Primitive Weapons - The Shadow Gallery
Rising from one of the most prominent hardcore hotbeds in the world, New York City's Primitive Weapons carry both a weighty heritage and a sustainable uniqueness on their debut effort The Shadow Gallery. Many bands have stood upon the rubble of this scene and laid claim to a multitude of different aspects that's made it so noteworthy throughout the years, but Primitive Weapons effortlessly avoid the beaten path in pursuit of their own way, a noble if continuously frustrating avenue in today's musical landscape.
With a sound that straddles the edges of hardcore metal via the fusing of sludge-, nu- and whatever else-metal, The Shadow Gallery may slight the listener in bang-for-your-buck length (7 songs at less than 1/2 hour), but listen closely and you'll be rewarded with a depth that deceives such limitations. The buzzing stomp of opener "Good Hunting" is a virtual whirlwind of towering percussion and sawing riffs, with vocals that seem to hinge on the edge of focused intent, teetering dangerously close to an emotional abyss where structure and melody mean less than simply getting the fucking point across. "Quitters Anthem" brings the same approach, only coupled with a lower-key vocal accompaniment and a subdued, haunting middle passage that thrills on pure adrenaline-pumping atmosphere. As the rest of the album unfolds, the gravity becomes more and more fierce, sucking you down into the depths of a core sound and accompanying genre-bending highlights, a veritable banquet of hardcore delights.
It amazes me that any variation on the typical and expected can be accomplished anymore, even if it's on the more subtle and unassuming side. Primitive Weapons have managed to impress me deeply with The Shadow Gallery, an album that adheres only to the purest essence of what it means when people say "do your own thing". A rare thing in music of any flavor. Much like the "less is more" angle the band took in constructing such a relatively brief record, the individuality and perseverence of The Shadow Gallery are all the more enjoyable because of their rarity.
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