Primitive Man, Insurmountable (Closed Casket Activities 2022)

Denver doom trio Primitive Man raise massive cliffs of new music on Insurmountable.

Primitive Man took a big swing at the jump with their debut full-length album Scorn in 2013. Since then they have been laying down split after split, demos and EPs, and two more long-players, Caustic (2017) and Immersion (2020). They are not letting any moss grow here. Primitive Man – Ethan Lee McCarthy (guitar and vocals), Jonathan Campos (bass), and Joe Linden (drums) – are a force to be reckoned with.

The new record has three original songs and a cover. “This Life” begins on catastrophic riffs at funeral doom speed. Absolutely pulverizing, but without the implied hopelessness you might expect at this tempo. Don’t get me wrong – it is not encouraging. It is still animate. It speeds up a little here and there but not much. This doom is measured. “Boiled” offers ambient weirdness and disturbances.

“Cage Intimacy” squeals and scratches and writhes. The first vocals are as dark as dark gets. It is a grim giant moving about unaware of the smashing it is doing. Rabid black metal breaks out for a time, then the noise takes over. By the time the doom returns the damage is done. The final cut is “Quiet,” the cover of a Smashing Pumpkins song. It is taken to new heights with Primitive Man at the helm. This is the doom treatment we always knew that song needed.

I saw a live set at The Monkey House in Winooski, Vermont a couple days ago. I’ll pop a couple of photos here, and there is a separate article coming out in a few days about that show with many more photos of Primitive Man and the other bands. Their performance was massively heavy, and the show balanced the music nicely, alternating between doom, death metal, and other adventures.

Insurmountable is out now through Closed Casket Activities. Pick up the new EP, and see Primitive Man on tour now supported by Mortiferum, Jarhead Fertilizer, Body Void, and Elizabeth Colour Wheel. Check out the tour poster below for upcoming cities, dates, and supporting band roster.

Live photos by Wayne Edwards.





Closed Casket Activities,

The Monkey House,

© Wayne Edwards

Primitive Man, Insurmountable (Closed Casket Activities 2022)