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Primitive Man - Immersion Award winner

Primitive Man
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 07 September 2020, 6:41 AM

PRIMITIVE MAN is an extreme sludge/doom metal band from Denver, Colorado.  They formed in 2012 and released their first album, “Scorn” in 2013 and a demo.  “Immersion,” is their third full length album but they have done a lot of stuff over the last eight years or so.  In addition to the three full length albums, they also have two more demos, an EP, and eight split albums!

I’ll start this review with a bang:  “Immersion” is one of the most aggressive and abrasive albums I've heard all year, regardless of genre,. It is such an uncompromising, angered burst of sludgy doom that goes for the throat….and kills over and over and over again.   And it is just three guys! What the hell?  It isn’t a fifty man army of pissed off demons, fully armed and filthy?  Just checking.

The guitars are straight up killer doom wrapped up in the darkest, dirtiest sludge you can imagine.  The notes are the equivalent of a rotting body being dragged through the mud that is actually made up of other, melted rotting bodies.  The bass is just the same but add in a layer of thunder that could stun an elephant.  The vocals?  From the bowls of…whatever.  ELM’s vocal performance is anguished, pained, and just straight up brutal as sin.

The Lifer” wastes no time in showing the band’s style and power. Brief seconds of feedback numbs the ears as ELM’s vocals destroy them anyway.  Seriously, his vocals are barely recognizable as anything human and it just makes it all the better.  The riffs lay upon the atmosphere like bloated corpses, extreme distortion acting as a suffocating blanket.  The tempo is just how doom should be: slow and lumbering.

The bass is so thick it could suck the life out of a room and then raise it all from the dead.  I’m using a lot of colorful imagery in this review but honestly, I don’t know what else to say  The album is just so damn heavy that without using some imagination, I can’t even begin to describe it. Around the 4:25 mark, the drums hammer the song into the ground, eat hit on the cymbal another biting wound.  The song ends with what amounts to melody on this album but the album is just getting started.

As that song just ends suddenly, “Entity” begins with the distortion sounding not unlike murder hornets coming to kill your face.  This goes on for some time and it is in this moment that I realize it is that kind of album.  What kind of album do I mean?  You know when your friends tell you “metal is just noise?”  Exactly.  Although I obviously enjoyed the hell out of this album, I’m something of a doom freak.  I can totally understand how someone could hear this and just think its noise.  It may not seem like it but I mean that as a compliment.  Because the fact that I enjoy this album means the band probably likes it even more—they, me, and so few other precious people “get” this type of music and..well, that makes me happy.  Weird, I know.

The buzzing goes on as the vocals and drums fall on top of it, layer by sick little layer.  There isn’t any real riffs on this song but just an atmospheric hell that corrodes everything it touches.  If you’re like me and you love atmosphere, then this might just be your favorite track of the year. “Menacing,” actually  throws in some speed, at least as far as the drums go, which are tight as hell and twice as deadly.  The minutes pass by ,alternating between sludge and speed but never settling for anything less than abrasive times a thousand.  The guitars are actually made up of a strange, dirty groove if you can get through the ten ton barrier surrounding them.

” is actually just literal noise but it works in context of the album, if you listen from beginning to end.  If not, there isn’t much worth enjoying as a piecemeal track unless you want to know what it feels like to think your brain is exploding. I suppose you can guess the feeling I get when “Foul” comes across my mp3 player.  Something about this song..maybe the slow, dissonant doom sludge or the void portal bass, does make me feel rather uncomfortable.  Even for an album like this, “Foul” is a special kind of darkness.  Imagine being sucked through a tiny little hole that leads out into the blackness of space.  Got that image in your brain?  Yeah, this song is the background music.

Consumption,” is one of my favorites on the album.  The riffs are truly like a behemoth: towering, hungry, and yet unknown except for its desire to kill you.  Around the two minute mark, the distortion sort of hangs in the air while the drums pound away in simple of direct blasts.  Very, very cool yet very very demanding. I doubt most will like album because it is just so intense, anti mainstream and uncompromising but if you you can handle it (come on wuss bag!)  you'll find PRIMITIVE MAN’s “Immersion,” to be the year's best hidden gem in extreme doom.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Lifer
2. Entity
3. Menacing
4. ∞
5. Foul
6. Consumption
JPC – Bass
ELM – Vocals, Guitars
JDL – Drums
Record Label: Relapse Records


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