at Balingen’s Bang Your Head Festival last year – is a fine taste of Primordial in full flow.

Gods To The Godless should serve as a gateway to the band for newcomers: it’s awash with rousing, passionate anthems culled from a slew of Primordial’s best albums, including The Gathering Wilderness, Spirit the Earth Aflame, To The Nameless Dead, Redemption At The Puritan’s Hand and their most recent effort, Where Greater Men Have Fallen.

And while long-time fans will be familiar with the material here, songs such as Bloodied and Unbowed and Empire Falls will still make jaws drop, and pull devotees into the band’s blazing, Celtic heart one again.

Nemtheanga, in particular, sounds like a titan, urging the crowd to greater heights while simultaneously feeding off their energy. “Raise your fists for me,” he roars – and you’ll feel compelled to do just that, even if you’re standing in your living room.

Think great live albums are a thing of the past? Think again.

Richard Holmes