When you get a bunch of blokes who have been in the metal industry a very long time – and I mean forty years, long time – you get a sensation that what would be produced would be high quality, especially with the amount of experience that is displayed.
Primal is one of those thrash metal bands that have the experience necessary to create a top record, in both sound and delivery. With the likes of guitarist Glenn Rogers (Deliverance, Hirax, Vengeance Rising and Final Decree), you get an understanding on how it all works, especially associating yourself with more than one group of talents.
Since releasing their debut self-titled full-length Primal (2016) through Argentinean label Del Imaginario Discos, the band have since joined forces with lifelong friend Scott Waters (Ultimatum) and his sister label to Roxx Records entitled No Life ’til Metal Records, that has become renowned for their association, with old-school style heavy, power, and thrash metal.
The group have since dropped their latest offering Humachine, which promises to continue bringing some of that old-school style, but yet also with a fresh new take on thrash metal, to a larger audience.
Members: Glenn Rogers (guitars), Jerry Averill (bass), Jorge Iacobellis (drums) and Alberto Zamarbide on vocals.
- The Cage
- Unleash in Madness
- End Times
- Warrior’s Code
- Infernal Nightmare
- Bantu’s Victory
Kicking off the album, “The Cage”, sets a level of rawness, groove and impeccable timing. The old style is certainly shining through with classic ’80s thrash. Glenn’s solo is certainly not super fast-paced as you may expect, however it keeps within the boundaries set within the song. “Humachine” is next on the bill and immediately it has that early sense of Metallica, but with clearer vocals. I’m getting the early signs of how the tempo will continue as the album wears on, still maintaining that slower groove aspect, with a well-structured solo and overall tightness in the band’s execution.
“Fire Fight” recreates the faster elements of thrash, in its own way, including a nice bass and drum interlude, with a signature solo that fits nicely with the revisit to the days of old. As I continue to listen on with “Unleash In Madness”, which brings to mind for me a lot of vocal memories of Joey Belladonna (Anthrax), giving a very similar concept heard from the band that gave you Persistence of Time (1990).
Then we get to “End Times” which continues the groove-driven licks and riffs, and then into the faster and heavier offerings on the track “Warrior’s Code”, that also gives a nod to metal masters Iron Maiden halfway through the song. A pretty unique distorted development into the solo adds flavor to what has already been heard so far.
If there could be a ballad, then “Savior” would be it, and for another similar band in this vein, I would happily name Pantera, with that electric/acoustic kind of sound, which isn’t bad to relate to by any means. “Infernal Nightmare” begins with a very relatable riff, especially those of us who have been around for a few decades listening to thrash metal, although it is still on the slower end of the spectrum, yet will keep purists happy with the result.
The track “Betrayal” is nothing much different from what I’ve already described, earlier on within this process, with their speedy aspect on previous songs. However, you are met with a double-layered guitar interlude that breaks it up, and is on point.
“Bantu’s Victory” pummels you with military style drum beats, and helps us on our way to the final song “Ever”, which gives you similarities to both early Metallica and Black Sabbath, that certainly finds its way to the possibility of ending on another ballad’s high, but yet not. The last song on any album I believe is just as important as the first three. Creating that memorable finish is always a step in the right direction.
Overall, Humachine never really changes the style much, nor did it show to be a progressive record, and neither was it supposed to. The album is a revisitation of an era of metal that has become an underlying staple influence of the genres that surround it, creating an old-school and raw sound that is a breath of fresh air found amidst the repetition of modern metal, something that we find all too often in today’s music business. A great record for those who like their yesteryear thrash metal, as it is shown to be alive and well.
Christian Sullivan 9/10 – The Metal Onslaught Magazine