23 Oct 2020

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Primacy - Album Review: Seeds of Change

14 May 2020 // A review by Steve Shyu

Auckland’s groove/alternative-metal quintet Primacy are primed for great things. Consisting of vocalist Rhys, bass player Sid, drummer Will and axe-wielding duo Jared and Adrian, their debut EP Failure & Sacrifice peaked at Number 13 on the Official New Zealand Album Charts. Primacy have now created a new milestone in recording and releasing their debut full-length album, Seeds of Change.

This record blasts open a clearing with Raised to Repair, a mid-tempo fist-pumping and head-banging number designed to get a crowd moving. The youthful energy over grooved heavy metal immediately reminds one of fellow Kiwi giants Alien Weaponry. At the same time, in the style of Mastodon, the band switch between melodic cries and grungy “clean” singing, over rapid-pumps on the drumkit and expansive guitar sounds. Special mention must go to the fantastic basslines, climbing up and down exquisitely and tastefully in the verses and passages in between. For an opening song, the bar is set high.

The single Hell Bent showcases the members’ love for, and perhaps pays tribute to, bands like Deftones or Tool. The guitar’s harmonics and weighty riffs are reminiscent of some of Adam Jones’s and Gojira’s finest, and some of the light bounce in drumming style can be easily imagined to be that of Abe Cunningham of Deftones.

Released back in 2018, the song Ten Years makes an appearance on this release – For good reason, too. After the cool, sobering, Alice in Chains-like respite of Void, the band boot back in the energy with fierce guitars, zealously clean vocals and pounding drums. Blink and you’ll just about miss the nu-metal sounding hook in the chorus. The lyrics “Time and tide wait for no man” places the song on a ballad-like edge, but the post-choruses pulls one back from teen-angst anthem to alternative-rock territory. The staccato guitars crunch nicely against the steady rhythm courtesy of Sid’s bass playing and Will’s percussion.

On Bottleneck, perhaps the most ear-catching is the repeated verse “The water is rising, they’ve got us on lockdown”. No doubt the song was composed some time ago yet the ‘L’ word will never be heard the same way again, and it’s interesting that a song can take on a whole different meaning and feel in times like the present. Over those words, a sense of unease is further amplified with the urgent double-bass kicks. Vocals on this tune seem to soar farther than any other on this record, and it’s quite beautiful, striking a beautiful contrast against the ragged riffs.

With the titular track placed at the conclusion of the album, Seeds of Change seems to wrap up well the over-arching ideas and sounds that span the record. In its six-minute journey of time changes, everything from chugging guitars, flowing basslines and vocal-style shifts are covered.

Throughout the album, production quality carries the vibe of the band well, where no oomph is lost. Having seen Primacy perform live, there is no doubt these selections will be even more impressive when the band are able to jump on stage again.

This is one record to delve into if Alien Weaponry, Mastodon and Tool are on your listening radar; outside of categories, there is enough atmosphere, aggression and tempo changes to entertain just about any heavy metal enthusiast.

Look out and listen for Primacy; follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Spotify to stay up to date.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Primacy

Primacy are 5-piece alternative metal band from West Auckland. They incorporate a groove metal base with other elements of hard rock, progressive metal and a twist of blues flavour.

Primacy were formed in 2014 after the split of well know local bands The Blacklight Configuration, Overhaile and Heathen Eyes – the timing was right, the songs were right and the team was right, Primacy came together as a collective around guitarist Adrian Brausch's new and unused material from his former band Overhaile.

Their first EP Failure and Sacrifice was released in 2016, and followed by a mini-EP in 2017 III.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Primacy


Seeds of Change
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Failure and Sacrifice
Year: 2016
Type: EP
The Demos
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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