Primitive Man – Home is Where the Hatred Is (Relapse)Sunday, 22nd February 2015
Unabashedly full of anger and menace, Primitive Man’s debut, Scorn, won over Relapse and got the band a label contract. Filling their time with a number of splits since then, Home is Where the Hatred Is feels like a bit of a stopgap (though admittedly a lengthy one) before the band scorches more of the earth with their sophomore effort. But is this the same Primitive Man?
The biggest difference between Home and Scorn is that of overall song length. Overall, Scorn had a few lengthier tracks but most stayed under the four minute mark. The three “true” tracks (the skippable final track, “A Marriage with Nothingness” is merely 4 minutes of atmospheric noise and female moaning) on Home is Where the Hatred Is push towards and even beyond the 10 minute mark. Scorn worked because of its controlled doses of chaos and doom, whereas these tracks seem to meander far too often. Primitive Man’s knack for filthy, disturbing sludge is still firmly in command but perhaps in attempting to nuance with a bit more atmosphere, some of the intensity was sacrificed. There are moments of monstrously burly, near-death metal soaked madness (the more deathly growled vocals serve the band well), but these track lengths segway with some riffs that don’t seem to go anywhere. Take “Downfall,” which opens with fury but then drops things back down to a lumbering crawl. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (see around the 5 minute mark for this), but things get dragged out beyond their usefulness.
Primitive Man hasn’t provided a clunker here, but the compulsion to break up their formula a bit has seemingly weakened their misanthropic edge. Home is Where the Hatred Is still firmly providing the same dirty and grimy feeling that bands like Indian and Lord Mantis provide, but one can’t help but yearn for the more time-constrained power of Scorn. Hopefully full-length number two will provide a mixture of the best of both worlds.