As psychologically damaging as it is compellingly addictive, Scorn the debut album from US blackened doomsters Primitive Man, is a rewardingly intensive examination of the senses that has thoughts and emotions cowering before its malevolent rage. Seven tracks of intrusive, venomous sonic consumption, the release is in no way an easy listen, its uncomfortable intent and presence devastating in the extreme and corruptive in it ‘lighter’ moments, but throughout there is a lure and niggle which just will not let go of captivation and excitement.
Hailing from Colorado, Primitive Man was formed in February of 2012 by Ethan Lee McCarthy, Jonathan Campos, and Bennet Kennedy (current and former members of Withered, Clinging To The Trees of A Forest Fire, Death of Self and Reproacher). Creating an invasive sound bred one suspects from the darkest malevolent corners of the psyche, the band opened up awareness with the initial release of the album last year and then a self-released demo, but it is now with its full release via Relapse Records that Scorn will surely expose the strongest hidden fears of the world to torment and soundtrack. The founding trio (Kennedy having since having left the band after the album recording and replaced by drummer Isidro Soto) take no shortcuts to the inner most depths of mind and senses, each track a crippling but rewarding expulsion of peace and safety which breeds the most potent post-apocalyptic, post sanity expanses of noise and atmospheres.
The title track wraps the ear in a sonic rub of sinister and persistent heat before collapsing into a lumbering intensive prowl of doom drenched black metal seeded incivility. Sculpted from a thick sludge dripping web of roaming inciting rhythms and corrosive guitar enterprise, the track is as caustic as industrial lime upon the senses and as provocative as the blackest claustrophobic night towards thoughts and emotions. Menace soaks each labouring predacious note whilst the sonic croon of the track flays air and flesh with each insidious second.
The long devastating start is followed by Rags, a track which toys with the mental debris reaped by its predecessor with another leaden crawl of slow voracious riffing and rhythmic caging immersed in a weight of intensity which alone suffocates the senses. The bass finds a ruinous tone to its growl to add to the barbarous snarl within the infernal smothering but all along there is again a sonic temptress to the sound and niggling enticement which coaxes the heart of the burdensome assault and leaves passions hungry for more.
I Can’t Forget opens up yet another disturbing soundscape to be explored, its blood curdling ambience as cinematic in its touch as it is stifling and best described as the voice of rooms within Hostel that were too vicious and carnal to go near. The track is fuel to the imagination and in its own distinct chilling toxic way as ravenous on the psyche as the previous tracks and its successor Antietam, nine minutes of excruciating vehemence cast through a captivating mesh of enticing melodically blessed sonic temptation and thunderous drums coaxed by the continually impressive bass growl and the guttural vocal severity, which throughout the album brutally and impressively narrates the hellacious maelstrom honed heart of the release. Unpredictable and wholly riveting as it twists from and in to itself, the track is a fearsome venture which alone makes the album a must hear proposition though not one for many to be undertaken alone.
Undeniably the best track on the album it is surpassed in favourite stakes by Black Smoke, a piece that reflects the listener’s gasping for breath up to this point whilst sending additional sadistic hauntings through the ear via evil bred whispered voices and their reserved yet bedlamic persistence. Like I Can’t Forget the track opens up a wealth of thoughts and imaginary scenarios to almost mesmerise its recipient into its clutches before passing them on and into the jaws of Stretched Thin. A blur of grind, hardcore, and thrash like tendencies crafted into a swarm like wrap of sonic distrust and metallic barbarity, the track is a scintillating blizzard of sonic bait and ravenous metallic scalding leaving the senses alive yet severely damaged.
Closing with Astral Sleep and its impossibly slow heavy riffs and intense plodding rhythmic feet, Scorn is a scathing pungent delight which thrills and pleases just as evenly as it hurts and punishes. Primitive Man will not find a home in the hearts of melody driven fans for sure but within extreme metal they and their album are one richly satisfying grievous encounter.
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