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Primalfrost – Lost Elegies

Primalfrost
Lost Elegies
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 March 2022, 7:10 AM

PRIMALFROST was formed in 2012 by Canadian musician Dean Paul Arnold when he was 15 years old. Dean is the sole composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist behind the band since its inception. Their sound combines melodicism/lush symphonic with the grit/power of Extreme Metal. It’s been eight long years since Dean’s last release under this name, and now, “Lost Elegies” comes to us with eight new tracks.

“Maelstrom” opens the album. A thick wall of guitars swells to a harsh vocal scream. Drums roll forward with vigor. The rich and lush sound reminds me of a band like WINTERSUN, but perhaps without the epic fanfare and that comes with them. “Bringer of Immensity” opens with another full and rich sound. Lead guitars sound in the chorus. Listen carefully, and you can hear many layers of sound working together in synergy. It’s hard to imagine that all this sound can come from one musician. “Nomad” is a shorter and more succinct song but still has that driving energy that characterizes the album so far. The lead guitar work in also fantastic…it’s obvious that Dean can play with the best of them.

“Strormbearer” begins with clean guitars and a solemn tone. The main riff enters with a key change. Symphonic elements can be heard in support of the main sound, which flirts with Power Metal at times. Audible bass notes can be heard as well, which are bossy. “Voyage into Ruin” is a nine-minute opus. A slower but heavier riff enters with a commanding sound. It slows before the half-way mark, with clean guitars and backing vocal moans, before the harsh sound returns with a vengeance. It takes another clean pause towards the end, with charming melodic moments. “Solace Kingdom” begins with more clean tones before the symphonics enter and obliterate everything in their path. Heavy, meaty bass notes can be heard just before the half-way mark, then the song slows with some atmosphere as Dean lays down another fantastic guitar solo.

“As Embers Wane” is a short, two-minute instrumental of layered clean guitars. The eleven-minute “Tenebrous Skies” closes the album. This might be Dean’s best track on the album and encapsulates the sound best. The first few minutes are harsh and melodic at same time, but closing in at the half-way mark is an extended guitar solo passage where Dean uses some Classical scales. Well trained? I think so. The layering continues, heavy and vigorous. Rounding the ¾ mark, the sound slows to powerful, epic elements with more layers than a wedding cake.  The ending sequence is like something out of a fantasy novel, complete with heroes and damsels, evil creatures bent on destroying the world, and wizards who save the day.

Take a few moments to appreciate what Dean has done here on the album. This was excellent, full of rich and lush tones, and epic symphonic elements. Some clean vocals could help to break up the overuse of harsh vocals, which are present in nearly the same way in every track. But, my hat is off to Dean, who is a very versatile musician who clearly knows how to compose strong music and performs it with an unbridled energy.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Maelstrom
2. Bringer of Immensity
3. Nomad
4. Stormbearer
5. Voyage into Ruin
6. Solace Kingdom
7. As Embers Wane
8. Tenebrous Skies
Lineup:
Dean Paul Arnold – All Instruments, Vocals, & Orchestration
Record Label: Independent
     


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