Album Review – Primal Age / Masked Enemy (2021)

One of the trailblazers of Hardcore and Edge Metal in Europe returns with another furious album, again dealing with animal rights, vegetarianism, ecology, denunciation of overconsumption and abuse of power.

3.5rating

primal-age-masked-enemy-2021Bringing forward a furious mix of Heavy Metal and Hardcore since 1993 and still going strong, always with a lot of energy, passion and determination, and relentlessly presenting a strong critical view on the ugliest parts of our rotten society, Évreux, France-based Hardcore/Edge Metal unity Primal Age is back with more of their furious music in their new opus entitled Masked Enemy, the follow-up to their 2017 EP A Silent Wound. Refusing to hold back on themes like defense of animal rights, vegetarianism, ecology, denunciation of overconsumption and abuse of power, the band comprised of Didier on vocals, Benoit and Florian on the guitars, Dimitri on bass, and newcomer Miguel on drums goes once again straight to your jugular in their new album, with the crisp recording and mixing by Guillaume Doussaud at Swan Sound Studio, the awesome mastering by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, and the ass-kicking artwork by Visual Injuries (who have been working for the band for several years and know how to translate their music and lyrics into images), turning it into a must-have for fans of extreme music with a meaningful message.

Their political feast of heavy music begins with Intro & Wise Old Man, featuring an excerpt from 12-year old Severn Suzuki’s speech during the United Nation’s Earth Summit Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 (see the full video HERE), with sinister sounds growing in intensity until Didier comes growling manically supported by his bandmates, generating a sick atmosphere that lives up to the legacy of classic Hardcore. Then it’s time to slam into the pit to the vicious beats by Miguel and the always melodic but extremely austere riffage by Benoit and Florian in The Devil Is Hidden In Shadow, not to mention Didier sounds even more demented on vocals; followed by Adolescent Humanity, a fusion of Metalcore, Hardcore, Heavy Metal and classic Punk Rock that will invite you to crush your skull into the circle pit, with Dimitri and Miguel being on fire with their hellish kitchen. In The Two Heads Monster we’re treated to the acid lyrics barked by Didier (“Control of the living became an economic stake / Sectors collusion promises us the best / But it’s a dark future’s conjuring / Chemistry and Nature are not getting along”) amidst sheer violence in the form of old school Hardcore, whereas the title-track Masked Enemy reminds me of the music by The Exploited with hints of the Thrash Metal played by Slayer and Exodus, which obviously translates into pure awesomeness, while Miguel dictates the song’s visceral pace.

The frantic beats by Miguel, the intense riffs by Benoit and Florian, and endless electricity are the main ingredients in I Warn You, another excellent creation by Primal Age that will please all fans of the genre without a shadow of a doubt, while the semi-acoustic interlude The Downside Of Progress will capture your soul before the band comes ripping once again in Who Dares Wins, a smashing, in-your-face tune led by the infuriated roars by Didier displaying no shenanigans nor any artificial elements, just our good old Hardcore to make you crack your neck headbanging like a true beast. And get ready to be dragged into a hurricane of Metalcore and Hardcore to the incendiary guitars by Benoit and Florian in the high-octane tune Passion vs. Fashion, while Dimitri keeps hammering his bass nonstop. What a pulverizing composition, I might say, whereas the second to last explosion of their politics-infused metal music, entiled Blinded By Cruelty, brings to our ears another round of their wicked riffs and beats, all of course spiced up by the deep growling by Didier, before all comes to an end with the instrumental outro Awakening Of Consciousness, putting a serene, melancholic and climatic ending to the album.

primal-age-2021Masked Enemy is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to properly show your support to Primal Age and join them in their fight against everything that’s wrong with our decaying society, you should definitely purchase the album from their Big Cartel in CD or vinyl, from the WTF Records webstore also as a CD or vinyl, from Coretex Records, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, or simply click HERE for the digital version of the album. In addition, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube to stay up to date with all things Primal Age. Those French trailblazers of Hardcore and Edge Metal nailed it once again with their new album, and may their powerful message reach the four corners of the earth in hopes that we can all make the world a better place to live to the sound of their first-class music.

Best moments of the album: The Devil Is Hidden In Shadow, Masked Enemy and Passion vs. Fashion.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 WTF Records

Track listing   
1. Intro & Wise Old Man 4:24
2. The Devil Is Hidden In Shadow 3:12
3. Adolescent Humanity 2:22
4. The Two Heads Monster 3:16
5. Masked Enemy 3:14
6. I Warn You 3:14
7. The Downside Of Progress 1:09
8. Who Dares Wins 3:58
9. Passion vs. Fashion 3:16
10. Blinded By Cruelty 3:48
11. Awakening Of Consciousness 2:00

Band members
Didier – vocals
Benoit – guitars
Florian – guitars
Dimitri – bass
Miguel – drums

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