Primitive Man – “Immersion” (Relapse Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Living up to their name in every aspect, this Denver doom noise trio have already chalked up a foreboding reputation through fearsome releases like “Scorn” and “Caustic”. Extreme in their sound, what really makes Primitive Man stand out is their talent to elicit sonic decimation that has a deeply disturbing effect on the senses – not to mention the psyche! If their prior two releases sought to inflict physical abuse, then this time around, man mountain front man Ethan McCarthy’s blunt nihilistic outlook has set itself to ‘…souring your view on your existence and everything you had worked towards. Allowing you to become possessed by the darkest parts of your mind that you have carried around your entire life and not dealt with…’. Featuring 6 deep and suitably intense tracks, “Immersion” does what it says on the tin magnificently through a gargantuan noise wall of heavy droning riffs, feedback, clanging melodies, booming bass, dull tribal drumming along with McCarthy’s own primal, hollow roars. Through it all, the surreality of ‘The Lifer’ booms like a dark titan crushing your soul as it shakes to the massive reverberating riff waves from McCarthy and bassist Jonathan Campos while Joe Linden’s pounding drums and cymbal smashes only add to the menace and anxiety on this bitter, 7 minute reflection of ruin. Initially thrashing wildly like a deathroll of a crocodile, ‘Menace’ then slows into thick drawn out dirty riffs creating a dense, funeral death sound into which McCarthy pours his grief through his hollow drawls, and while the pace occasionally picks up on this 8 minute track, it’s clear there’s no rush by the band in sharing their inflicted pain on the suffering listener as they chunder in wave after wave of doom death headbanging finally culminating in a feedback noise crescendo – wow! Closing with a classic Primitive Man cement mixer where the bass and guitars are so dense that even McCarthy’s bear roars struggle to get through the mix(!), it’s Linden’s drumming that provides the rhythmic breaks and tribal beats to make the primordial soup that is ‘Consumption’, unhurried as per the rest of the album as its queasy atmosphere puts a final stranglehold to your death spasm with McCarthy’s stark words of ‘…now you’re a grown man and you’re fucked…’ echoing in your fading mind. Needless to say, “Immersion” is not for the faint of heart or mind.