When: Fri., Sept. 7, 8 p.m. 2012
The long history of Irish five-piece Primordial begins in the late 80s, when they played hardcore-influenced thrash—a sound that hardly foreshadowed what they'd eventually become. Ireland isn't famous as a metal mecca, which has worked fairly well for Primordial because it means they've got few local competitors doing what they do: that is, blending long, spiraling melodies, the heroic romanticism of Irish folk music, and the themes and legends of Irish paganism into a wicked form of blackened folk metal that burns a bit even as it goes down smooth, like good whiskey (with an e, of course). Though they sound like kin and neighbors of Scandinavian folk metal and Viking metal (which they are), their sound is very much their own. Last year's Redemption at the Puritan's Hand (Metal Blade) gets me right in the same spot that the sound of the uilleann pipes does: whatever that weird area of the nervous system is that makes goose bumps. —Monica Kendrick While Heaven Wept and Cormorant open.