Primitive Man‘s first full-length album “Scorn” was put forth on August 20th, 2013 and recorded at Flatline Audio with Dave Otero in October of 2012; the producer/engineer who recently brought Cattle Decapitation‘s “Monolith of Inhumanity” to life. A beacon of misanthropic ideology and hatred, it’s amazing how band formed only months before the album was recorded, could accomplish such a solid release, not to mention, their 3 song EP “P/M,” also released in 2013. For some, hopelessness bleeds through all walks of life and can place a damper on productivity but clearly, it has left Ethan Lee McCarthy, Jonathan Campos, Bennet Kennedy and Spy‘s ability unscathed in the music they create.
Amidst crackling feedback, Primitive Man waste no time breaking into their title track, clocking in at 11:44; the longest on the album. Moments stretch and pull with force like hardened taffy, breaking and crumbling unexpectedly, only to blend and churn back into a grind infused breakdown. Shadow to the climax, they fall back snarling. Beautiful guitar work around the 6:30 mark re-captivates, providing grounding of a higher garden. One to which roots have climbed in search of rejuvenation only to be scorned of their vital life force.
Primitive Man seems to do best with tracks that allow them time to evolve fully. ‘Antietam,’ the second longest track on the album expands drudgingly, with well thought out drum fills that pull you forward with nothing more that rhythmic entrancement. Crass, snarling vocals, the likes of Thou that leave you snivelling in fear and the distorted guitars with a hint of black metal influence, blend to create the fullness of their sound. The mood remains that of its inspiration. Primitive and downtrodden in torturous, bloody agony as the Battle of Antietam is remembered in American Civil War history.
‘Black Smoke,’ a shorter piece that could have easily been an interlude had it not been over 3 minutes long, presented a post-apocalyptic audio tour of an echoing hospital ward. Zombified patients moan as desolate soundscapes make you feel like the only human left on earth. Truly mystifying in its own right, I wish it had more connection to the following track as a transition of sorts.
Though I’m not convinced that “Scorn” was one of the strongest metal albums of 2013, I am intrigued enough to keep this album on play and an eye out for their next release. There’s not enough like them out there who appeal to my blackened sludgy sensibilities so my hope is the success of “Scorn” will inspire more musicians to infuse these elements into darken their own desolate metal blends.