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Primalfrost - Prosperous Visions (2014)
Primalfrost was formed in early 2012 by Dean Arnold, being the sole force behind the band by playing all the instruments and composing all the music. The Idea behind the band was to bring elements of genres like folk metal, melodic death metal, black metal, orchestral music, and symphonic metal to an epic scale.
Prosperous Visions is the second album release from Primalfrost, incorporating all the elements stated above into a 55 minute epic metal album.
Influences: Ensiferum, Finntroll, Equilibrium, Dissection, Blackguard, Arch Enemy, Bathory, At the Gates, Moonsorrow, Anaal Nathrakh, Turisas, Dream Theater, Amon Amarth, Svartsot, Immortal
Quote:There seems to be something in Canadian waters that produces high quality one-man projects, especially in the viking/black/folk metal areas. Calgary?s Dark Forest, London?s Sig:Ar:Tyr and now Toronto?s Primalfrost. Brainchild of Dean Arnold, Prosperous Visions is his full-length debut after the EP Chapters of Time two years ago and it has turned out to be a nice slab piece of epic black/power/folk metal.
Now if you have a keyboard allergy or are overall too much of a purist to accept this instrument, then leave Primalfrost and this review behind right now, because you will not find happiness here. If you either like the keys or can arrange yourself with them, then by all means read on, because Prosperous Visions is pretty impressive for a 17 (!) year old! And the album is not that easy to pigeonhole, since Arnold manages to layer the songs well and almost constantly shifting tempo without losing focus or flow.
Intro ?Visio Prosperum? (the Latin translation of the album title) is widescreen, epic and a bit too long, but ?Distant Cries of War? hits home with its masterful switches from double-bass mid- and slow-paced, contrasting harsh black metal vocals with beautiful arpeggiated guitars and heavy guitars with great melodies, the only element that does not fully keep up with the variety of the music are the rasps, only way into the song there are some clear vocals introduced, which are layered over slow-paced metal, which sounds great, but is under-utilized. Doesn?t really detract from the quality of the song, though.
Variety is a big asset of Prosperous Visions, especially if it is brought together with such flow and dynamics, keeping the song itself in mind, while spicing them up with nice little details. ?An End to Tyranny?, for example, starts out with this intricate acoustic guitar and it is its melody that keeps coming back as great contrast to the harsh blastbeat attacks that keep popping up, kicking off a great, varied track that literally is all over the place, but in the good way. And it continues on four tracks later, with the 14-and-a-half minute epic ?Cathartic Quest (An End to Tyranny Part II)?, which is nothing short of impressive: going from acoustic guitars to blastbeats and back (and pretty much anything in-between), clearing a path through the underwood with the voice alone, just to break through it with a great and expressive clear voice, keeping an epic feeling through the valleys and mountains that the song takes us through, making the 14 minutes pass by in a breeze. Here the keyboards do take on the lead role more than once, but Arnold makes it work and fit without sugar-frosting the song.
Obviously other songs pale in comparison, but epic rollercoaster ?Beyond the Shores and Lands?, slow-paced ?Tale of the Hero? that is completely sung cleanly or powerful ?Silencing the Empire? can more than just stand their own and prove that Prosperous Visions has a lot to offer. And Arnold adds quite some musical prowess to this as well, with his guitar work at times bordering on shredding without tearing apart the flow and epic character.
Primalfrost?s debut on its own has turned out to be an impressive affair with tons of variety held together by an epic atmosphere already, but add to it that this is the result of one man, a very young man, putting everything together is a more than remarkable feat and one can only dream what Mr. Arnold will be able to grow into? Prosperous Visions is an early highlight of 2014!
Dean Paul Arnold - All instruments, vocals, programming, composition
Dean Paul Arnold - Vocals, Guitar
Ric Galvez - Guitar
Larry Varvarici - Bass
Matt Ianuzzi - Drums
Primalfrost - Prosperous Visions (2014)
CBR @ 320kbps
1. Visio Prosperum
2. Distant Cries of War
3. An 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 Sun
9. Silencing the Empire
10. Unforgotten Valor