In order to break new ground and forge new stylistic pathways, you sometimes have to throw the listener off guard. According to Jim, the mastermind behind the spooky UK act Primitive Knot, “what I like to do is create collisions between different genres and approaches, as this creates confusion, creative tensions and new psychic spaces.” On the project’s new release, Decanting the Dream-Gore, Primitive Knot blends various elements of “black metal, dark ambient, post-punk, krautrock, spacerock and ritual music” for a sound that “evolves and defies description.” As a live act, the band seeks to “use repetition and improvisation to create an intense hypnotic space that can transform reality and open gateways.”
To the post-modern reader – spoiled, cynical, always striving to keep an ironic, dispassionate distance from the music itself – this may sound like silly bravado. But it’s often this attitude that pushes artists to try and transcend currently existing boundaries and notions to forge something memorable and worthwhile. We are heavily in debt to bands that do this, and there’s even a precedent for the styles that Primitive Knot blends together. In the mid-1980s, Celtic Frost took their diverse influences – Venom, Discharge, Christian Death, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy – and projected a profoundly weird sound that eventually became an indispensable part of extreme metal’s DNA. Primitive Knot has a very similar set of influences, but points them in an even more self-consciously lo-fi direction, and with a greater emphasis on Ian Curtis rather than Kelvin John Morris.
The sound is dark, but also off-putting, inducing fascination as well as anxiety. There’s a sense you get from the music of the artist trying to summon some sort of force and set it free. To what end is up to the individual listener. You can learn more about the project at its official website. Check out the song “Into the Forest of Knives” below, one of the more conspicuously “metal” songs on Decanting the Dream-Gore.