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Primalfrost - Prosperous Visions Award winner

Prosperous Visions
by Daniel Fox at 12 April 2014, 12:20 AM

Epic Metal, in the veins of the Folky, the Black, and the Melodic Death, is a sound that is dominated almost entirely by WINTERSUN, who arguably created and dominated a scene all on their own. Up until now, I believed that no other band who attempted this style of music would be able to live up to them, but Canadian Epic Metallers PRIMALFROST do more than that, having created a seamless symphony of melody, heaviness, speed, story-telling, crunch and atmospherics, embellished by perfect mixing.

Transitioning directly from the lengthy, introductory instrumental is the monstrous "Distant Cries of War".  The verse riff is the defining feature of this track, blending soaring keyboard atmospherics, with pure speed that matches ICED EARTH in accuracy. Now, this band could not be compared to WINTERSUN without exceptional lead guitar work to live up to the genre; this is of course shredded out time and time again, performed with a primal energy, placing above the classic robotic metal shredder. Pounding away at the ground upon this track's burning trail blaze is the grand and spectacular "An End to Tyranny". The beautifully intricate acoustic intro belies the exceptional, keyboard-driven riff-work that would follow, showcasing truly wonderful synthesizer arrangements. Following that, the track is chock-full of riffs that focus on heavy, chugged riffs and expressive chord progressions and equally emotive lead work, still infused with soaring keyboards. In instills in one a special kind of emotion; infallibility. I could not help but beam while listening to this piece.

Lastly, I would take care to devote attention to the 14-minute masterpiece that is "Cathartic Quest". Ornate, musical giants like these are always my favorite, whenever present. Surely, this track will register with those to whom the Progressive side of metal appeals. Much like a symphony, it could be split up into movements, but once again constructed in a seamless, transcendental fashion. In 14 minutes you're emerging out of a mountain cave, galloping across a boreal tundra, fighting countless trolls, giants and whatever else the gods throw at you, taking a well-earned rest at a hearth, armed with a trusty acoustic, waking up the next day only to find everything suddenly pushed the envelope of everything that is epic. The arrangements here are more adventurous and technical than those found anywhere else on the album, bombarded with an array of metal, ranging from gallops, to blast-beats, to bardic Folk passages, to wailing and blistering lead guitar work.

It is not often that I am left in shock and awe by an album; regardless of any recent releases by my personal favorites, this may just be the best album released in the first 4 months of this year. I hope WINTERSUN will soon recognize that they face a most worthy opponent.

5 Star Rating

1. Visio Prosperum
2. Distant Cries of War
3. And End to Tyranny
4. Path of the Sky
5. Beyond the Shores and Lands
6. Tale of the Hero
7. Cathartic Quest (An End to Tyranny Part II)
8. Awakening of the Boreal Sunday
9. Silencing the Empire
10. Unforgotten Valour
Dean Paul Arnold – Vocals, Guitars
Ric Galvez – Guitars
Larry Varvarici – Bass
Matt Ianuzzi – Drums
Record Label: Maple Metal Records


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