The project has been around since the beginning of this century and this epic piece of work is their third effort. Opening with the haunting masterpiece 'In Fiery Ascent', this album rages on in sheer intensity and with a pitch black atmosphere. The song starts out gently, but quickly turns into a harsh, unsettling intro before blasting out in a massive orgy of aggression and chaos. At times, I don't know if I should bang my head or crawl under the table in sheer terror.
And it doesn't end there. 'For Astral Triumphs' seems to push the level of dissonance even further. There is just not rest on this album, it's a massive blast of utter agony. Yet, I can sometimes hear flashes from old school heavy metal and some fierce thrash metal riffing, which might give you something to grasp while you're being tumbled in this vortex of nihilism and despair. Yeah, it is that intense.
Perhaps there might be a few breathers. 'Behind the Watching Shadows' is one of them, a calm passage which is quite welcome on this album. Opening like something between folk and post-rock, this song slowly evolves into a slow but still quite intense tune. Yet, after that it's all grimness and fury until the brilliant blackened heavy metal track 'The Mansions of Night' begins. Sit this one out, it's pretty much a magnum opus, my absolute favorite here.
So what to think about this album? Well, if you're into bleak, chaotic black metal, but not weary of a touch of melody sometimes, you should already have this album in your collection. It certainly takes me back to the dark nineties where obscure bands were popping everywhere and true evil finally got its own musical style. So go ahead, check it out and dwell into the creepy world of Primeval Mass. You know you want to...