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June 10, 2012 by Beldrac

I’ve been a Primordial fan for a number of years now but the earliest album of theirs that I had was the 2002 album Storm Before Calm. I never really got into this one and of the four albums I have that is my least favourite album (more on Primordial in a later post.)  A few weeks ago I came across a re-release of the album that came before Storm Before Calm – Spirit the Earth Aflame circa 2000. Well, this has been one of the biggest plays in the last month or so, and today one of the songs struck out at me. And here it is:

What made this for me was a) Primordial’s usual great lyrics and overall song structure and emotion, and b) the opening quote of Jean-Paul Sartre:

“I have crossed the seas, I have left cities behind me, and I’ve followed the course of rivers towards their source or plunged into forests, always making for other cities. I have had women and I have fought with men; I can never turn back, ever, any more than a record can spin in reverse. And all this was leading me where? To this very moment…”

Those interested in accuracy might like to see the final sentence in full, as it is written in Sartre’s novel Nausea.

“To this very moment, to this bench, in this bubble of light humming with music.”

…or in my case, this bubble of light droning with pure Irish pagan Metal. To this very moment when I was reminded of the power of existential thinking, and how easy it is to lose control over the self and give your power over to others. What I mean by this is that we all have the power to sculpt our own reality, but we have to sculpt it between and around those you share your reality with and often encroaching on on other’s space. 

Of course this led me off into reading other Sartre quotes and I found him to have been a very wise fellow. He also said/wrote “Hell is – other people,” which fits in nicely with the above.

Another one I have to share before I get back to Primordial: “Life is nothing until it is lived; but it is yours to make sense of, and the value of it is nothing else but the sense that you choose.”

The orginal album btw. was originally released by Hammerheart and the 2CD re-release by Metal Blade. Credit where it’s due; people talk about piracy and music sharing online but these record labels are the reason we are able to listen to this awesome music in the first place, taking a chance on unknown or unproven bands to bring us the music. Sure one can argue that they’re there to make money and of course they do, but these metal labels started small and out of nothing. Even SonyBMG, EMI, Universal, etc. started small and had to build their companies, but of course now this commercial music world is ruled by corporate greed <insert Hunter S. Thompson quote here> and deserve contempt for the shit they peddle. But for the most part I’d say the metal world has stayed true to the core values, which is about giving this great music to the people who live for it, and are more than happy to continue paying.

It’s a great achievement when a band through their career manages to communicate their own sense of pride in their roots to the listener so intensely. When I listen to Primordial I feel the pride they have in being Irish and unapologetically Pagan, not afraid to say what they want to say. This is music in its purest form, the magic that can transport you to a country and a people, and feel your toes wrinkle in the lush, green, blood-soaked countryside.

And then there’s this:

 No words, just a Celtic melody hidden in the scratching wail of an electric guitar.


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