Primitive Man/Hell – Split (Review)

primitive man hell - splitThis is a split between two US doom outfits, Primitive Man and Hell.

My love for and enjoyment of Primitive Man will be familiar to readers of this site. Suffice to say that I consider them to be one of the best purveyors of ugly, apocalyptic sludge/doom that there is.

On this split the band give us two songs clocking in at 12 minutes. It’s the signature Primitive Man sound; sheer heaviness, utter darkness, and with a force of hateful despair and bleak negativity that’s strong enough to push you to the ground and pour tar down your throat. And they do, for the full 12 minutes.

Both songs are on the shorter side for the band, sharing roughly half of the playing time each. They’re direct and effective, with an enticingly harrowing mix of crushing slowness, monolithic mid-paced nastiness, and viral blast beats.

I have to mention the vocals too, as the singer is quite simply one of my favourite singers in extreme metal. His growls are so perfectly pitched and delivered it’s like being swallowed by a colossal monster. Yep, in case you’re wondering, this is a good thing.

Primitive Man can apparently do no wrong.

After that, it’s time for Hell. A one man act, this single song – Nuumen – is 10 minutes of sludge/doom/drone that hits the spot nicely, and works as a compelling companion piece to the previous two songs.

Compared to the full-on heaviness of Primitive Man, the artist behind Hell offers us a more textured approach to underground ugliness. Driven by bass and with a darkly atmospheric delivery that sees the song sprawl out with a presence that’s both affecting and heavy, there’s nuance and subtlety here as well as grimness and woe.

In complete contrast to the monstrously deep vocals of Primitive Man’s tracks, high pitched blackened screams infest Nuumen like piercing outbreaks of diseased spite.

Nuumen comes across as a sort of rotting stoner doom track that’s been driven down into the muck and filth, encrusted with blackness, and left to die. It’s a great piece to accompany Primitive Man’s side, and this split is sure to be much sought-after by aficionados of doom and sludge metal.

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