Thy Primordial - The Crowning Carnage
Black Metal
9 songs (43'15")
Release year: 2002
Thy Primordial, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex

Their label claims that Thy Primordial are stationed at the top echelon of the Black Metal scene. Specifically, Swedish Black Metal scene. I certainly agree, with the small caveat. Wherever in Sweden Thy Primordial are from, it must be close to the Norwegian border. The influences of the founding forefathers, band members’ corpse paint appearance notwithstanding, are seen and heard throughout.

To me, this is how modern, but true, black metal should sound. There are no gimmicks on The Crowning Carnage, just subtly melodic, brutal and punishing music brought to us through the excellent use of the “basic” metal instrumentation. No keyboards, or electronic effects, but the ominous atmosphere is captured masterfully. Once you figure that the band was produced by Tommy Tagtgren at the famous The Abyss studio it all falls into place. The guitars are heavily layered, very similar to the style of melodic death act Amon Amarth. The riffs are sharp and crunchy. Not much in a way of solos, but quick bits of melody surface on almost every track. These melodic ornaments either roll over you like a monstrous tractor as on Icon Retribution and Purveyor of Chaos or remind you of a folk spirit as on Menace of Human Waste. Vocals are, of course, raspy, but at times almost decipherable.

The Abyss studio must file for a patent on the outstanding heavy and fat drum sound. It recently surfaced on the latest Immortal album, and makes appearance on The Crowning Carnage once again. You can hear every beat be it a snare, bass or colorful fills. It certainly helps to have a good drummer to execute the patterns. The transitions between all-out blast and groovy, more melodic, parts are excellent.

I intentionally did not describe any tracks separately, as they are quite similar, yet never boring. Maybe, one slower, catchier piece wouldn’t hurt (Tyrants from Immortal’s SoND comes to mind), but who am I to say this. The only track not fitting the pattern is the closer Destroying the Idea of a God. This slow instrumental is the only place where electronics surface. It felt like those clanking sounds are nails being driven in the tomb of a God Thy Primordial obviously defies.

Seriously, out of Black Metal albums heard this year I’d put this at the #2 position, right below the above mentioned Immortal’s masterpiece.

Killing Songs :
Icon Retribution, The Crowning Carnage, Purveyor of Chaos, Menace of Human Waste
Alex quoted 81 / 100
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