Friday, 30 March 2012

This is a release completely paying tribute to Mark Giltrow, who died in 2006, and was best known in the metal world to be the brains behind Primary Slave. He actually had all of this material ready for the final cut, before his untimely death, and since then, the band have endeavoured to put together an album spanning all of his ideas which he left behind. There’s a difficulty with this kind of record being released as commodity, alongside a tribute. With the upmost respect, time will truly tell how much Giltrow actually is Primary Slave, and if the band will go onto survive without him.

Obstacles aside, it’s difficult to know where this material stands in an album that has tunes polished and ready for the market, along with some other tracks bare boned in comparison, as if they were still lurking around the demo stage. It makes for a fractured experience; you no doubt realise the sheer scope of Primary Slaves production on the fully fleshed numbers “Powdered”, “Defiled”, “Eyes Feel Free”, and on the other hand “The Game” and “C.R.E.A.M.” feel sparse because of their rawness.

What got everybody's goat on Primary Slaves previous, “Data Plague”, was defining them in a single buzzword, and to their credit, it’s still difficult today. There’s an industrial harshness about “Another Mark Is Drawn”. It feels metallic and cold through its production, and it’s driven by the ‘chorus-effect’ vocal, similar to Sonny Sandoval’s early work in P.O.D. Crucially though, there’s a commercial entity throughout, like a handful of the more computer based Fear Factory stuff (think Transgression), late White Zombie, and dashes of Alabama Three.

Yet, this isn’t an album that’ll be remembered for anything blistering on the disc, but it should stick for Giltrow’s own musical accessibility – the fact that five years on, his three brothers who are part of Primary Slave, are able to resurrect the project, owes much to Giltrow’s own vivid musical imagination. Even if he’s not present, finding a path for his ideas is something everyone should be able to discover.

7/10 Powerplay issue #142

Posted by Posted by Andy at 11:08 am
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