Primitive Man, Unearthly Trance form doom, destruction dream team on noise-splattered split

According to a super-fast, not terribly scientific Google search of the heaviest object on earth, the answer comes in at the revolving service structure of the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center. Who am I to argue with such instantaneous information? Its 4.86 million pounds is pretty damn beefy, no doubt, as that would really hurt if it fell on your foot.

I’m not going to try to convince you the new split effort teaming up Colorado-based sludge crushers Primitive Man and NYC-based killing machine Unearthly Trance is heavier poundage-wise, but it sure seems like it would squish your innards if it fell on your abdomen. Even before locking horns on this seven-track beast, these two bands already were known as two of the most fearsome and formidable. Primitive Man last waylaid us in 2017 with their second full-length “Caustic,” and they’ve been goddamn road warriors supporting that slab. Unearthly Trance also gave us new music last year with “Stalking the Ghost,” their first since taking a three-year hiatus from 2012-2015. If you’re a fan of these bands, or you only really know one or the other, it’s a tremendous release that packs earth-shifting pounding and metallic chaos, and maybe it’ll get you more into one or both of these units.

Primitive Man (photo by Alvino Salcedo)

“Merging” gets us started, a sort of amalgamation of noise ideas and static, making the ideal hellish storm before eating into Primitive Man’s portion of the record with 10:37 “Naked.” The band takes some chances with these songs, delving far more into horrific ambiance and noise pools, but this track is the most familiar of their two cuts. It takes some for them to set the stage as they purposely drag you through ash and fire, as slow mauling and crazed growls from guitarist/vocalist Ethan Lee McCarthy start to do damage. The track later is coated in abrasive sounds and panic, as smothering pain and bludgeoning power unite and deliver a crushing finish. “Love Under Will”  is corrosive, packed with violent echoes and stunning feedback. Screeches push in and add menace, while the track boils and gives off steam, with weird voices encircling you, eating into your psyche. The noise keeps building and adding pressure, as the final minutes are damaged and deranged, leaving you to question your own fragile and splintering psyche.

Unearthly Trance (photo by Jimmy Hubbard)

Unearthly Trance pulls in and unloads “Mechanism Error,” a song that proves their comeback last year is still bloody and healthy, even if that record kind of slipped under the radar. Riffs drive, as Ryan Lipynsky’s vocals tear a hole in your chest and attempt to pull out what’s inside. The pace they achieve just levels your shaky foundations, as the song corrodes into acid, and the final moments burn away and right into the path of “Triumph.” The band gets fast and fiery, with the vocals sending shockwaves, and everything beneath it seemingly is turned into lava. The track trudges into a sonic noise halo, with thick basslines creeping out of that, and the track dissipating into the clouds. “Reverse the Day” has burly, demonic riffs, and alien effect make the vocals seem that much more unsettling. “Release the demons!” Lipynsky cries, as the mud begins to cake, soloing heats up, and ferocious growls wrap around the madness. Things head toward the mouth of destruction and into closer “418,” and its inferno of guitar work. Sounds swim and build amid the chaos, and a strange, formless spurt of playing feels overwhelming and unbeatable. Wild screams and manic playing give the song an out-of-body-experience feel, while the track ends in eerie cold and with guitars that slice and dice.

Primitive Man and Unearthly Trance is sort of a fantasy booking kind of dream for doom fans, and to have them mashing your senses on the same split should leave people’s hearing a little more compromised. It’s also a strong appetizer serving before whatever these two bands have coming up next, which knowing each, likely will be terrifying as hell. We can’t wait.

For more on Primitive Man, go here:

For more on Unearthly Trance, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on the label, go here:

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