Primitive Weapons- The Future of Death: Review 29/01/17 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What are we talking about? Unearthed by PartySmasherInc, Ben Weinman’s (The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist) label, I bring you ‘The Future of Death’ by sludgy post hardcore New Yorkers Primitive Weapons. Summary 'The Future of Death' possesses the diverse characteristics of all four of these innovative musicians. Crushing riffs, alluring rhythms and rallying screams combine to give us the relentless raw energy that has created this album. What Hooked Me? I first heard these guys support The Dillinger Escape Plan in their last visit to Manchester a few days ago and I always feel more connected when reviewing music I have heard live and these guys fill the air with a strange atmosphere. Their tone would have you believe their roots lie in the sludge/doom/stoner genre but their rhythm is extremely savage and vigorous. The opening track ‘Ashes or Paradise’ gives no warning as it dives straight in with a thick slice of lean riff, which is what I'd associate with the sludgy side of Primitive Weapons and is accompanied by screeching fist-in-face vocals. The powerful intro is momentarily put to rest by an eerie, clean, bass heavy verse giving the listener time to appreciate the dynamics and after a repeat of that we’re introduced to a slightly more dramatic middle eight (muso slang for that section that breaks up the chorus/verse repetition) section that I didn't expect at all because commonly sludge/stoner bands go for the heavy blues riff after some feedback and that's when I realised Primitive Weapons are something a tad different. That said middle eight section reappears further on in the track but is lengthened and sweetened with more noise and some sweet piercing guitar melodies before reverting to that hook of a riff we heard at the beginning. Bassist Eric Odness and Drummer Chris Enriquez shine through on ‘Night Eyes’ opening with a punchy bass hook and rolling toms that shunts into blissful distorted noise and it seems Chris turned into a God Damn octopus for like 10 seconds, it sounds like rolling thunder I swear and we only get to hear that twice in the song so It’s a real heavy treat. The verse retains that boppy rhythm from the intro with gritty vocals and clean chanting alternated throughout. The chanting gave me some perspective for the song and a clever emptiness, that when filled with that thunder octopus (Thunderpus) stuff Chris has going on followed with that satisfying gnarly bridge, had my jaw on the floor. Key Track Something we can really delve into as an audience, ‘Panopticon Blues’ is an absolute crowd pleaser. Jumping straight into the verse, Arthur’s tight melodies comes up on top on here for me and is given a weird harmonised undergrowth from bassist Eric in the verse, which is satisfyingly odd and gives the song more depth. The recurring vocal chant ‘We're watched, we’re trapped, we’re never alone’ certainly brings forth a gruelling reality, which compliments the strange timbre of the track. The vocal duties are sometimes shared between frontman David Castillo and guitarist Arthur Shepherd. I found this most fitting during the crushing breakdown section of ‘Panopticon Blues’ where there is a back and forth of Arthur's low end growl and David’s poetic screams. You feel the sheer anger when that breakdown riff hits with Arthur’s gut roar and it will make you want to co-operate with that anger and break lots and lots of valuable stuff, although after the damage and turmoil, we’re left with that unsettling recurring vocal line ‘We're watched, we’re trapped, we’re never alone’ repeated over and over until it slowly dies without resolve. Feedback These guys have a great thing going on, it's melodic, eerie, hard-hitting and is a great addition to the eccentric growing post hardcore community. I'd love to hear more vocal harmonies and perhaps proggier riffs in future records to come. What you guys decide to do though, keep it loud and noisy. Artwork I hate this section I'm never good at commenting on album covers. That said we have the outlines of the four members of Primitive Weapons that are filled with bits of the same picture of a possible gross misuse of authority, which seems to be the theme and inspiration for ‘The Future of Death’ and is perhaps a scary glimpse of what is to come. Line From The Band Primitive Weapons’ David Castillo told us: "Recording the album was an intense experience for me because I tried a lot of things that I wasn't comfortable doing before. I think I really broke out of my shell vocally on this one. We are almost done recording a new record that will be out on Party Smasher Inc. sometime in summer hopefully.' Vital Info Primitive Weapons have just come off the back of a run of shows with Dillinger Escape Plan, their album has been heralded by the likes of Pitchfork (and now us). The future looks very bright for this band. --------------------------------------------------------------- Reviewer Profile Liam ‘Branston' Blackburn - Audio/tech savant at HMV, Riffs and naysaying in turbo doom duo SPRINGBOK and fond of the rusty soldering iron, building custom built pedals and bastardising existing circuits.

 

 

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