Primitai – Violence of the Skies (Rock of Angels Records)Tuesday, 27th April 2021
Well aware of this UK act and their fine work over the past few years (reviewing the last two efforts in full or Rapid Fire columns here on this site), expectations are high that Violence of the Skies would continue the hot streak for albums with Primitai. Moving over to Rock of Angels Records after 2018’s The Calling effort for Dissonance Productions, it’s evident throughout these twelve new tracks that the quintet take their classic metal/AOR-edged base and have expanded horizons into more adventurous, power and progressive-laden pastures.
Spanning a wide spectrum of emotions and textures, these musicians elevate their songwriting skills through proper understanding of dynamics, especially in terms of the track-to-track flow and how they use circular measures for retention purposes even in the longer, seven-minute plus cuts such as “Valley of Darkness” and “Prophecies”. Guitarists Sergio Girón and Srdjan Bilic are a formidable axe team – churning out solid melodic power chords, supplementary clean accents, and fluid, emotive lead parts that possess your ears and engage for deeper dives with successive playbacks. The straight-ahead metal power of “Warriors of Time” should align well with ardent Judas Priest followers, while “I’ll Live Again” showcases more of their modern Firewind meets Queensrÿche edge, vocalist Guy Miller reaching for the sky in some of his best upper register sweet spots for the latter. The rhythm section easily can switch between standard groove and off-time tempo passages at the drop of a hat – adhering professionally to service the needs of the song at hand. Special guest appearances come up in specific solos from Paul Quinn of Saxon for “Put to the Sword” and Tom Draper of Carcass during the Viking/march-oriented “The Storm Kings” – perfect choices to color those songs in great context while establishing Primitai as great songwriters. Normally worry sets in for writers when undertaking an album with over an hour runtime – but the versatility and diversity along with the mixture of power, progressive, and straight-ahead metal arrangements ensure little to no ear fatigue.
Keeping a hot streak alive in terms of their discography, Violence of the Skies could be one of the breakthrough records to get Primitai a larger pool of followers, bridging the gap between the older generation who know of bands like Rage, Savatage, etc. and their sons/daughters who are looking for newer acts they can champion.