Spirit the Earth Aflame

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In 2010, Metal Blade celebrated the tenth anniversary of Spirit the Earth Aflame with this expanded edition. How expanded? While Spirit the Earth Aflame was originally released as a single CD back in 2000, this 2010 edition is a two-CD set that lasts 97 minutes and contains a total of 17 tracks. Metal Blade is generous with the bonus material, offering several live performances as well as various demos and covers of Bathory's "Total Destruction" and Rotting Christ's "Inside the Eye of Algond." And while a casual listener could be happy with the original single-CD version of Spirit the Earth Aflame, the bonus tracks are never boring. Primordial are a highly interesting band, and along the way they became increasingly distinctive. Indeed, Spirit the Earth Aflame is not an easy album to pigeonhole stylistically; perhaps the most accurate description would be "an epic, melancholic, highly melodic blend of symphonic black metal, folk metal, and doom metal, with a strong Irish/Celtic influence." Unlike all the black metal, death metal, and folk metal bands that have been influenced by the traditional folk music of Sweden, Norway, or Finland, Primordial don't have those Nordic leanings; the folk influences on Spirit the Earth Aflame are strictly Celtic. And melodically, Primordial don't let listeners down. Spirit the Earth Aflame never becomes an exercise in bombast for the sake of bombast; this is metal that values musicality and intricacy as much as it values balls-to-the-wall aggression. Casual listeners who already own a single-CD version of Spirit the Earth Aflame don't necessarily need to rush out and buy the album a second time, but for the seasoned Primordial fan, the arrival of this expanded edition is a very good thing.

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