01. Scorn
02. Rags
03. I Can't Forget
04. Antietam
05. Black Smoke
06. Stretched Thin
07. Astral Sleep

RATING: 7/10

PRIMITIVE MAN is a trio of Denver, Colorado residents otherwise known by the musical alias of CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE, and though this may understandably leave you asking why three dudes should bother recording as two, entirely different bands in parallel, well?you just have to listen.

In a nutshell of emotional context: while CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE produce music bent on quickening the pulse and invoking teeth-baring rage listeners have no recourse but to vent or blow up trying to contain, PRIMITIVE MAN seek to numb the senses and freeze the heart using lumbering tidal waves of bleak, suffocating sonic nihilism, more likely to reduce those who absorb it into helpless, convulsing fetal positions.

The band's 2013 introduction, simply named "Scorn", combines the oppressive weight of doom with the misanthropic bile of black metal, and the eleven-minute title track, by way of explanation, dangles massive, deliberate slabs of granite that continually threaten to crush those listening into so much primordial jelly. The fact that said listeners are helpless to escape their shadows or predict when the final killing stroke will come, duly elevate the tension to nearly unbearable thresholds, later duplicated in more mercifully brief song-chunks like "Rags" and "Stretched Thin".

By comparison, atmospheric exercises like "I Can't Forget" and "Black Smoke" see the band sidestepping these torments into industrial sound collage territory, and by doing so provide gasp-for-breath interludes only slightly less tyrannical than the surrounding abuse, but welcome nonetheless.

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Another epic creation, "Antietam", thrums into action on corroded B.M. staccato riffs before roaring into crust-core seizures and then flat-lining on feedback and recurring doom/drone spasms 'til the bitter, protracted end. To think that it, along with the uncharacteristically hectic dynamic anomaly that is "Stretched Thin" represents "Scorn"'s solitary displays of liveliness says it all about the desolate apocalypse foretold by PRIMITIVE MAN.

By the time the band unexpectedly opens its emotional floodgates and uncorks metric tons of pent-up tension via the album-closing "Astral Sleep" ? one feels simultaneously elated to feel blood flowing through one's veins once again, and slightly disappointed over the song's direct aesthetic opposition to "Scorn" and PRIMITIVE MAN's dominant, soul-deadening agenda.

Huh! Pussies.

Just kidding! Please, Mr. PRIMITIVE MAN, sir, don't hurt us no more!

We get the memo: this is some brutal stuff, ideal for fans of KHANATE, THE BODY and their like, and really almost anyone with a masochistic streak when it comes to their musical consumption.


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