There is no way 2018 would have been as bearable as it was without listening to The Primals.
This largely unknown Japanese metal band has been in my ears since 2017. You can read a brief history of them in my post about Final Fantasy XIV. They have since become my favourite band and have been an enormous source of comfort on the worst days at work.
Their tunes can bust stress like nothing else. They’re an excellent companion during my workouts at the gym. During difficult times, I’ve also used their song titles as inspiration for blog posts. I didn’t mention it at the time, but the songs oddly reflected how I was feeling at the time.
Last year they released their first album and now they have just released a Blu-Ray of one of their concerts performed in Zepp, Osaka in Japan.
In addition to the Blu-Ray, you can also download the songs as MP3s to a phone or PC.
This musical performance is nothing short of exhilarating! I’ve been unable to secure tickets to any of the band’s gigs as they mainly play at fan festivals for the game Final Fantasy XIV (and tickets to those events are notoriously difficult to snag).
The concert recording is everything I’ve ever hoped to experience. They really get carried away whenever the music hits a crescendo. The creator (and lead guitarist) of the band is the main composer and sound director of FFXIV, Masayoshi Soken.
Between songs, he engages the crowd and is funny and charming in a goofy sort of way. He clearly loves his job and is full of gaming anecdotes that only FF fans would understand. It’s a joy to watch him just chat to everyone.
Then there’s the lead singer, Koji Fox. He isn’t a professional singer, but he landed the role because he writes the lore for the game and also writes the song lyrics (and translations). For someone who isn’t a professional performer, he certainly knows how to own the stage. When he gets into a song, he really gets into it.
What’s endearing about this is that Koji looks really nervous before going out on stage (as can be seen in the Behind-The-Scenes footage). With the amount of power and ferocity he delivers when he sings, I would have never guessed he was waiting behind the curtain with a sense of trepidation. But when the music takes over him, he becomes a force of nature. He becomes primal.
The bonus footage follows the group as they travel around on tour, deciding on setlists, performing sound checks and so on.
It’s a thankfully long and genuinely interesting look at how much work these guys put into their performance. You can even see Soken working on his normal job (making music for the video game) 20 minutes before he goes on stage. Talk about hard working!
During the concert itself, different camera angles are used to convey the incredible atmosphere. It really feels like I’m watching the band play live.
My favourite moment of the concert is this.
There is a moment in the song Rise when the music drops down to a quiet melody and all the band members freeze. This is similar to when FF players are frozen with an attack called Petrify. After a few moments, the music kicks back in and the band members come to life once more.
Fans on social media spread the word to also freeze during this moment. But the band never knew about it, so hearing their reaction backstage is brilliant!
Overall, this Blu-Ray is just amazing. It has let me experience the joy of a Primals concert without the substantial cost of travelling halfway across the world.
I still hope to see them play live some day. But until that day, I’ll happily settle for this Blu-Ray.
Thanks for reading, folks!