While “man” be in the name of recent Relapse-signee Primitive Man, this music sounds like it was created by a malevolent force of nature, not just mortals with a mean streak. With members from Clinging To The Trees of A Forest Fire and Reproacher, this Denver, CO outfit have the credentials and gut-churning aggression to turn heads and cave skulls in the extreme metal community until the world cracks beneath the power of Jonathan Campos’ bass. The suffocating doom of Scorn, their first full-length set to be re-released by Relapse in August, sounds like the roar of all the earth’s mud and crude oil bubbling with rage, prepared to swallow us whole.
This album is one of the most unpleasant and downright frightening listening experiences of the year, crawling forward like an ancient beast pressing its muzzle to the ground to scavenge fields of bones and pooled blood. Opening with the album’s namesake, “Scorn” launches into tortured sludge that salivates on the border of funeral doom, invoking the misanthropy of Bongripper and the sluggish menace of Oak. While there’s definitely a monochromatic element to some of their pieces, like in “Antietam” and “Rags,” the album still mines the full spectrum of sound for texture. From jangly dissonance (“Scorn”) to challenging sound collages and atmospheric creepiness (“I Can’t Forget” and “Black Smoke”) and uptempo bursts of crust (“Stretched Thin” and “Astral Sleep”), Primitive Man possess a lot of knowledge about what nightmares are made of, and how to haunt you with them.
While doom bands often live and die by the enormity of their riffs, the strong drumming of Isidro Soto and Ethan Lee McCarthy’s hope-shredding vocals truly propel Scorn to full momentum. McCarthy sounds like the raspy snarl of that previously mentioned scavenging beast, broadcast through the thick static of a ham radio. Primitive Man may not write especially memorable songs when examined individually, but the album creates a dense, unforgettable experience that feels like you’re drowning in prehistoric tar pits, flanked by the preserved carcasses of mammoths and cavemen alike. Scorn is intense, primal, and would tunnel through the earth just to watch it implode on itself.
As mentioned before, parts of this album certainly plod and if you’re an impatient listener you may not fully appreciate the vastness of Scorn’s bleak sound, but if you’re a fan of slow-burn doom titans like Sunn O))) and Ufomammut and don’t mind a chaser of cold black bile, Primitive Man is ready to rip your day in half and fill it with riffs that could scrape the skin and religion off a dying priest.
Relapse releases Scorn on August 20th, and Primitive Man is currently touring Go to their official website here for tour dates and merch: http://primitivemandoom.com/
And check them out on Facebook to stay current with all band-related news: https://www.facebook.com/primitivemandoom