Prosthetic Records 2012
It’s no shocker that Primitive Weapons hail from New York. “The Shadow Gallery” teems with the AmRep-styled abrasion that the state put on the map in the earlier half of 90′s.
But friction and rawness are merely a means to an end. The true heart of this outfit seemingly thumps with artery clogging sludge and burning animosity (think Neurosis meets Cursed.)
A crushingly brutal assault, they heavily favor monstrous riffs and caustic bellows. While devastating enough on their own, there’s also an added element of feverish noise and unhinged violence at play. This lethal combination winds up amplifying the danger of their ominous moments all the more.
Duality is undeniably a big part of Primitive Weapons. For as chaotic and destructive as their raw, knuckle-dragging fury can be, it’s never able to fully overshadow the lingering undercurrent of post hardcore-styled melody. To that end the group enlist throaty clean-sung melodies outfits like Helmet helped make famous.
With ample amounts of careening atmospheric screeches and jagged yelps; the band also regularly inject a skittish, adrenalized energy into their craft — one that pervades even their most monolithic endeavors. This is where the subtlety of the surprisingly groove-laden rhythm section fully earns its paycheck; keeping the material focused, and ultimately propulsive, amidst the aural chaos.
“The Shadow Gallery” is a wholly interesting listen that not only invigorates, but organically amalgamates some strange musical bedfellows into a living, breathing sonic expulsion. Sure Primitive Weapons‘ methods may be unconventional; there’s even some tripped out percussion and electronic augmentation that expands their range into hazy territory.
But for all their noisy bluster and rigid unpredictability they rarely lose sight of the songs themselves. The attention paid to dynamics and the relative brevity (no songs exceed the 5 minute mark) keep things both concise and cathartic. While the melodies and looming aggression add heart and depth. It may be a touch reckless, but “The Shadow Gallery” is still a shining example of urbanized aural violence at its finest.
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