Primitive Graven Image – Traversing the Awesome Night

Primitive Graven Image
Traversing The Awesome Night (Re-Issue)
Released 1st July 2013
Black Metal
Released via UKEM Records and Envenomation Records

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‘Traversing The Awesome Night’ is the debut album from The British black metal band Primitive Graven Image. It was originally released by a different label back in 2006. This is the new, re-issued version featuring songs from the band’s demo ‘Hellish Figurines’ as bonus tracks.

First up is the grim-sounding Bringer of Dark and Light which reveals an interesting mix of black metal influences. There’s everything from the howling vocals of Mayhem, the ferocity of Watain to an occasional dose of the thrash metal -esque guitar patterns of Darkthrone/Immortal added in for good measure. The music has a certain eerie feel to it and yet despite all the harsh elements, the overall sound quality is surprisingly clear.

The pace tends to vary a lot, occasionally changing even half-way through a track. This is particularly evident on songs such as Fear and Fire which features both mid-paced and aggressive guitar riffage along with droning, monotonous guitar elements creeping in towards the latter half of the track. Similar things can be said about the mid-parts of Victorious leading up to the ferocious drum solo at the end. I swear that parts of this could almost be classed as melodic if it wasn’t for the abrasive nature of the singer’s persistent howling. Sadly it is precisely the howling vocals that make some of tracks on here sound rather one-dimensional and unmemorable.

Overall this is an interesting mixture of black metal styles. The problem I have with it is that I’m still not convinced how well all these work together.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

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