Getting near that time of year when music critics start panicking that they might have already found their album of the year, the likes of Primitive Weapons show up. Guitars slung low and played violently, leaving a wanton trail of aural oblivion. People desperately trying to come up with a new last.fm tag for this type of music. Opinions will be divided, some will naysay but a few of these critics (from all walks and stages of life, mind you) will start to gush lavish praise on this magnificent entry into the world of heavy. It’s already begun? Well of course it has! This is The Future Of Death.
This new era enters with a simple bass slide and closes with rattly chords strummed solo. Nothing wild or new. These two brief moments are just the book ends though. In between lies some the laziest, rough guitar riffs, haunting vocals that ebb and flow, compounded by an overall atmosphere that could damn the most holy of us unwillingly. It’s difficult to keep the hyperbole down at this point. That’s just how fantastic this record is. It’s an atmosphere evoking sweet memories of discovering doom or sludge for the first time; while still spinning Alice In Chains records at home and non ironically listening to new wave, of course. Counting sick riffs on this record involves more digits than readily available, but it’s impossible to overlook the big opener and the colossal closing groove. Two of the most destructive sounds to pass these ears, they sound like six billion jaws dropping at once. In slow motion. And sepia.
The fluid shifting between the post-metal ether and the black metal black magic on The Future Of Death is pulled together with comparative ease with great thanks to the vocals. A constantly transforming mix of agonized declarations and synthetic crooning, it’s as captivating as Puciato on a great day. The barking statements on “Age Of Denial” work in tandem with the multi layered creeper “Whistle Past The Graveyard”. One track is bitter and twisted, one a somber lament. Both are brilliant. The marriage of this range of vocals binds the kaleidoscope of elements present, tightens them up and lets the growling bass, battered percussion and deranged guitars do their damn thing. The expanse of dreamy/nightmarish choruses and repeated riffs can stutter on a touch, but at this point all is forgiven.
For someone who doesn’t understand why folk are so enamored with Deafheaven, Primitive Weapons seem like they could very well be the next band capable of drawing listeners from everywhere. Even Hatebreed fans, seriously. The electric and eclectic display of genre nuance and ever present menace makes for a fresh takeaway with every listen and it continues to linger long after fading out. There are plenty of days left for something to come along and challenge this but 2016 is already marked with the seared flesh and charred bone of a fresh new sound. Hot stuff.