Primalfrost – Prosperous Visions
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
The debut full-length from Primalfrost is undoubtedly an impressive one, especially considering that it’s essentially the efforts of one man. I was really surprised, as having given the whole album a spin prior to finding out any information, I would have sworn this to be a full band effort. Dean Arnold shows some impressive skill in his craft here, with the instrumentation and programming coming across as very professional.
The general style present across Prosperous Visions is somewhere between Ensiferum and Suidakra, with flawlessly executed, involving, Scandinavian style guitars, ice encrusted orchestration, and harsh vocals. The sense of melody throughout stands to me as the strongest, most appealing aspect of Primalfrost, and I feel Dean is really on the ball when crafting affecting melodic passages and pouring his being into riffs and chord progressions which bleed that kind of somber, yet triumphant feeling I associate with the cold, harsh realms of Scandinavia.
Nowhere is this aspect of the Primalfrost sound more evident than in the glistening “An End To Tyranny”, an accessible cut which proudly houses the finest aspects of the album in one tight package – blending perishing, Immortal-style tonality with power metal rhythms and adorning it with piercing folky melodies which recall the likes of Heathen Foray, or again, classic Ensiferum. Of course the rest of the album is no slouch, and throughout remains captivating largely thanks to Dean’s dynamic approach to songwriting. He dials back on the fancy dressing common amongst his stylistic peers, opting instead for a more honest approach. This allows the music to do the talking, as opposed to how many layers he can cram into Pro Tools.
The orchestral and choral efforts are present, but they’re used in a way which reinforces their accompanying segments as opposed to taking over the show. A commendable feat in my eyes, as it’s very easy to compensate for lack of songwriting skill or unexciting music with layers of crap, and it’s a pitfall completely avoided throughout Prosperous Visions. Hell, even the mammoth “Cathartic Quest (An End To Tyranny Part II)” is completely on the money throughout its fourteen minutes.
There’s little in the way of downsides here, which is always a bonus, and the only real aspect I could criticize is that this isn’t as good as Ensiferum, Suidakra, or the latest Whispered album. However, it should be remembered that this is a debut, and the potential is all there. I think fans of the style should find a lot to cherish with this one, and I foresee a prosperous future for Primalfrost indeed. All round, Prosperous Visions is a good effort with some cracking numbers like “Beyond The Shores And Lands”, “An End To Tyranny”, and the furious “Silencing The Empire”. Well worth checking out!
3.75 // 5