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Primitiv to Release New Single ‘The Skull and The Stick’

The Mumbai metallers will release their latest song exclusively on vinyl, available in a limited edition of 50 via Gurugram label Metal Masala this week

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Aug 02, 2017

Artwork for Primitiv's vinyl-only single "The Skull and the Stick." Art: Jigmet Wangchok & Akhila Shankar

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To perhaps prove that they’re more old school than old school, Mumbai doom/death metallers Primitiv have announced the release of their latest single “The Skull and The Stick” as vinyl-only, to be sold via distro and record label Metal Masala on August 6th at Domination: The Deathfest in New Delhi.

Vocalist Nitin Rajan says of their first release since 2016’s debut full-length Immortal and Vile, “Ulf [Bankemker, founder of label and distro company Metal Masala] got in touch with us for the vinyl idea. This has been brewing for a while, it took a while to materialize. We’re excited, it’s experimental, so we wanted to give it a shot. It’s perhaps expanding our audience.”

The song, which premiered at Deccan Rock in September, was originally born out of a riff that guitarist Rajarshi Bhattacharyya came up with last year. The song follows a narrative about a game or perhaps a sport, set in Primitiv’s dystopian universe in the future. Even though it’s being released on physical format exclusively – which means there’s no digital version – the band recorded a live version of the song for video performance series Overtones earlier this year.

Rajan says of the vinyl version of the song, which was recorded with bassist-producer Ashwin Shriyan, “It’s not just a single – there’s a spoken-word story that’s also recorded, the story behind ‘The Skull and The Stick,’ in an audio format, by (recording engineer) Shalin Choksi, he’s helped us produce it. Riju (Dasgupta, bassist) has written it.”

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Primitiv will release the single at the ninth edition of Domination: The Deathfest, co-run by Rajan, Dasgupta and New Delhi promoter Kunal Batra. Headlined by Australian metallers Psycroptic, Rajan says Primitiv’s 40-minute set will be “straight-up, no bullshit.”

Given their interest in storytelling and creating a sonic atmosphere to introduce the Primitiv universe, Rajan says they hope to play a longer set in the future, complete with audio-visual narrative tools such as spoken-word interludes and production. The vocalist adds, “The narrative is a very strong part of our storytelling experience, but in 30-40 minutes we focus on performing it live. Maybe we need a special show, in the future, why not?”

Watch Primitiv perform “The Skull and The Stick” on Overtones. 

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