Primitive Man - Immersion review

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Band: Primitive Man
Album: Immersion
Release date: August 2020

01. The Lifer
02. Entity
03. Menacing
05. Foul
06. Consumption

Immersion is the sound of being waterboarded with amplifier feedback noise and then beaten to a pulp.

Primitive Man should not be strangers to anybody by now. Formed by misery extraordinaire Ethan Lee McCarthy after the disillusion of his previous band, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire, it was originally supposed to be an one-album affair, as our interview suggests, and thankfully that wasn't the case. In the meantime he also formed other projects like Vermin Womb, Withered, Death Of Self, and most recently Many Blessings. But few of them capture the vile menacing corrosive abrasiveness that Primitive Man does with their sludge/doom/noise sound.

The most instantly striking thing about Immersion is the runtime. If you remember their previous outing, 2017's Caustic, Primitive Man really pushed the limits of what the sludge sound could do by stretching it over 77 minutes, even though that isn't even the longer Primitive Man release, with the P//M demo edging it by 10 minutes. But Immersion's 35 minutes isn't even half the length of either of those, so either it will be only half as effective, or double as effective. And if Primitive Man's multiple split releases tell us anything is that they can be really effective on shorted runtimes as well. So if the shorter runtime worried you, you can rest assured that you will be just as crushed, just in less time. And most importantly, it makes Immersion a more focused affair.

The fat-trimming means that every note here gets elevated with an extra load of crushing weight on top of it. Though there aren't any major changes to the formula, it is clear that here they took everything that they had the space to try with Caustic and stuck with the best of the best. And the best of the best is drowning the listened in bass-amplified feedback noise for most of the runtime, and only picking up the pace when absolutely necessary. Thankfully, the band does decide that it is absolutely necessary more than enough times throughout "Menacing" and "Consumption" to make those tracks dynamic as hell, especially in the context of the dirge-like pace of the album. The latter especially effortlessly moves between bludgeoning blast beats and the impending doom of the stretched out droning guitar.

With Ethan exploring the noise side more with his Many Blessings project, I wish the noise element was more fully integrated within the rest of the album instead of mostly being relegated to the noise interlude "∞", but there are bits and pieces of it making an appearance throughout the rest of the record, like on "Entity" or "Menacing". And it's not like the album isn't extremely noisy without actually any element of noise music, just through the sheer power of the amplifiers. The bass doesn't often get any time in the spotlight, but it is a constant presence that puts some more boulders on the weight of the guitar, and the pounding drums manage to be crushing both through the blast beats and when they are more sparsely stretched out.

Immersion manages to perfect the Primitive Man, by making the album leaner, the sound more noisy and the tone more heavy.


Written on 09.08.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 2   [ 4 ignored ]   Visited by: 74 users
10.08.2020 - 12:24
I need to listen to this and I am pleased to hear that it is a shorter affair because Caustic was way too long for its own good. There is only so much heavy bludgeoning a person can take.
10.08.2020 - 17:29
The 'crushing' mantra in metal can be retired to Primitive Man.

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