Rage and Frustration
Heavy Metal Reviews & Interviews
Band – Primitive Man
Country of Origin – USA
Venue – Mac’s Bar
Date – March 21st, 2018
Let’s just be upfront about this. Mac’s Bar is a dive…but it’s the favorite dive of many a mid-Michigan metalhead and punk, and for good reason. Sure the paint is faded, some of the windows are boarded up, and the some of the floor tiles are worn down to the subflooring beneath. Nobody that frequents the venue cares. Awesome things happen at this little venue in Lansing. The first time I went, the show was delayed because the Spartans basketball team were playing a Final Four game. The result? We all, including most of the members of Agnostic Front, stood around and watched the team win. Then we raged. I’ve only been there a handful of times, but each of those times stands out as a highlight live music memory in some way or other.
Up first were local band Hordes. The long-running act made a great initial impression before playing a note – the guitarist was sporting a sick Disfear shirt and the bassist was repping Amebix. Apologies to the drummer for neglecting to notice his apparel choice. On this particular night, the trio had a rough go with the bassist running into myriad technical difficulties. Still, they soldiered on and ripped through five tracks that gave me enough to want to check them out again.
Detroit area Fell Ruin first came to my attention about three years ago when they played a show at The Sanctuary in Detroit with False, Cloud Rat, Hivelords, and Isenblast. If that’s not a stacked line-up, I don’t know what is. Prior to the show here in Lansing, vocalist Brian Sheehan was graceful enough to give us an on-camera interview, so look for that in the coming days. During their set, the dissonant black metal quartet gave us live renditions of their recent album To The Concrete Drifts (which landed at 35 on my top 50 last year). The performance was visceral. I look forward to seeing these guys again on the 28th in Detroit (a show you should all go to at Cellermans).
Let’s face it, Spectral Voice stole the show. They played with all stage lights out, light by only candles, and surrounded by a cloud from a fog machine. I basically couldn’t see the drummer at all and the guitarists and bassist were anonymous forms, faceless and eerie. The effect was mesmeric and powerful, haunting sounds from the abyss. Last year’s album, Eroded Corridors of Unbeing is an excellent album that I didn’t manage to get on my top 50 list. (somehow something is always forgotten) After hearing these tracks live, I’m more convinced than ever that this was an egregious error. It should probably have been top ten. The Spectral Voice live set in Lansing is one of my top 5 live performances of all time (and I’ve seen hundreds).
Even though Spectral Voice stole the show, Primitive Man still rules! As always, their set was absolutely crushing. After seeing them for the third time here, I’m convinced that they are consistently stellar. The brutality of their sound has no match. Primitive Man is their own genre at this point and are worth seeing live EVERY. SINGLE. CHANCE. YOU. GET. Since I’ve been mentioning last year’s top 50 list, I’ll remind you that Primitive Man’s Caustic was my Album of the Year last year, and deservedly so.