Primitive Man – Scorn (Self-released)

Tuesday, 16th April 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

A phrase rarely used today but tossed around a great deal by the elderly is referring to someone as a mean old cuss. It’s been a long time since last coming across a person that fit the bill, it’s a more than apt phrase to describe Primitive Man and their debut Scorn. Surly to the nines and seething with every kind of animosity imaginable, Scorn hits often and hits hard in its tight 39 minute runtime. Ostensibly a ‘sludge’ record but beholden to moments of grind-tastic fury, there is a lot of depth to this release.

It’s always peculiar when one track makes up a quarter of an album’s run time, but that’s the case here with eponymous opener “Scorn”. Bowel-rattling density and layered with scar tissue and rage, the nihilistic picture painted by the band is one to stand in mute amazement of, much akin to but sonically very different from the similarly virulent Italian act The Secret. This and mid-album highlight “Antietam” serve as the most ‘doomy’ works, even with their occasional forays into grindy speed. Noisy introductions and conclusions bind the works together, never allowing the listener a moment of respite from the throws of sonic terror.

Isn’t isn’t all long-winded, as everything else barely crosses (or never reaches) the four minute mark, whether noise-scape “Black Smoke” or rhythmically dense “I Can’t Forget”. Melody is a rarity here or elsewhere, everything stitched together with the primal urges of a creature much too angry to die. Initially it’s kind of disorienting because there’s never a dull passage or moments spared for reflection. No, this is a raw and unabridged look into loathing and the glorious ugliness it can birth. Experiences don’t come much more visceral than this.

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