Bleak, despairing, and totally taxing. Such is the world of Primitive Man’s Scorn, a devastatingly crushing and austere slab of blackened, sludgy doom. Helmed by Ethan McCarthy, vocalist of Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire and Death of Self, Primitive Man sees McCarthy pull back the reins musically to a more lethargic pace. Where Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire are more adept with searing and chaotic stings of grind, Scorn explores more languid terrain that can be uneasy listening at times.
Despair drips from every crack and crevice of this record. The strenuous 11 minutes of the opening title track lay as evidence of this gritty hopelessness as a mire of guitars and an even dirtier bass tone pervade the din. McCarthy’s vocals then are pivotal to the overall execution of both the track and atmosphere, as his scorching screams graze against your ears.
A glimpse at the album’s artwork really sets the tone for this record. Its gun pointing image and victim’s pained expression corresponds so perfectly with the harrowing music held within the album’s seven songs. The grand aesthetic of Primitive Man is that very much of the primitive and Scorn is basic in nearly all forms. Maintaining a simplistic aim of sour, murky guitars and unnerving atmosphere, the band has crafted a sizeably impressive first effort.
For the most part, the record moves at a sickly, lethargic pace and coupled with its crushing heaviness, it’s what makes Scorn such an exhausting listen for the most part. But every so often the tempo fizzles to something a little pacier and Primitive Man ignites in a hail of fury that’s equally exhausting and devastating; it’s a dichotomy encapsulated quite well by the whole album.
Scorn is a totally malignant sounding record and one that will consume you whole if you’re not careful. Approach with caution.