Hatred can be projected in many different forms. Some deal with their hatred by focusing all of their energies into improving themselves by learning a second language or preparing their bodies for the Thunder Dome. I just listen to Primitive Man’s entire discography on repeat while envisioning myself with all the powers of Goku fighting all my high school bullies. Therapists said I need to get better habits because. Doctors say the same as I lose an average of half a cup of blood out my ears while blasting each song at full volume. I’ve read “maximum volume yields maximum results,” so what do doctors know?
Denver-based Primitive Man released their first album Scorn in 2013. Now that album was great. I thought that the slow grind of pure hatred really couldn’t be topped. I mean, it would be insane to increase that amount of hatred, right? Caustic released in 2017, however, took Scorn’s abyss of guttural screams, guitars, bass, and drums scraped and played by demons and blew it out of the water. I have seriously ruined two sets of speakers out in my car by blaring that 77-minute monolith. I saw them in concert around the release of Caustic and basked in the glory and talent of each member. I believe lead singer, Ethan Lee McCarthy, was once seen taking vocal lessons by a collection of people who have stubbed their toe on that damn coffee table they keep telling themselves they’ll move but we all know that won’t happen. His guitar is played so thick and slow the flashbacks of the documentary on how molasses forms will creep into anyone’s mind. Jonathon Campos took his lessons for playing the bass from watching the atomic bomb explode on season 3 of Twin Peaks on repeat for, frankly, an inappropriate number of times. Which is twice. Joe Linton was inspired to play drums from seeing a nonstop avalanche of boulders in slow-motion crash into a hammer making factory.
Their latest outing Immersion packs that intensity seen on Caustic and condenses it down to its bare essence to a 36-minute fun-sized session. This is the Primitive Man for the person on the go. Think coffee concentrate goodness that you drink because you’re running late. Of course with sludgy doom caffeine is replaced with quaaludes and that rage virus in 28 Days Later. “Lifer” starts Immersion with the strained vocals Ethan has been giving us for years. His growls have to lead him to put extra honey in chamomile and blood drink combination he needs to destress at night. The percussion and bass keep things moving along with a deep passion that’s more palpable and engrossing with each listen. Their ability to keep the pace and drag each note slowly and bloodily along shows a skill most doom musicians can only nightmare (because the concept of these musicians having happy dreams scares me) about. This cavalcade into depravity goes deeper and deeper until the instrumental “∞” breaks things up a bit. It’s reminiscent of the horror movie named tracks Electric Wizard put of their best albums. But it’s the return to that signature Primitive Man-style on “Foul” when the realization as to why this isn’t just a phenomenal album but something else. We have three freaks who compliment each other perfectly and have only been blending and strengthening each other for almost a decade at this point. I believe extreme metal fans and bands are almost like a family and no band at embraces that notion in my head better than Primitive Man.
So now we’re at the end of this troubling affair and I feel strangely happy and more eager to bash my best friend’s skull into mine with our ears ringing. Currently, the next festival I have planned does feature Primitive Man as a headliner and is set for June 2021. Immersion serves as a reminder that the world may be on fire but maybe a return to normalcy when I have to explain to my loved ones why breaking ribs was totally worth it to be able to be a bit closer to the band might be just around the corner. I think bleeding everything inside of me could do wonders for my psyche. Or maybe this review will just have me placed on a list and I won’t be allowed to enter.
* * * * * *
You can acquire a digital or physical copy (LP, CD, Cassette) of Immersion via Primitive Man’s Bandcamp page. It is also streamable over on Spotify and Apple Music. Be sure to follow the trio over on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on new developments from their camp.