Primordial - 02 Academy Islington

Mancunian black metellers Winterfylleth set an appropriate tone for tonight, their well-executed, sprawling epics bringing a dose of the medieval wilderness to N1. Unrelenting and blisteringly fast, it gets heads nodding in respect and a few cheers of appreciation, but they don't quite manage to set the place alight. The new song 'Void Of Stars' indicates that their upcoming third album is likely to be more or less of the same flavour.

"Welcome to the church of Hell!" There is no disguising the fact, no matter how much corpse paint the use, that Hell are wrinkly old rockers – but my god (or should that be devil?) they sure can rock still. A tragedy-ridden lost gem from the first swell of NWOBHM, they have risen on the third decade to spread the word once again. Buoyed by nostalgia - and some frankly wicked tunes - all are converts tonight.

It has been more than four years since Primordial have been in London, playing to half as many people, and given the adoration on display, you have to question why. The sound of an entire room singing 'As Rome Burns' and 'Empire Falls' is magical, a tribe united by a shared love of five Irish lads creating one hell of a storm in front of us all.

The fusion of traditional folk, in this case Irish, and extreme metal has become something of a fad since the turn of the century, but none have as yet matched the raw emotion of 'The Coffin Ships' or the remarkable balance of the two as in 'Autumn's Ablaze'. Yes, Primordial are fantastically heavy, but there is such a melodious quality to their music, the audience are caught in a strange dance between a good old jig and an all-out headbanging session.

My adoration of Primordial is well documented, but I haven't enjoyed a set by anyone this much in a very long time. As someone who has become rather sedate as the years have gone by, all of a sudden I was a teenager again, losing myself in the music and the moment; such is the power of this band, tapping into a primitive, nay primordial, instinct. We are the fighting men!

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