Arkhan - Primal
Death/Groove Metal
8 songs (37'38'')
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Jared
Album of the month

Arkhan has surely seen its share of problems over the last couple years. These problems do no reside in the music itself, but illness and other medical related issues have plagued the band. With a few line-up changes and a quick burst of health, Arkhan had been working on its third studio album. Now I have to admit I feel like an absolute fool that I have never heard anything previous that the band has had to offer. For that matter I was completely unaware of this bands existence, but I am surely glad I had this opportunity to review this great album. Arkhan is a four piece death metal band from Switzerland. They have been around since 2004 and have played alongside great acts such as Meshuggah and Obituary, touring strictly around Switzerland, France and Germany. After much rehabilitation, Arkhan returns with an album which punches you with the utmost force.

Arkhan’s primary style of playing is death metal but with a coating of some groove metal influences etched in between. It ended up being a perfect mix, and delivers some massive catchy tunes. However, if you are looking for blistering and ear shattering crazy death metal solos, this album takes a much simpler approach. Usually I end up being pretty disappointed if I don’t hear a solo here and there on an album but for Primal I had no problem only hearing maybe a couple solos at most. I was too busy head banging to the massive catchy riffs to really even care for any soloing. But even when you stop banging your head to every song on the album and actually pay attention to the solos they are not half bad. During one solo on the song Fragile Equilibrium it almost started out sounding like it belonged to an old Sega Genesis fighting game I use to play.

Vocals are very brute and devilish throughout the entire album. Honestly it’s exactly what you would expect to sound like being labeled a death metal album, but I’ve grown pretty fond of their vocalist. There’s no stupid grindcore pig snorting style vocals here, just manly death growls heard on every track.

The drumming is excellent overall. Along with the catchy guitar and bass tunes, the drumming melds perfectly. I was kind of happy to hear how the drumming had played out because it was actually a death metal album I could mention to my cousin to listen to without the fear of the entire record being nothing but blast beats. Blast beats are apparent, but not overused in any aspect to make room for Primal’s catchy groove sound. The album gets downright heavy at almost every corner. You, Monster is one those songs on the album I would have to say starts out the heaviest and in your face. The same goes with the songs Atomic Supermen and Shutdown. All three deliver monstrous riffs that are really hard not to bob your head to. One song that kind of took me off guard was the song The Last Resonance which started out with pop sounding intro. This was probably showcasing a bit of humor from the band which kind of reminded me when I heard Daath’s song Dead on the Dance Floor a couple years back.

Arkhan has delivered some seriously solid death metal. It definitely is much simpler than most death metal bands I have listened to but it is still an outstanding album to check out. I have to admit that this is exactly what I’ve really been looking for so my ears could take a serious bombardment of metal.

Killing Songs :
I enjoyed all of them. But my personal favorites were Martyrs, The Last Resonance, You Monster, Atomic Supermen, and Shutdown.
Jared quoted 90 / 100
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