Fight The Future
DL | Vinyl
Manchester’s Primitive Knot return with Fight The Future; an inspired album of dark, crushingly heavy riffs and dystopian dread. Andy Brown shares his thoughts for Louder Than War.
Listening to Fight The Future, or any Primitive Knot album for that matter, it’s hard to believe that it’s the work of one man. Obscured by a balaclava and going by the name Jim Knot, Manchester’s prolific one-man riff-machine creates the kind of overwhelming sonic assault you’d usually associate with a full band. While undeniably uncompromising there’s something deeply enthralling and addictive about this ludicrously heavy combination of metal, industrial and psych-rock influences. Last year’s superb Lost Wisdom was always going to be a difficult album to follow yet this latest offering may just be the most fully-realised Primitive Knot album to date.
Alongside the bone-rattling riffs, Primitive Knot presents listeners with a vivid and detailed aesthetic. This is music that seems to exist between the pages of Orwell’s iconic 1984, the intergalactic nightmares of HR Giger and the disturbing fever dreams of David Cronenberg. Much like James Woods subsumed the dreaded Videodrome into his very being, Knot fully absorbs his influences. The album uses sci-fi and horror to deliver an extremely pertinent message of dissent, anger and protest. The dystopian imagery perhaps once reserved for novels and film now interwoven with the daily news. As the title suggests, Fight The Future isn’t about to lie down and give up.
Nemesis Is Here is a suitably bludgeoning reintroduction, the molasses thick riff that greets us soon reinforced by the relentless, industrial rhythm of Knot’s reliable Roland drum machine. Partly influenced by British philosopher Mary Midgley, the lyrics find Knot taking aim at entitled, corrupt and seemingly untouchable liars. It’s really hard not to picture the grinning, heartless faces of our current government. Demon Seed doesn’t give us a millisecond to catch our breath as it explodes in a flurry of desert-rock riffs and wild, psych-rock soloing. Knot’s gravel-laced voice growling in disgust, “You planted it yourself/ There’s no one else to blame/ Now it’s time to reap what you sow”.
There’s a strong punk influence throughout Knot’s work that sets it apart. Primitive Knot is certainly dark and esoteric yet this isn’t music to wallow in, it’s the sound of resistance. The title track comes next, a frenzied adrenaline rush that shakes the listener by the shoulders as it lets out the albums rallying cry, “Fight the future!” The ominous Dark Wisdom slows things down with an immersive instrumental built around sinister synths, wailing guitars and a healthy dose of dystopian dread. Knot follows this up with the thunderous Interstellar Gateway; a heart-pounding, industrial space-ritual that comes across like a brutal yet strangely euphoric re-imagining of space-rock instigators Hawkwind.
Beyond The Realm Of Fear could very well be the name of some great, long-lost sci-fi b-movie yet here it’s another fantastically heavy slice of industrial metal. Imagine the Melvins, Godflesh, Motörhead and Ministry having a dust-up in a car park, riffs ricocheting off unsuspecting onlookers. The distinctly defiant lyrics that run throughout Fight The Future add yet further weight to the sonic onslaught. “Stupid is not a virtue/ Hate is not a solution” growls Knot on the excellent Last Light, “Guilty is not a strategy/ Ignorance is no excuse”. It’s the song you hear as the walls at The Ministry Of Truth are finally torn down.
The Nature Of Desire seeps through my headphones; an eerie synth soundscape that evokes the dark pleasures of Sunn0))) and unsettling 80’s horror film soundtracks. The propulsive Don’t Stop Believing then proceeds to bring the house crashing down, a fist-pumping call-to-arms complete with one of the albums most hummable hooks. Words of hope as the world seems poised on the edge of oblivion. “Something to hold onto/ Something they’ll never reach” sings Knot with his heavily blistered fingers pressing into the frets, “The core of our consciousness/ The universal truths/ Don’t stop/ Don’t stop believing”. The words still ringing around my cranium hours after the final note. Few albums this year will be as urgent, heavy and hair-raising as Fight The Future.
You can download Fight The Future from Bandcamp HERE.
All words by Andy Brown. You can visit his author profile and read more of his reviews for Louder Than War here.