PRIMORDIAL SWARM

Tak­ing ex­trem­ity into a hor­ri­fy­ing new fu­ture, these Brits have cre­ated the sound­track for a sci­ence-fic­tion night­mare

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise - WORDS: DOM LAWSON

mu­sic can Of­ten

seem a lit­tle over­pop­u­lous and over­run by unimag­i­na­tive clones… but then some­thing as brain-wrench­ingly warped as Primordial Swarm’s de­but al­bum The Tri­umvi­rate Of The Covenant lurches over the hori­zon. Osten­si­bly pur­vey­ors of good old bru­tal, slam­ming death­core, the Bri­tish septet have taken that fa­mil­iar tem­plate and dragged it vi­o­lently into a hideous and sur­real dystopian fu­ture of their own de­ranged de­sign. Like the sound­track to the ul­ti­mate sci-fi hor­ror movie, it’s both ab­surdly ex­cit­ing and fer­vently orig­i­nal. As vo­cal­ist Joe tells it, the cre­ative tal­ents of bassist James Fal­coner be­came the de­ci­sive piece of this synapse-fry­ing puz­zle.

“Be­fore James got in­volved the mu­sic was very much just ‘slam slam blast bree slam!’ but when he started to com­pose more and more of the mu­sic, every­thing be­came more melodic and tech­ni­cal,” he ex­plains. “He in­tro­duced fret­less basses and eight-string gui­tars as well as the heavy use of synths, so he trans­formed Primordial Swarm from your ba­sic slam act into some­thing far more in­ge­nious and pow­er­ful. That’s why we chris­tened him with the nick­name ‘Slam Odin’!”

With a be­wil­der­ing dual vo­cal at­tack (courtesy of Joe and co-growler Bar­ney) and a star­tling ar­se­nal of elec­tronic trick­ery and at­mo­spheric weird­ness, Primordial Swarm’s sound sim­ply feels big­ger and more cin­e­matic than the vast ma­jor­ity of con­tem­po­rary death­core.

The Tri­umvi­rate Of The Covenant is also a record that brims with mad con­cep­tual ideas, as the band in­dulge in their pas­sion for epic tales of tech­no­log­i­cal ter­ror­ism and other deeply twisted themes.

“The al­bum tells the story of a man who be­comes to­tally re­liant on tech­nol­ogy given to him by dark gods,” ex­plains Joe. “He com­mits acts of hor­rific vi­o­lence, but then finds that the gods’ fi­nal act is to take every­thing they gave him away, mak­ing him weak. For our next al­bum we plan to go even heav­ier and to be even more ex­per­i­men­tal lyri­cally. We’re do­ing all sorts, from deep-sea mon­strosi­ties to Vik­ing pae­dophile ex­e­cu­tions… some­thing for the whole fam­ily!”

One seem­ingly mun­dane as­pect that sets Primordial Swarm apart from their peers is how much room they take up on­stage. Un­usu­ally for bands in this sub­genre, the seven-piece play every­thing live, which means that James, drum­mer Aaron and gui­tarists Ryan and Rob co-ex­ist along­side their two de­mented front­men and key­tar/FX

mae­stro Dana, of­ten in an ex­tremely con­fined space. As James ad­mits, part of the ex­cite­ment comes from never quite know­ing what’s go­ing to hap­pen next.

“Live shows are al­ways a sur­prise, even for us!” he laughs. “Be­ing a seven-piece can get complicated on­stage, but with Ryan climb­ing on ev­ery fucking sur­face in the venue and Bar­ney and Joe lit­er­ally pig­gy­back­ing each other for half the set, it all sur­pris­ingly seems to work out!”

De­spite ge­o­graph­i­cal chal­lenges – the line-up is partly based in Manch­ester, partly in Kent – Primordial Swarm seem to be gain­ing mo­men­tum. An af­fil­i­a­tion with UK slam ti­tans Ingested cer­tainly hasn’t hurt: that band’s front­man Ja­son Evans is co-vo­cal­ist Joe’s cousin and has been in­stru­men­tal in push­ing his fel­low slam mer­chants on so­cial me­dia. But re­gard­less of friends in slightly higher places, this band have such a dis­tinc­tive iden­tity and lu­di­crous am­bi­tions that the fu­ture must surely be theirs for the tak­ing.

“There’s al­ready a cou­ple of new tracks in the works,” says James. “Mu­si­cally, they have a bit more em­pha­sis on the use of or­ches­tras. A full 40-piece was used in Psy­chotic Syn­ergy on the new al­bum and we want to bring that back! There­fore one aim for the fu­ture is to per­form along­side an orches­tra… which only in­creases our space is­sue!”

“BE­ING A SEVEN-PIECE CAN BE… COMPLICATED”

THE TRI­UMVI­RATE OF THE COVENANT IS OUT NOW

Primordial Swarm: the fu­ture is fucked, but a hel­luva lot of fun

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