Monolithic riffs, caustic noise and bad vibes collide on the new split between doom metal stalwarts Unearthly Trance and “death sludge” purveyors Primitive Man.
Following up their critically lauded 2017 full-lengths, New York’s Unearthly Trance and Colorado’s Primitive Man bring their respective, intensely dark takes on doom and sludge metal together on this seven-track wall of filth. Though both bands’ approaches to the genre are rather different one another, their shared penchant for all things cold and unforgiving blend into a seamless, 45-minute assault of bleakness.
The split opens with a 60-second, collaborative intro by both bands titled “Merging”, whose gravelly walls of noise and distorted vocal samples set the tone for the darkness to come. The track bleeds into the first of Primitive Man‘s two contributions to the record, “Naked”. The song opens with reverberating, guitar-generated feedback that threatens to erode the very amplifiers its being emitted from. After three minutes of acidic noise the band come crashing in with their signature interplay between sprawling, blackened melodies and sparse, avalanche-inducing riffs. The song then conjures towering, downtrodden chords that weave in-and-out of feedback as the song reaches its cataclysmic conclusion. Primitive Man‘s side of the split is concluded by a quietly menacing instrumental titled “Love Under Will”. The dark ambient, Nurse with Wound-esque tune begins with light percussive sounds that echo among a hollow atmosphere. The soundscape is eventually enveloped by blackened, smokey ambiance and rumbling noise as it burrows deep into listener’s skulls, leaving behind shattered psyches and shot nerves.
Unearthly Trance begins with their side of the split with a mighty one-two punch displaying what they do best; crafting massive riffs. Both “Mechanism Error” and “Triumph” meld elements of sludge and doom flawlessly, never skimping on the dissonance nor the groove. The songs unleash unyielding barrages of burly guitar riffs that either gallop with sludge fervor, thunder and sprawl with malevolence, or blend the two with heavy percussion hammering underneath. “Reverse the Day” and “418”, in contrast, put more emphasis on the band’s noisier leanings. “Reverse the Day” sees the band conjuring angular, disjunctive instrumentation that squeals and wails like a malfunctioning machine while driving bass and percussion establish a steady, yet pummeling rhythm below. The track almost sounds like a noise rock song that had been shot deep into a black hole. Then “418” takes everything a step further and churns out over six minutes of nightmarish, white-hot noise that aims to melt faces and ruin lives, and succeeds at both.
Primitive Man and Unearthly Trance deliver exactly what one would expect; bulldozing riffs and auditory filth. This split LP is the perfect soundtrack for those who hate just about everything.
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Label: Relapse Records
Favorite Tracks: “Naked” and “Mechanism Error”