"Redemption at the Puritan's Hand" marks another chapter in Primordial's ethereal journey into Celtic-influenced black metal. The Irish faction made bombing waves among the metal underground when they released "The Gathering Wilderness" and "To the Nameless Dead," which rightfully brought tides of overwhelmingly positive opinions upon the band's shores. "Redemption at the Puritan's Hand" continues these darkened hymns with few surprises, sprouting a wobbling balance between the triumphant means of "To the Nameless Dead," yet carrying an edge of despair and anguish often channeled throughout the groups discography. Passion and emotion still play a pivotal role in the factions's exploration of themes, although both qualities are divided among Primordial's gallery of explosive power rather excellently.
Customs among the band are a given at this point in their career: thrilling tremolo riffs, A.A. Nemtheanga's massive voice, the Celtic overtone, and long running tunes. The opening "No Grave Deep Enough" feels like a proper Primordial starter, yielding energetic riffs smeared under Nemtheanga's bellowing voice; pretty typical for the band, but a nice beginning nonetheless. It's weird though, because I feel like this is the only Primordial album that emits a just-another-Primordial-album incense. Not that this is unoriginal or boring, but a trifle predictable. I get a slight vibe that the song writing isn't as compelling or magnetic compared to the groups previous records as well. None of the tracks are awkward or recycled, but the strong attractiveness of something like "Traitor's Gate" or the hooking despair of "Gods to the Godless" only occurs throughout a handful of anthems.
The group still hits gold quite frequently, even though their abilities have slightly dwindled a bit. "Bloodied Yet Unbowed" builds off a soft guitar line driven at a slow tempo with A.A. Nemtheanga's harrowing vocals dubbed over the melancholic hymn, once again going through a number of tremolo riffs, and in this case bursting into a harsh black metal passage layered in blast beats and fierce riffing; its feeling strikes a similar note to the sorrowful yet uplifting incense of "To the Nameless Dead," but musically one of Primordial's finest cuts, ever. "Lain With the Wolf" swims into a number of sections and channels, each one boiling with the total power of pristine musicality and Nemtheanga's chromatic throat. "Mouth of Judas" strikes a pessimistic note with slow, melancholic guitar nods while Nemtheanga excels wonderfully once again...simply amazing tune.
So all in all, another great slab of Celtic-baptized black metal from the masters of Celtic-baptized black metal. Some of their material reaches beyond expectations, yet a feeling of polarization occurs during the album's lackluster side, like "The Black Hundred" or "The Puritan's Hand." And even then, these cuts aren't truly mediocre or bad; just a little lacking when stacked against Primordial's previous sermons. Take "Redemption at the Puritan's Hand" at face value; it's more or less another Primordial album, but you'll still find happiness after grabbing a helping. Newer fans will find this appealing, but most of Primordial's discography unquestionably reigns over "Redemption at the Puritan's Hand."