When it comes to the more extreme end of rock music, New York – and especially Brooklyn – is probably primarily associated with the hardcore and crossover scenes and perhaps not so much with the more sludgy side of rock music. Nonetheless, there are bands that hail from Brooklyn, such as Primitive Weapons, whose music is just so incredibly sludgy that you'd expect them to have originated from the desert or swamps of the deep south.
Their 2012-album The Shadow Gallery definitely is heavy and sludgy without, admittedly, being as slow and tortured as with many other sludge acts. But the seven tracks on the album are no less oppressive than the slower sludge acts' average song is. The harsh yelled vocals, for instance, emanate a sense of both frustration and angst which, together with the band's use of repeated heavy riffs generate the same feel of introvert desperation that characterizes a lot of sludge metal. Just check tracks like the heavy 'Quitters Anthem', the aggressive 'The Death of Boredom', or the oddly melodic 'Big Chief'.
Repetition and crushingly heavy guitar riffage are central ingredients in the Primitive Weapons sound, and they are used to great effect in generating the above-mentioned sense of frustration. Another central element is the use of elements from noise rock, which – needless to say – fits perfectly into the overall picture of the album. Interestingly, the drums – while heavy – often take on a more organic feel becaue of the many fills that are used on some of the songs.
Overall, Primitive Weapons' The Shadow Gallery, with its 30 minutes of crunching sludge, is a lesson in the power of repetition and crushing heaviness, and any fan of shoegazing, but angry, sludge metal should definitely give it a listen.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)