PRIMITIVE MAN / UNEARTHLY TRANCE - Split
September 18, 2018, a month ago
This is a very good idea, Relapse getting Denver's extreme sludge misanthropists Primitive Man together with New York's atmospheric sludge/doom grumpies Unearthly Trance for what is sure to be a downer of a 44-minute split release. A downer, that is, unless you're me, in which case this sounds like a great time. And it is. First off, splits rule and are a great format to hear a quick and energetic sampling of a couple bands. Here, the first track is a one-minute collaboration with both parties, and I was excited to see what it would sound like, so was a bit disappointed that it was just a noise intro. Still, sets the tone well for the first Primitive Man song, the 10:37 “Naked”, which takes several minutes before it's not just feedback and noise rumblings. Which is awesome, and is more or less exactly how I hoped the first five minutes of this split would go down. The song continues its reign of terror for its entire duration, the band taking extreme sludge to depths bands like Grief or Noothgrush only feared it could go. Primitive Man's other song here, “Love Under Will”, is almost as long and actually gets heavier in its lo-fi sonic destruction. I mean, I think this is a song, but it could have just been my speakers malfunctioning. Sounded awesome either way.
Unearthly Trance's four songs here sound like concise pop numbers compared to what just happened with Primitive Man, the band laying down Unsane on sludge with “Reverse The Day” and ragged sludge/doom for the rest of their songs here, closer “418” ending this whole mess how it started, in a swirling vortex of chaotic noise, the final tally of this great split being absolute chaos in all the best of ways. Unearthly Trance are a fantastic counterpoint to Primitive Man, the styles complementing each other excellently but with enough variety to keep this split engaging start to finish.