Primordial (band)

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Primordial at Rockharz Festival 2016 in Germany
Primordial at Rockharz Festival 2016 in Germany
Background information
OriginSkerries, Dublin, Ireland
GenresBlack metal, Celtic metal
Years active1993–present
LabelsMetal Blade Records
MembersAlan Averill "Nemtheanga"
Ciáran MacUiliam
Pól MacAmhlaigh
Simon O'Laoghaire
Past membersMicheál O'Floinn
Feargal Flannery
Derek MacAmhlaigh

Primordial are an Irish extreme metal band from Skerries, County Dublin. The band was formed in 1993 by bassist Pól MacAmhlaigh and guitarist Ciarán MacUiliam. Their sound blends black metal and doom metal with Celtic music.


Primordial in 2007

The band's roots stretch back to 1987 when Pól and Ciarán first began playing together with Pól's brother, Derek. The band (who were called Forsaken for a brief period) initially played a rough, hybrid mix of early, primitive thrash and death metal (playing covers of Death, Sepultura and the like).[1]

Vocalist Nemtheanga joined the band after seeing an advertisement for a singer in Dublin specialist metal store The Sound Cellar in 1991. According to Primordial lore, the ad was pasted over no more than 2 hours after it being put up.[2]

Upon Nemtheanga's joining the band, the band started to pursue a darker direction citing influence from Bathory, Celtic Frost and the emerging Greek and Norwegian black metal scenes.

Primordial was the first black metal styled band to emerge from Ireland with the release of their Dark Romanticism demo in the early summer of 1993 (Cruachan were also active at this time combining black metal with folk music). The band initially came to the attention of Lee Barrett from the UK label Candlelight Records but he failed to move on signing the band, so after a live soundboard recording from Dublin from 1994 was sent to Cacophonous Records (Cradle of Filth, Bal Sagoth, etc.), the band signed with them for the release of their debut album Imrama.

Although their debut album, Imrama, was characteristic as being in a more melodic black metal musical direction, they gradually came to refine their sound with A Journey's End, which included the use of mandolins and whistles and a more epic style. The two subsequent releases, The Burning Season and Spirit the Earth Aflame, showed the band's reflection of cultural geist and emotion, woven into an amalgam of black, Celtic, and folk metal musical styles. They have toured with various metal bands in the extreme metal genre, including Norwegian black metal band Immortal.

They released their dark fourth studio album Storm Before Calm in 2002, but the band's fifth album The Gathering Wilderness turned out to be a much darker and bleaker record than any Primordial had made before, providing the listener with a rawer sound as well. It was chosen as album of the month in Terrorizer magazine and appeared in many top lists of the year 2005. In January 2006, the band played their first US show alongside Thyrfing and Moonsorrow at the Heathen Crusade metalfest in Columbia Heights, Minnesota.

The band's sixth album, To the Nameless Dead, was released on 16 November 2007 with universal praise for its raw sound used from the first or second recordings. In November and December 2010, the band entered Foel Studio in Wales to work with producer Chris Fielding once again. The resulting album, Redemption at the Puritan's Hand, was released via Metal Blade on 22 April 2011. In July 2014, Primordial announced their eighth studio album under the working title Where Greater Men Have Fallen. It was released 25 November 2014 in the US and 24 November elsewhere.[3] On 18 April 2018, their ninth studio album Exile Amongst the Ruins was released.

After five years of little to no activity, the band announced their tenth album, How It Ends, would be released on 29 September 2023.


Alan "Naihmass Nemtheanga" Averill at Rockharz Open Air 2016
Pól MacAmhlaigh at Rockharz 2016


  • Alan Averill "Nemtheanga" – vocals (1993–present)
  • Ciáran MacUiliam – guitar (1993–present)
  • Pól MacAmhlaigh – bass (1993–present)
  • Simon Ó Laoghaire – drums (1997–present)


  • Micheál Ó Floinn – guitar (2001–2023)
  • Feargal Flannery – guitar (1997–2001)
  • Derek MacAmhlaigh – drums (1993–1997)

Session members[edit]

  • Gerry Clince (Mael Mórdha, Death the Leveller) – guitar, bass
  • Shauny Cadogan - guitar
  • Feargal Flannery – guitar, bass
  • Steve Hughes (Slaughter Lord, Nazxul, Apocalypse Command) – drums
  • Dave Murphy – bass
  • Dave McMahon – bass
  • Gareth Averill – drums
  • Cathal Murphy – drums



Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • All Empires Fall (2010)
  • Gods to the Godless - Live at Bang Your Head Festival Germany 2015 (2016)



Split releases[edit]


  1. ^ "Primordial | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ Primordial interviewed for DVD preview, Primordial DVD Preview Archived 20 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Metal Injection, accessed 8 March 2010
  3. ^ "PRIMORDIAL: Dublin Metal Troupe Unveils New Tune At Stereogum". Retrieved 30 October 2014.

External links[edit]