Primordial dropped its eighth LP late last month, another stellar entry in an already impressive oeuvre. To celebrate, frontman Alan Averill (aka A.A. Nemtheanga) sent us a playlist that, as he describes, “might be something a little different.” After perusing his picks, it’s hard to disagree. We’ll let him take it from here: “I always think too hard about lists, I think it’s the rainman in me that gets caught up in too many permutations and the maths can make me dizzy. Then I always leave something out that comes back to haunt me. Or I spend hours deliberating on which Holy Terror track to choose from which album and why. I’ve done loads of metal lists before, so I thought I’d write about ten non-metal albums that have influenced me and mean a lot to me over the years.”
Here’s hoping to see the Irish quintet on these shores again soon. In the meantime, pick up a copy of the excellent Where Greater Men Have Fallen here.
Wovenhand–Consider The Birds (2004)
Consistently my favorite band over the last decade is Wovenhand, to the point I even followed them around on tour a few years back for a weekend. The stark orthodox and unrelentingly dark aesthetic seems to resonate with many black metal people. In Europe it’s been something of a given in the scene people know about Wovenhand. Hard to categorize, bleached black old testament folk americana which warns us all to repent!
The Cure–Pornography (1982)
An album I heard back in the ’80s but only returned to a couple of years ago. Not weighed down with any expectation of hits, this is The Cure at its darkest and most bleak. “One Hundred Years” for example has a claustrophobic grimness most black metal can only dream of.
Dead Can Dance–Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (1987)
One of the first bands I gravitated towards in the early ’90s outside of the metal scene. A band my teenage ears couldn’t really fully grasp in its entirety but all I knew was it was something of staggering beauty. Part goth, part medieval choral music, it was the stepping stone towards accepting other forms of dark music into my listening tastes.
Leonard Cohen–Songs Of Love And Hate (1971)
A tape trading friend back in the early ’90s sent this to me and as a 15 year old I became obsessed with this album. It superficially appeals to that teenage sense of being misunderstood by everyone and sundry, but it’s stood by me over the years. “Famous Blue Raincoat” is still an achingly beautiful song and taken on far more meaning the older I’ve got.
Bohren & Der Club Of Gore–Black Earth (2002)
Something new that has been with me only a couple of years but has been the accompaniment of many 4 a.m. moments staring at the ceiling or watching the sun come up. Black jazz they call it, imagine some kind of doom slow satanic film noir.
Townes Van Zandt’s “Waiting ‘Round To Die” (from 1968’s For The Sake Of The Song)
Again something new but a very powerful conduit for me over the last couple of years. TVZ is the real deal, something so organic, raw and passionate. Some of the footage of him playing this song in a cabin filmed for a documentary on him is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen. Proper country!
Johnny Cash–American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)
Any of the Rubin produced albums that reinvented Cash could be here but I guess this one is the most iconic. A snapshot of the final years of a real musician’s life, in the true old sense, a proper rebel from another age. That body of work still slices through the mediocrity of modern society like a knife. Sagely and forewarned.
Klaus Schulze–Blackdance (1974)
I could have picked Tangerine Dream but to be honest I think Schulze nails something darker on this solo album. Trance-like ’70s electronic music that was the soundtrack to many a troubled mental state over the last few decades. I have Euronymous to thank for the recommendation!
Arditi–Omne Ensis Impera (2008)
I’ve always had an interest in the martial/neo folk scene and having played four times at Wave-Gotik-Treffen and many friends in that scene, Arditi has become the de facto soundtrack to that interest. Rousing and reflective of an older, idealized Europa!
Clint Mansell (with the Kronos Quartet and Mogwai)–The Fountain: Music From The Motion Picture (2006)
I could have picked several other soundtracks but this is the one I turn to the most. An odd, confusing, at turns amazing and then preposterous movie that at the very least makes an impact. Meditative and moving on an epic scale.
*Order a copy of Primordial’s Where Greater Men Have Fallen here
**For past Decibrity entries, click here