Vocalist Alan "Nemtheanga" Averill of Irish dark metal masters PRIMORDIAL has issued the following update:
"It's been a while since my last confession.
"Joking aside, it really has been a long time since our last transmission and the reasons are manifold and really pretty simple.
"This has been one of the most tumultuous years in the band since the mid-Nineties. The wheels very nearly came clean off, so where do I start?!
"We can't go any further without clearing up the drummer situation. Truth is, we had an incident in Greece that if you follow or know anything about the band has been well documented, so we won't go into again. [Longtime PRIMORDIAL drummer] Simon [O'Laoghaire] had some real problems that night.
"Firstly, we thank the Greek fans for their understanding and we will be back in 2011.
"Yes, it's true in the aftermath of that we auditioned some drummers and I must also thank everyone who applied from abroad, the Irish drummers we did play with and everyone who sent us emails and messages wishing us strength and asking after Simon.
"Suffice it to say Simon is the drummer of PRIMORDIAL and I have no doubt this will never change. He is fit and well and we rehearsed yesterday.
"For our own piece of mind, we had to audition people and in hindsight maybe something positive came out of it in that we had to put the album recording back and I feel we will be better prepared.
"We all, of course, have a long history together of over two decades in various personal combinations, and to put it mundanely, you go through ups and downs and this year has had more than its fair share of downs. For the first time in years, we played a few very average shows and by our own admission became unfocused. Yet as always we regroup, our own biggest critics, and in one month we enter the studio to record album number seven.
"We would like to extend massive thanks to Gareth Averill for filling in at short notice for a fistful of gigs over the summer.
"In case you didn't know, he's the guy who shot and edited our DVD, and as you may recognize, my cousin. He stood up to the plate and in a couple of days learned our set, having been a session drummer in the Irish indie/rock scene for a decade.
"The whole experience and auditioning drummers at the very least gave us a greater insight into the dynamic that makes PRIMORDIAL PRIMORDIAL and that dynamic belongs to all five of us. We may have stand-ins for shows now and again because we are not a professional band nor make a living from it and life gets in the way of us all doing every show, but we realized that replace one of the five of us creatively and PRIMORDIAL is not PRIMORDIAL.
"For the foreseeable future Cathal Murphy is going to be behind the kit live, making his debut with us at the end of the month in Spain and Portugal. Simon is just taking a break for a short while, nothing more and nothing less. This will be our first time in Madrid and Barcelona since 2000 when we played with IMMORTAL. Been way too long.
"Touring and festival plans are being thrown about now for 2011; hopefully some more news very soon…
"The new songs are coming thick and fast at this stage as studio time is approaching.
"Sometimes I really wish we made a living from the band so could take more time than the snatches of rehearsal we get but that said we also thrive on some pressure and it seems to give the songs some extra edge.
"Foel Studios in Wales is booked for two sessions in November and December.
"Looking forward to a Welsh Indian Winter.
"Bring on the monsoon season."
The third in the reissue series from PRIMORDIAL, "Spirit The Earth Aflame", came out in July via Metal Blade Records. The LP was originally released in 2000 and was now re-released as a two-disc digipack.
PRIMORDIAL released its first-ever DVD, "All Empires Fall", in the U.S. on March 16 via Metal Blade Records. Disc 1 of the two-disc set is the centerpiece of the DVD and features a full PRIMORDIAL headline show recorded live on January 24, 2009 in the band's hometown of Dublin, Ireland. The concert was filmed with five cameras and has an exceptional vintage look due to the hard work in post-production. Disc 2 features live clips from the band's appearances at Ragnarök Festival (Germany), Hove Festival (Norway) and Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium) in 2008. The second disc also contains a band documentary with all the inside stories and loads of ancient footage from the early stages of the band. The documentary has a playing time of approximately 60 minutes. Interviews with all band members and rehearsal footage complete the second disc of the set.