Primitive Man: Home is Where the Hatred Is

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Primitive Man: Home is Where the Hatred Is
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Primitive Man: Home is Where the Hatred Is
Doom Metal, Sludge Metal
Relapse Records
February 17th, 2015
Release length: 31:11
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Denver, Colorado’s Primitive Man is one of those underground monoliths that immediately put the Doom and Sludge Metal worlds on notice. The trio of bassist Jonathan Campos (Reproacher), drummer Bennett Kennedy (who was later replaced by Isidro Soto), and vocalist/guitarist Ethan Lee McCarthy (, ex-Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire), banded together for this project back in 2012, all using the guise of their initials. 2013 saw their self-released debut album Scorn drop in twelve-inch vinyl format, followed by the P//M demo later that year, as well as a few splits over the course of 2014. For 2015, they find themselves working with Relapse Records to unleash their very first EP, Home is Where the Hatred Is. But is this effort show off the amount of growth exhibited since their first outing, or has the beast already started to lose steam?

Akin to offerings from bands like now label-mates Indian and Lord Mantis, Home is Where the Hatred Is is a slow moving, down-tuned assault that blurs the lines between the styles Primitive Man dabbles in. While the group is known for also unleashing a world of Noise in this releases, like with their P//M demo, Home is Where the Hatred Is ly focuses on bleak, soul crushing performances that quickly find additional Death Metal influence thrown into the crawling Doom Metal passages and hypnotic Sludge Metal riffs with the exception of opening track “Loathe”. Guitar feedback and tribal-like drum patterns that seem torn from an introduction d.i.y. analog Punk or Hardcore outing start the festivities, picking up speed just past the minute mark in a way Sepultura would be proud of. Shortly after, eerie leads and additional noise from the guitars creep along as primal, suffocating growls grab you by the throat and bury your face deeper and deeper into the ground. It all ends up a nightmarish ecstasy that grows more heinous the longer it seems to Drone on, except it’s no narcotic high despite the intense crash nine minutes in.

From here, things become a little simpler. The nightmarish Noise is ly restricted, focusing on a mixture of slow paced misery like the closing of “Loathe” and the random burst of Sludge driven speed. “Downfall” ignites with infectious hooks and two-step drumming that play more to the early days of Death Metal along the likes of Autopsy, as well as some complex chords entwined with blast beats. About ninety seconds in, however, you are right back to the helpless environment with no warning. Well paced and rich chugs creep along with a hypnotic rhythm that makes banging your head along to the instruments impossible to resist as the metaphoric walls the performance seems to bounce off come crashing down around you.

“Bag Man” continues that sensation well, though with what sounds like a deeper tuning that makes it far more punishing. While the two aren’t necessarily linked, the feedback between them, as well as trudging similarities in the music, do make the shift a little more seamless than probably expected. In fact, if you miss that brief pause, you’ll think you are still listening to “Downfall” until the drums pick up with a tighter presence about two minutes in that really play up the entrancing rumbling of the bass guitar. But then you have “A Marriage with Nothingness”, which “Bag Man” bleeds into. Unlike the other three, this is just a Noise/Drone piece of crushing effects from the guitars, as well as an audio sample of a woman moaning in sexual delight. It’s also the shortest track, lasting just past four minutes, which is probably a good thing thanks to how well the band blends in the hopeless atmosphere with such an erotic audio stimulant.

Home is Where the Heart Is ends up a strong EP with various degrees of brutality that kind of goes downhill as you progress more than uphill. Both “Loathe” and “Downfall” are fantastic compositions, and “A Marriage with Nothingness” is a well executed bit of Noise to wrap the nightmare up. However, much of what made the first track fairly unique is dropped shortly after the second starts, playing more into the crushing Death/Doom Metal world that is starting to become a bit over-saturated. This isn’t to say any of this is that bad, but by the time you hit “Bag Man” you don’t really pick up on anything that different musically from what you just experienced other than some tighter drumming or more dominant bass presence later on. Even repeat listens leave you to pick up on the overall lack of variances between the three main compositions, leaving the impact a bit dulled beyond that highly engaging first one or two spins. But, if you enjoy bleak, hopeless Doom Metal, Home is Where the Hatred Is stands as a crippling release still worth experiencing in spaced doses.

01. Loathe – 11:03
02. Downfall – 8:43
03. Bag Man – 7:09
04. A Marriage with Nothingness – 4:17
Initial Pressing Score: 7/10

Primitive Man
Primitive Man

Digital review copy of this release provided by Relapse Records
via Earsplit PR.