ALBUM REVIEW: PRIMITIVE MAN -Caustic (Relapse Records) 2017

Trap house doom from the gutter. 

It is extremely difficult to write about ‘Caustic’ without having some kind of awareness about the current state of the world we live in. Trump got elected as president of the US, Harvey Weinstein  was uncovered as a sexual predator, Colin Kaepernick is being defenestrated for showing concern about the American of African descent communities…It is undeniable that we are living moments of change, but there are primarily dark and emotional times.

I see ‘Caustic’ as a snapshot of all these issues but without an inch of hope. This album is the bottom of the barrel, the homeless overdosing inside a tent on LA´s Skid Row, a low income family living in a trailer park…but most importantly the reality of knowing that there is no hope. It also puts a lot of questions out there about the US economic system and how we are now again legal slaves but without being conscious of it. We have been brainwashed to believe we have options, that there is wealth and that we need to work to get those 4K tv´s. Get the fuck out of here.

I have met the guys from Primitive Man and I can say that they are not miserable fucks, in fact they are pretty funny and optimistic guys, but I think all that comes from the fact that they are aware of all the turmoil around them, and how some of it is basically unacceptable. Garbage human beings carrying around swastikas in the US?

‘Caustic’ has probably one of the best “doom” metal productions I have heard in a long time, an absolute “tone porn” masterpiece of crushing tones and 50” floor toms. I think is impressive that you can capture such a perverse sound onto tape, it is just total lunacy. The songwriting is miles ahead of ‘Scorn’, more versatile and fluid and a little bit more focused. The feedback drones have a purpose and the droning parts don´t drag, they are alive. Even though this is not the most varied album ever because the songs kind of blend a little bit, you really need to immerse in it, it is not boring at all and you need to pay attention to the nuances in the tremolo picking riffs, the harmonics and all the stuff going on. The bass tone is another story, so chunky and gross it makes you want to put it inside a baguette and eat it.

The absolute highlight of this album are the vocals of Ethan Lee McCarthy. Monstrous, possessed, demonic, eerie, desperate….there are no adjectives to describe the gargantuan gutturals and the hopeless screams. The vocal range and the huge variety brings the much needed spice on top of the swampy music, you never know what McCarthy is going to sound the next time he opens his mouth.

This album is somehow unlistenable if you are not a doom champ, it will crush you and eat you alive. It is dangerous, so don´t think that you may be able to ride this crazy horse, approach with caution, it is CAUSTIC.

Get it if you like monster atmospheric doom or if you own a trap house. It is that good.



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