This is not for the faint-hearted

"Storm before Calm" begins with the epic six minute piece of metal, 'The Heretic's Age'. We notice immediately that this is not going to be an ordinary metal album. It is almost like a pagan/black metal musical blend with an underlying traditional Irish / Gaelic folk experience. The drums are blasting through at a million bpm, but the guitars and vocals bring it down to a heavy, slow anthem.

'Fallen to Ruin' kicks of with a gentle acoustic guitar intro, but with an underlying eerie feeling to it, we can feel it building up and the blast of black metal is expected at any moment. The explosion of heavy guitars drums come at the right moment, but the even heavier vocals takes the roof off. This is another epic song and at over nine minutes long it takes us into dark depths and dreams.

The haunting vocals of Primordial are provided by AA Nemtheanga. He is complimented with the heavy axe wielding Ciaran MacUiliam and Michael O'Floinn. Pol MacAmlaigh on the bass and Simon O'Laoghaire blasting the drums complete the line-up of this Dublin based band. Primordial's been together for over ten years and has an extensive discography dating back to 1993 with many titles being re-released through Metalblade records. "Storm Before Calm" was originally released in 2002 and is one of the albums being re-released since they have signed to Metalblade.

Kicking off with traditional, slow drums and screaming guitars, 'Cast to the Pyre' continues the slow flowing heavy songs. Nemtheanga's vocals are as haunting as always, but he drags himself into the realms of TradMetal, before crawling back into the depths of Black Metal. With the drums and guitars slow and heavy this is not for the faint hearted. This is epic in almost a folk fashion, but it is as heavy as hell.

The fourth track, 'Suns First Rays', blasts through what's left of your brain, reaches deep and pulls your heart out. This is exactly what you would expect from a Black Metal album with evil growls and a million bpm double peddling drums. It does what it says on the box.

We get a brief moment to recover with the gentle instrumental, 'What Sleeps Within' before continuing with another epic track 'Sons of the Morrigan'. The long instrumental takes you into another world before the haunting Nemtheanga creeps through the woods. At eight minutes long, it offers neck breaking riffs and guaranteed brain damage.

It was the final track 'Hosting of the Sidhe' that scared the shit out of me, you can feel the spirits coming out of the speakers, gliding through the room, and when Nemtheanga starts his mythical narration, you know you won't be sleeping tonight.

"Storm before Calm" was an epic journey through the deep dark forests of the old world. It is clear why Metalblade has decided to re-release these fantastic back issues.