By Lane Oliver
Listening to Primitive Man is like falling into an endless abyss surrounded by complete darkness, feelings of hopelessness, disturbing creatures of the macabre nature and psychosis to boot. Darkly cheesy descriptions aside, Primitive Man’s debut full length, Scorn, is as dark as they come. While some may shy away from Primitive Man’s malevolency, I for one embrace it. This is a terrifying yet enthralling debut from a band that will no doubt turn heads and should garner a lot of attention.
Primitive Man describe themselves as “doom metal” but it’s ever apparent they are so much more than that. Once you begin listening to the album’s title track and opener you will realize that this is no ordinary doom. “Scorn” is a nearly twelve minute train ride right into the belly of hell itself. This record is extremely raw and unapologetic and “Scorn” plunges you right into the heart of it. For the first five minutes of this titan of a track, Primitive Man pummels you with destructive dissonant slabs of sludge, chord after chord after chord. This mind numbingly persistent, steady paced assault breaks the listener into a heap of flesh and leaves them in a state of claustrophobic terror. Then Primitive Man take a surprising turn for a few moments around the five minute mark and dive into a noisy, grindcore driven frenzy of inharmonious guitar grunts only to bleed right into to more destructive doom. The track becomes increasingly more noisy and ends in a cataclysmic bombardment of cacophonous sound. If you survived this twelve minute beast then get prepared for the other six devilish treats Primitive Man has to offer. The band breaks out the sludgy, dissonant grind on the next track “Rags. The opening riff is just a noisy, bouncing groove that will erode the soul unless Ethan McCarthy’s (also of Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire) raspy, demonic howl doesn’t eat the soul first. The track starts with that dissonant sludge and ends in a cavalcade of blood drenched doom. Primitive Man takes a break from their onslaught on tracks “I Can’t Forget” and “Black Smoke”, which may not doom metal but they are still dark and eerie. Both of these tracks are, in a sense, experimental noise pieces. “I Can’t Forget” is centered on the sounds of a reversed, distorted choir, a creepy humming drone and the unmistakable sounds of searing pain in the foreground. “Black Smoke” is even creepier in my opinion. The track is made up of layers panting, breathing and moaning for three minutes straight. The voices intertwine and harmonize and end up scaring the shit out of me. “Black Smoke” was made for a horror movie soundtrack. These little tidbits are nice additions to an overall evil sounding album. But don’t worry Primitive Man return to their hellfire and brimstone on the nine minute “Antietam”. This track is much like “Scorn in the sense it begins with faith crushing dissonant chords that lead into a short noisy hardcore section and back again. “Antietam” spends the good portion of its duration beating the listener senseless with repetitive chunks of sound, almost in a Swans like fashion. Though that middle section can drag on a little bit, it’s worth noting for its ferocity. “Stretched Thin” is the shortest track on the Scorn and obviously provides a good portion of the album’s grind moments.”Stretched Thin” is destructive, hell raising d-beat infused grind/hardcore all the way through. It definitely reminds me of some of CTTTOAFF and Death of Self’s material, only a lot slower and with more gruff. Our dark journey ends with the wonderfully evil “Astral Sleep”. This song is just bleak and nihilistic throughout with doomy chugs creating seismic quakes in the listener’s ears. Then said ears finally start pouring blood when the band kicks into hardcore gear and just rips everything to shreds. From start to finish, this album is a force to be reckoned with. One of the heaviest debuts by any band I have ever heard in all of my days.
Primitive Man’s Scorn is seven tracks of pure hatred, self loathing and psychotic rage. This isn’t your run of the mill bong-ripping doom metal that has been done a million times. No, this is the actual feeling of “doom” in audio form. Scorn will instill feelings of dread and fear in you and you will love every freaking minute of it. I highly recommend this one.
Label: Self released/Throatruiner/Mordgrimm
Release Date: January 31st, 2013
Favorite Tracks “Scorn”, “Astral Sleep” and “Rags”
For fans of: Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire, Woods of Ypres, Death of Self and Unearthly Trance.