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4.05 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2007

Filed under Folk Metal


1. Empire Falls (8:03)
2. Gallows Hymn (5:55)
3. As Rome Burns (9:16)
4. Failures Burden (6:37)
5. Heathen Tribes (8:19)
6. The Rising Tide (1:34)
7. Traitors Gate (6:49)
8. No Nation on This Earth (8:12)

Total Time: 54:47

Bonus disc: Live Rock Hard Open Air 2006
1. The Golden Spiral (7:27)
2. The Gathering Wilderness (7:24)
3. Sons of the Morrigan (6:55)
4. The Coffin Ships (8:30)
5. Song of the Tomb (6:33)
6. Gods to the Godless (7:15)

Total Time: 44:06


- A.A. Nemtheanga / Vocals
- Ciáran MacUiliam / Guitars
- Michael O'Floinn / Guitars
- Pól MacAmlaigh / Bass
- Simon O'Laoghaire / Drums

About this release

Metal Blade Records
November 16th, 2007

Metal Blade Germany released a limited edition of the album that is available as a digibook, featuring a different cover design, a 40 page booklet, and a bonus CD of Primordial's performance at the 2006 Rock Hard Festival

Thanks to Vehemency, bartosso, Wilytank for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

If, as the album title suggests, Primordial's take on blackened folk metal is addressed "To the Nameless Dead", then those dead are being shouted at. It's a loud, explosive release that hammers at the senses like a battering ram. The lyrics, as delivered by A.A. Nemtheanga, aren't typical black metal fare and show a greatly increased thematic and emotional range, establishing Primordial's music as a matter to take seriously, and the powerful emotions driving the performances on here are unambiguous and inescapable. At 54 minutes the album cuts out early enough to avoid outstaying its welcome whilst at the same time delivering a substantial, satisfying experience.
Phonebook Eater

“To The Nameless Dead”’s violent finesse makes it one of the key albums of Folk Metal.

Primordial, after the release of the acclaimed “The Gathering Wilderness”, took a step forward with their following release, “To The Nameless Dead”, thus far the best album that band has put out. Easily definable as a landmark album for Folk Metal, and puts Primordial among the highest names of such genre, along with Moonsorrow, Agalloch, Finntroll, Eluveite, Wuthering Heights, Nokturnal Mortum, and many others.

Like “the Gathering Wilderness”, “To The Nameless Dead finds it’s folkish elements not really in acoustic moments, which is a very common stereotype for Folk Metal, but in the rhythms, the dark, evoking melodies, the Ancient Roman flavored lyrics, the overall visceral and at times bleak atmosphere. However, this last album is more open to explicit Folklore, especially one song in particular, “Heathen Tribes”. The harshness of the guitars have not settled down, but have even more increased in intensity, the vocals by frontman Nemtheanga have got even more powerful and intense, yet always unique, the drums more fat but still great to hear. The atmosphere, like mentioned, is more effective and urgent than the previous albums: the solemnity of these galloping tracks is of an elegance (from the metal point of view, clearly)that rarely I hear in an album, is perfectly combined with a most visceral, crude, and rebellious atmosphere: this mix of almost opposing types of sound gives this album of a sort of violent finesse.

The reason of such a focused and clear atmosphere is also because of the lyrical content, which for the most part consists of Ancient Roman history, Roman Paganism, invasions. There is a more human approach on this one compared to the somewhat feral “The Gathering Wilderness”. However, nature is still of a great presence in this album, lyrically, but it isn’t hard to feel it in the air as well.

The album is the most solid Primordial has ever released, eight mostly long songs starting with“Empire Falls”, the opening track, no doubt one of the very best tracks of the band, with it’s amazing riff, strong vocals, great flow and amazing heaviness, while the surprising “Heathen Tribes” is a almost completely acoustic song that reminds much of Irish Folk music because of it’s andante rhythm. “As Rome Burns”’s nine minutes are another standout point, especially the second half of the song, where you find Primordial that have never been so intense. The Black Metal influences are most noticeable in the finale “No Nation Of This Earth”, which also has a mood and riffs that remind of such dark music.

There is really not one song I can talk badly about, a terrific album that rightfully deserves a place in the great metal efforts of the new millennium. An instant classic.
"Bruce Dickinson of black metal"

I don't remember where I've read those words above, but I hope I do no harm to the author by quoting her/him here. Anyway, Primordial's frontman, A.A. Nemtheanga, is a damn good vocalist. He uses black metal growling very well, but his clean vocal skills and incredible charisma are what makes him unique. He has strong voice which brings an association with Bruce Dickinson, with the difference that his vocals are obviously harsher, more aggressive and, well, simply primordial.

First of all, you should know that it is absolutely great album but don't expect too much classic black metal here. It's not a problem for me since I'm not a fervent fan of the genre, but some of the old school guys may be disappointed with Primordial's approach to melody, harmony and rhythm. With previous records, the band accustomed us to underground sound and rather uniform, atmospheric style, widely known as pagan/folk black metal. This time they decided to make profound changes, partially present in their previous release, THE GATHERING WILDERNESS. The result is as follows - they've created absolutely unique and haunting piece of atmospheric metal, that will appeal to all fans of this diverse genre.

TO THE NAMELESS DEAD is a monumental work of metal, immersed in disturbing atmosphere of ancient and dark times of Roman Empire and the barbarians from the north. This very consistent and original idea is performed with great riffs and mature guitar harmonies, dynamic drumming and emotional, powerful vocals. Riffs are still rooted in black metal in a way, but the musicians draw from outside the genre as well. You'll hear doom metal harmonies, heavy metal influences and brooding folk metal atmosphere here. It's the first time in their career I can say that the production is fantastic - harsh yet clean, heavy and natural sound emphasize dark and uncompromising character of the work. The record sounds like an impeccable live album at times, and this is a compliment in this case. The most important thing about that though, is this rare feature that so few musicians can boast of - ability to move the listener by the music filled with genuine, breathtaking passion and almost heartrending emotion.

Great release, but not flawless. Okay, almost perfect but if I was asked what I didn't like about it I would say: Firstly, there are very rare cases of monotony - sometimes Primordial keeps developing and/or playing one theme for too long, thereby tiring me a little bit. Secondly - frankly speaking I don't like all the songs equally. As I've said, fantastic melodies predominate over mediocre ones, but that doesn't mean they're not here at all. I think that "Gallows Hymn" is a perfect example of this drawback (still a very good song).

Actually, it's been a tough choice between 9/10 and 8/10 rating, but after careful deliberation I decided that this album deserves solid four stars. It is a musthave for any atmospheric metal fan. Really, this record is almost a masterpiece, so if you like celtic folk, early Opeth, Amorphis, Septic Flesh or any other kind of atmospheric extreme metal, check it, really, it's worth it.

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