Primalfrost
Lost Elegies

So this release came out in late 2021, but just recently showed up on the TOTD emails, but when it name-dropped the likes of Wintersun, Ensiferum, Wolfheart, and Stormlord, it sure as fuck got my attention, and I had to check it out. I’m very glad I did, as the name-dropping, while a bit heavy-handed, certainly captures the essence of what Primalfrost sounds like and what fans should check Lost Elegies out.

Primalfrost is Canadian, one-man show, mercenary shredder for hire, Dean Arnold, who has been in, helped out or guested on releases by Belphegor, Vital Remains, Will of the Ancients (another more, homegrown comparison if you want one) and Hate to name a few.  He’s had a pretty good amount of Primalfrost singles under his belt, but this is only his second album since 2014s Prosperous Visions.

With a shred and synth-filled 9os melodic black /death metal delivery, Primalfrost, as well as the name drops above, hearkens back to the likes of Children of Bodom, Skyfire, and such. And Arnold certainly knows how to meld influences old and new on this very satisfying, excellently produced, 45 minute 8 song foray into sweeping leads, lots of them, as well as triumphant marches, and majestic, but subtle keyboards. He has a simple, standard melo-death, throaty rasp to back everything up, but you are not listening to this for his vocals, this is a pure shredder dream, but is also backed by memorable confident songwriting.

That said, opener “Maelstrom” did little to immediately grab my attention, being a pretty standard 90s uptempo melo-death track. However, the second track, “Bringer of Immensity” got my ears perking up with a nice epic blast beat and a memorable bouncy riff, and from there on I’m 100% in on Lost Elegies. “Nomad” and “Stormbearer” really imbues Skyfire, with a short sharp burst before “Stormbearer” delivers a more restrained, mid-paced charger.

Then we get the first of the album’s two outstanding, lengthy numbers with the 9-minute “Voyage Into Ruin”, with a killer, regal opening marching riff that signals 9 minutes of perfectly executed and varied melo-death, with a more emphatic presence of keyboards and even brief female choirs. And the blast beat around 4 minutes in is simply epic. We the album’s most blistering, bombastic track in “Solace Kingdom” and an instrumental before the 11-minute endcap, “Tenebrous Skies”, which delivers everything the past track delivered, with added pomp and melodic urgency and ends on an appropriate, nicely little orchestral fadeout.

This is the second really good, 90s melodic death metal homage I’ve heard recently, along with Burned in Effigy‘s Rex Mortem, and the fact its one guy makes it even more impressive.

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 16th, 2022

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