When listening to the debut album of Primitive Man, Scorn, back in 2013, one thing became perfectly clear about them: they are fucking serious about their music. The blackened sludge band from Denver does not exhibit the signs of their friendlier counterparts within the subgenre. Their dystopic vision back in their independent first release was overwhelming and all-consuming, and it has continued to manifest itself in that way in everything the band produced afterwards. The split albums with acts such as Hessian (make sure to check out their album Manegarmr), Xaphan, Hexis and Festir followed the release of Scorn, with Primitive Man also signing with Relapse Records, through which they unleash their newest EP, Home Is Where The Hatred Is.
The core of the band stands within sludge, offering some rotten moments. Everything that makes the genre so great (although not much fun in this case) appears within this EP. From the dystopian feeling to the heavy feedback and the colossal riffs, Primitive Man make use of everything at their disposal to make this listen as uncomfortable as possible. The menace that appears in the opening of “Loathe” and the devastating ending of the track are testaments to their mindset. The return to their roots is signaled by the complete destruction in “Downfall,” while in other cases Primitive Man undertake a more towering and imposing personification. All this displays, in the most splendid of ways, how creative Primitive Man can be when they are in their most destructive form.
Even though the band is pretty much set on its pace, and that is that they are taking things quite slow here, that does not mean that there are not certain outbreaks. Primitive Man can as easily throw in some faster parts, coming out blasting away at the next turn, catching you completely unaware. By the time you realize what transpired it will be too late, and it will feel like you have been hit by a bus. Moments in “Loathe” and in “Downfall” show that the band is capable and quite comfortable tempering with the pace, especially in the case of “Downfall,” something that can lead to interesting results as the eerie guitar leads rush in. The sudden changes of “Bag Man” would probably still be the most powerful moment, in terms of pace and patterns with the band switching their game with great fluidity. Then in other cases Primitive Man will start to add more groove to their tracks, as is the case with the beginning of “Bag Man,” or more drive, as they do in the opening song. And on the other end, they are capable of overwhelming you with their huge sonic walls and trippy effects in parts of “Loathe” and their more abstract playing further in the track.
The guitar leads that the band is implementing in this case are not conventional at all, and it is really shows their depth. At moments they will appear as a straightforward sludge act with a vengeance, then they will throw in some more eerie leads, granting them their blackened description and at the end they will sound as rotten as the proto-death metal bands of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. None of this is done in a flashy way of course; Primitive Man is not showing off, they just put together every part that fits their music.
With dissonance being such a big part of their sound it is no coincidence that Primitive Man will have moments where they will travel to almost noise territories, something that has been present since the days of Scorn. The full extent of this behavior is found within the closing track of the album, "A Marriage With Nothingness," as the band creates one of their more abstract offerings. The guitar feedback and loose drumming are leading the way while the scream samples enhance the anxiety stretching it further and further. The increasing feedback as the closing song progresses, until it becomes unbearable, is the pinnacle which lays this EP to rest.
Primitive Man is not a band that plays around. Following in the footsteps of Scorn they lay out a path of mayhem and wreckage in Home Is Where the Hatred Is. This trip might be quite painful but it is definitely worth it.
7.4 / 10
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