Album Review: PRIMAL RITE Dirge Of Escapism
Are you in need of some vicious and sinister hardcore that includes a touch of thrash? Well, you’re in luck because the Bay Area hardcore band, Primal Rite, aren’t messing around with their debut LP. The band’s latest release, Dirge of Escapism—out now on Revelation Records—is the sort of sound you get when you fuse bands like Power Trip and Jesus Piece. Each song makes for an enjoyable and vicious beat down that lasts long enough to keep you wanting more.
“Akumajō (Blood)” comes with an immediate heat rising from the guitar. All of a sudden the drums crash in, and the track takes a drastic shift in speed. The structure continues to move about in tempo, going from an all-out craziness to slower rhythms. This fluctuation keeps the energy consistently spiked, making the listener anticipate what change may come next. Towards the end, the instrumentals begin to drawl; the guitar wails in the background. “Antivenom” also takes plenty of opportunities to jump back and forth in tempo. The range in guitar and drum technicality offers a frenetic ride, all while keeping the material digestible. The grimy groove is irresistible, producing a thick and wild rush.
Primal Rite does a great job of keeping the song chemistry alive and entertaining as the record progresses. There’s barely any glaring repetitiveness to the material; the band continuously play around with a variety of styles to present something different than heard previously. This being said, the band never lose their core foundation of heaviness and wicked energy, unleashing killer grooves and choppy progressions thanks to Jake D. and Jason B. (guitars), Jeremy M. (drums), and Max W. (bass) keep a relentless delivery of booming energy, providing a lively undertone to the progressions. Along with the instrumentals, vocalist Lucy X. undoubtedly adds to the wild ferocity of the music.
“Demon” begins with much more of a crunch, while still playing into the spastic shrieks of the guitar. The hardcore mentality is much more in focus here, the song progression trudging along to a great heft. There are plenty of inflections where the material picks up in speed and sound, helping to build upon the song structure. Little touches where the drums go off for a second to unleash some crazy pattern, or where the guitar and bass shift briefly into a different rhythm, are what help the overall tracks within Dirge of Escapism stay distinct from one another.
“Persona” begins with the same hardcore vibe, but immediately let’s it go, and opts for the thrash approach in chaos. The vocals bark out, the drums crash away, and the guitar and bass fly off the rails. The track eventually shifts into that hardcore progression, giving room to breathe before jumping back into a higher tempo. “Ecstatic Agony”, one of the shorter tracks on the album, offers just enough fury to keep fans happy. It does this by presenting moments of slower rhythms, then jarringly transitioning into fiery thrash. This surprise is truly welcoming, making for delightful surges of rage that pop up when least expected.
Primal Rite grants a stellar release with Dirge of Escapism. Their music embodies a sense of grime that rides away on thrilling rage. They bring together a terrific environment throughout their material, exuding numerous blends of crunchy brutality, and adrenaline-fueled playfulness. If you like your music dirty and angry as hell, then Primal Rite is for you.