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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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