ALBUM REVIEW: Primitive Man’s “Immersion”

ARTIST: Primitive Man + ALBUM: Immersion + LABEL: Relapse Records + RELEASE DATE: AUG 14, 2020

Primitive Man has been pummeling the underground metal scene for almost a decade. After releasing their first LP, Scorn (2012), they quickly gained notoriety from fans and labels across the globe, including Relapse Records. After several split releases between 2013 and 2015, Primitive Man unleashed their long awaited sophomore album, Caustic  (2017), via Relapse Records. Now that Caustic has saturated the extreme metal airwaves for a few years, the Denver trio is set to release their highly anticipated follow up, Immersion, on August 14th.

Known for their heavy tones and harsh vocals, vocalist/guitarist Ethan McCarthy, bassist Jonathan Campos, and drummer Joe Linden have once again fabricated a sludgy masterpiece. Composed of six tracks, Immersion mixes their trademark doom with moments of blast beats and ear piercing ambient noise. This album isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s aggressive, it’s loud, it’s harsh. Lyrically, Immersion tells tales of distrust and the somber state of our current existence. The album begins with a bone chilling scream on “The Lifer,” which sets the mood for the rest of the album. McCarthy’s vocals are what resonate with me the most on Immersion. You can hear the anguish and fervor in his voice. It elevates Immersion into something more than just another typical sludge album, and transforms it into a haunting piece of passionate art.

Along with “Lifer,” Primitive Man released two other singles leading up to the release of Immersion. “Entity” offers up a long, ambient, scratchy guitar tone, similar to the sound of a swarm of bees, while “Menacing” provides a mix of traditional doom grooves and fast blast-beats. Immersion also includes an instrumental interlude, “∞.” The track is a creative musical expression composed of extreme, ambient noise – best described as an old analog TV put on a channel without signal, or the tone of hundreds of nails clawing at a chalkboard. Closing out the album are the tracks “Foul” and “Consumption.” Full of thunderous low tones, distorted vocals, and slow grooves, the tracks grab your attention as your bones rattle. The rhythm section creates a solid foundation for McCarthy’s devastating screams.

Immersion is an unrelenting album that doesn’t let off the gas from start to finish. It doesn’t give you time to breathe and reflect on what you’ve just heard. It’s a diverse album that mixes slow sludge, ambient noise, and fast blasting. You can hear the deep passion for music and dark arts as the album unfolds. The production is loud and the tones are heavy, pushing the boundaries of the modern death and sludge movement. If you are a fan of crushing sludge, do yourself a favor and pick this album up when it releases this Friday!

– Corey Smith

POSTSCRIPT – Be sure to check out our interview with Ethan McCarthy to learn more about Immersion. 

Leave a Reply