Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Barbarity, menace, misanthropy. These three words alone could very well describe the sound of Primitive Man, a noisy and fucking terrifying 3-piece band from Denver, Colorado--but you probably already know who they are. These guys are really rising in the underground, and for good reason. They make excruciatingly slow, noisy, and painful death/sludge. So with Immersion being their third album, and second with Relapse Records, do they finally give in and start making more accessible songs? The answer is absolutely fucking not: they increased the barbarity ten-fold and created an even noisier, more punishing, and twisted album, and it's great!
Immediately you are greeted to feedback in opening track "The Lifer." Just like that, Primitive Man begin this journey. First I have to point out the unhinged, tortured, and agonizing vocals of Ethan McCarthy. His vocals are so fucking visceral and hateful. He really sounds like he is using all of the energy he has to do these vocals. A vicious way to begin this new opus.
Followup "Entity" is a fucking frightening song, dead serious. The way the guitars use the noise elements in their actual playing is genius because it really gives the songs as a whole a truly more sinister sound. I'd even go as far as to say that this a borderline black metal song. The tonality of the riffs comes off as really cold and spiteful--easily one of the best tracks on the album.
"Menacing" features a little bit of a change of pace, as the song begins with frantic blast beats that really create tension, but this is only played for a few measures and revisited once again in the middle. This song is absolutely claustrophobic, utterly suffocating. The riffs are just bludgeoningly heavy. It's honestly hard to describe how heavy song truly is. Not even just in the pace of the music, but in the tonalilty and the passion that they play with.
The production needs to be brought up because it is crushing. This is easily the best sounding Primitive Man album to date. The drums pound harder than on Caustic, and the bass is far more prevalent as well, leaving room for more dynamics. The way the guitars are layered in the mix is fantastic. Bone-snapping heaviness and atmospheric noisy dissonance meld well, creating a sonic hellscape. Big shoutout to Ben Romsdahl and the mixing and mastering work of the ever-stellar Arthur Rizk.
Not much needs to be said about this album...but fuck it, I'll gush more anyways. Primitive Man turns the mirror on humankind itself. Humanity is spiteful, vengeful, sardonic, barbaric, and so forth. This album is the soundtrack to the ugly truth of being a person in this insane world. Immersion is as human as you can get. Not to mention the actual music itself. It truly blows my mind that Primitive Man have out-done themselves again in sheer visceral savagery. Not savagery in a typical grinding, blasting manner, moreso just unbelievably suffocating and punishing.
When Caustic was released back in 2017, I truly thought that that was the band's pinnacle of brutality, but I am happy to say that I was completely wrong. Immersion is Primitive Man at their peak--as of now. Ethan McCarthy's vocals and riffs are truly terrifying, Johnathan Campos' bass playing/tone just decimates your earholes, and Joe Linden bashes on the drums with utmost power and hatred. If you're looking for bestial, abrasive, and cacophonous doom and sludge, GET THIS FUCKING ALBUM! You will not regret it.
Primitive Man - Immersion will be released Aug. 14th fromRelapse Records. Physical preorders here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!