Denver filthmongers Primitive Man are most famous for their particularly stifling brand of sludge, last heard on 2017’s gargantuan opus Caustic, but the trio are also as equally as adept with noise. Prior to this EP, originally released last year but now receiving a vinyl run through Crown and Throne Ltd. and Tartarus Records, the band hadn’t wielded this kind of power since 2013’s P///M, but the two tracks here that comprise Steel Casket certainly rectify that. Recorded around the same time (well, just after) Caustic, Steel Casket proves to be a different beast entirely whilst remaining as just as uneasy a listening experience.
It’s testament to Primitive Man’s dedication to forward-thinking, noisy music that this release isn’t just a wall of noise. Actually, for a noise release, it’s a fairly exploratory affair, spanning ambient and drone textures as it ambles forward, buzzing like flies on a dead body, chittering like radio static or scratching like rusted tools on dry soil. Perhaps the most impressive thing a release like this can do is set a scene in your mind, and Steel Casket certainly has that ability, conjuring images of rundown factories with cracked windows, rusted machinery and bloodstained floors, or a vast farm on an inescapably hot day, the only hint of life in sight a collapsing scarecrow or a rotting carcass in an otherwise empty barn.
Steel Casket is out now on Tartarus/Crown And Throne Ltd. Purchase here.
Words: George Parr