England’s Primitai may be a new name to some of you, but they’ve been treading the boards for well over a decade now, and ‘Night Brings Insanity’ marks their fourth full-length album. They self-released this one, using a crowdfunding platform to conduct a modest pre-order campaign shortly before the release date in spring 2016. I haven’t seen a great deal of chatter about ‘Night Brings Insanity’ in the shadowy watering holes of the Internet that I call home, but that should change because an album of this quality needs to be heard.
Pinning down Primitai’s style is tougher than it might seem, simply because there’s a lot going on in their brand of melodic heavy metal. There’s definitely some ‘80s Sunset Strip flavor in a few of the riffs and backing vocal arrangements, most obviously on the jubilant chorus of “Power Surge,” but this is neither a throwback nor a glam album. To the contrary, it’s very much contemporary and often hard as nails. Elements of heavy Euro power metal are also sprinkled throughout the disc, with the likes of “Black Rider” and “Brace for Storms” putting me in mind of modern-day Rage or Primal Fear. There are spots where the band locks into a compelling groove (“My Last Escape”), but no, ‘Night Brings Insanity’ isn’t some kind of modern groove record either. Maybe the best way to put it is like this: Primitai’s sound is built on a backbone of tasteful shredding guitarwork courtesy of Srdjan Bilic and Sergio Giron. The lead vocals of Guy Miller are powerful, mid-ranged and charismatic, and at various times he reminds me of the likes of Z.P. Theart (Dragonforce, Tank), the guy from Mutiny Within (anyone remember him? helluva singer), or even Peavy Wagner (Rage) when Miller drops into his lower register. Lush, melodic, multipart backing vocal arrangements are often prominent in the chorus sections. Songs are mostly around four minutes long, catchy and polished, made for headbanging and singing along in equal measure, with the pummeling rhythm section anchoring even the most lightweight moments.
‘Night Brings Insanity’ is so accessible that I can see Primitai appealing to a wide swath of the heavy metal universe, but they’re perhaps most directly in the wheelhouse of fans of bands like Striker (although Primitai largely eschew the thrashy tendencies of the Canucks) or Holy Grail (especially in the fiery guitarwork and expertly constructed songs that manage to sound fresh rather than recycled). The band are experienced, talented songwriters who know their way around a killer riff and a memorable hook, while showcasing enough diversity and dynamics to guarantee that the 9-song, 43-minute ride never becomes remotely boring. The elitists in the room may look down their noses at Primitai, just like they do at any band with a legitimate shot at breaking out of the underground and experiencing a commercial breakthrough, but the rest of you who enjoy guitar-driven, song-oriented, classy heavy metal with great playing and fine vocals owe it to yourselves to track down a copy of ‘Night Brings Insanity.’
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~