Tuesday 25 June 2019

Primitive Man - Steel Casket

Labels: Crown & Throne Ltd/Tartarus Records
Formats: Vinyl/Tape/Digital
Release Date: 07 Jun 2019


1. Fear
2. A Life of Turmoil

Sludge and doom metal makes up a pretty large swathe of my own record collection. With the likes of Moloch (UK), Meth Drinker (RIP) and Colorado (USA) juggernaut Primitive Man taking pride of place on my shelves. PM has always been one of the most caustic (no pun intended) and this EP, which was originally self-released by the band in 2017 has been re-released by Crown & Throne Ltd and Tartarus Records. In fact both labels released "Steel Casket" on tape last year and have only just recently committed it to vinyl. Featuring more noise/ambient elements, this isn't an easy listen.

Europe’s about to head into a heatwave that’s going to spread to the UK (Including North Yorkshire too) so it feels only right to listen to something truly oppressive to prepare yourself. The aptly named Fear is what greets you first on “Steel Casket” and it’s the haunting ambience and instrumentation that slowly takes hold. Quiet and meditative are not words you’d usually associate with PM but so far that’s what you get, though it’s obvious that something else is waiting around the corner. The noise is hypnotic as it progresses past the ten-minute mark. Fear gets no less disturbing beyond that point, with what sounds like flies buzzing around your ears and white-noise rumbling in the background, To be honest at this point it’s scarier than when PM are at full pelt. The recording that’s been achieved also adds to that notion, because it’s allowed PM’s sound to come alive even more-so than usual. Fear ends with doom funnelled through the most uneasy noise imaginable and its worth the wait if you’ve made it this far.

With your skin still crawling and with vivid images of being buried alive, A Life Of Turmoil offers no solace. Despite that bleak summary of initial thoughts, its an easier listen to being with. There’s a twisted Spaghetti-Western feel to proceedings and beyond that it’s harder to describe, because for those expecting the continuation of the noise-filled doom that ended Fear, A Life Of Turmoil threatens it and gets agonisingly close to it towards the end, but never quite delivers it. “Steel Casket” is billed as a companion release to that of 2013 demo “P//M” and it’s certainly true to that. The body of work that Primitive Man has given birth to over the years in undisputed. If you’re looking for their riff-filled sludge then look elsewhere, but if you’re open to the otherworldly noises that they create then this will sit well with you. A journey is one to describe it, but a nightmare might be more poignant.

You can stream "Steel Casket" and purchase it digitally direct from Primitive Man here:-

Physical copies can be purchased below:-

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