With the advent of Basick and Sumerian Records there has been a flood of MeshVeilofOsirisPhery-core acts. Most of these bands pack a punch but given how the common denominator is always the penchant for a “Lower than Thou” tuned chugs, half assed atmospherics and clean Thall notes, it gets difficult to set aside the god from the bad from the downright uninspiring. In this aspect, Subliminal Grooves roster member, The Room Colored Charlatan have always held the right formula to cook a sweet batch of numbers. With their debut full-length “Between Mirrors” turning quite a few heads, the Indiana based outfit were short of a few “aces in the hole” that could have separated them from their peers and catapulted them ahead of the herd.
With the release of “Primitives”, TRCC have filled in the gaps that were there in its predecessor. Vocalist Jared Bush maintains a steady low guttural growl that reminds one of the stylings of Ronnie Cannizaro and to some extent Jonathan Carpenter (ex-The Contortionist). The album opener “Instinct” is a chilling mix of an interesting rhythm progression, selectively used electronic effects, and a memorable atmospheric cauldron to mix it all in. TRCC have somewhat mastered the art of storytelling via music, because their sense for atmospherics, use of clean guitar parts, chugs, etc. sync in with the sound and feel at every step. You may find me applauding at the atmospherics a tad bit more than required because it has been a while since a band has employed atmospherics in such an articulate and artistic, manner and not just as an instrument to fill the gaps with. This in turn has lent the album a Post-Rock/Metal vibe in parts too I daresay, and this further works in their favour. The 2nd track “Native Habitat” should paint the perfect picture to support my case. Not only does it fit in with the rest of the tracks but also enables the listener to push his or her imagination further.
Guitarists Justin Seymour and Robert Allen play a huge role in making the record into what it is. Firstly, their playing styles complement eachother largely, not just in the Rhythm and Lead sense that a band is supposed to have, but on a much more organic level where each of their parts lend a cohesive feel to each track. The drum and bass parts sound none the shabbier, to say the least. What would further impress you about “Primitives” is the fact how easily the band has gotten by without employing the mandatory breakdown that spoils the broth more often than not. That void has been perfectly filled with keyboard lines and fills, akin to fellow Subliminal Groove members Nexilva. “Apex Predator” and “The Atlast Artifact” are the perfect tracks to sample the record by.
“Primitives” is one of the quaintest Death-Djent-Core inspired record you have heard in a long time. The sheer knack for delivering tracks that not only maintain a steady flow as the tracklist progresses, is one of the virtues that make “Primitives” a cut above the rest. Also the band has somewhat made it a point to go whole hog on each track, giving each of them a complete individual feel with riffs that can be told apart from one another, atmospherics that lend the basic template for the omnipresent Djent feel, and a production that doesn’t go overboard with the quality.
In an ocean of Djent bands flooding the interwebs, TRCC have put out a more than impressive record, that finally sets them miles ahead of their peers and keeps you guessing what their game would be to top their sophomore effort. Clearly smashing to smithereens the misconception that Djent records are more often than not a hit and miss, when it comes to eliminating monotony, TRCC have found the perfect walkthrough. If there is anything about the record that does not match up to your expectation, then it is probably owed to the fact that most of the elements on the record have been done to death half-assedly by the chugcore brethren, only this time someone did them correctly in a tasteful-but-not-flashy manner.
Given the perfect balance of all the essential elements, mixed under the right conditions in the correct proportions, TRCC have delivered a gem of a record that’s going to take a long time to peel, layer by layer, more so if you are a critical audience as I am. Even then consider the 2 record old band to give the frontrunner heavyweights on your year-end lists a run for their collective money. Speaking of money, “Primitives” is totally worth the investment and if Progressive Metalcore/Deathcore either!is your thing, you would be a fool to not give this record a spin, a few tens and hundreds of them wouldn’t be wrong!