This must be the sixth time I’ve sat down to talk about Primitive Man. All of the previous adjectives still apply. As with the track from the split with Sea Bastard I reviewed on this very site a couple weeks back, this is another immense doom track. One side of a record, one song. Fifteen minutes and thirty seconds of plodding & sickening slowcore. There are a few moments to catch your breath, but there’s absolutely no hope for the future of mankind contained in these fleeting minutes.
Maybe as I sit here, dropping out of life with bong in hand, listening to “Empty Husk” in the proper state of mind, I’m starting to realize that the actual music, the notes, the tempo doesn’t really mean all that much in the world inhabited by Primitive Man. What the trio does better than anyone else in the world is capture how little hope there is, how bleak the fucking future is. Their entire catalog drips in this caustic misanthropy –– which I hesitate to use the term –– perhaps anti-humanity is better suited for them.
Primitive Man is not a band I enjoy listening to. I would fear anyone who actually receives joy from this group. I listen to them because I have to, because they’re far better at reflecting the futility of human existence than any musical outfit that I can think of.
Now for Northless –– I’m going to use a word that will make you cringe. Metalcore. I’m using the pre-internet definition of metalcore, however. Rorschach, Deadguy, Coalesce, the trve kvlt first-wave metalcore. Northless has the same inspiration and intent but more modern and thrown through a sludge filter. Their production is flawless, and while not having the atmosphere of P//M, they are every bit as heavy.
The vocalist actually reminds me of Devoid of Faith’s Jim McNaughton. This Erik guy is fucking pissed, does a great job of spitting relentless hate. Instrumentally-speaking, the post-hardcore mathiness is on-point and the noisy discordant sections are as unsettling as they should be. Their side of the split is pretty damn cool. Of all the Primitive Man splits, Northless is the one I will be revisiting most. They hold their own and have their own distinct sound, so it doesn’t start to meld together on repeated listenings. I’m actually really surprised and disappointed in myself that I never took the initiative to get into these guys.
– Buck D.