Primitive Weapons

The Shadow Gallery

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

The opening echoed rumble of drums on "Good Hunting" and the precise screams and snarl once the singing and riffs kick in bespeak something of Primitive Weapons' New York locale -- there's just something in the atmosphere that seems half gang-shout attitude, half arty soundscape, for all the familiar metal trappings. The template of drum-heavy start and then brawling attack carries through a fair amount of songs on The Shadow Gallery, but the results can be spectacular -- "Oath" almost starts as a distant martial/circus combination before hyperspeed chunky riffing fires everything up. Other times it's almost as twisted and freakish as the kind of stuff getting the emo label in the 1990s, but if it was really aggressive and sounded massive -- whatever went into the band's production and mastering deserves major credit, turning the feelings of "Or Do Ideas Have You?" into something pretty apocalyptic. There's a lurking almost goth theatricality in the arrangements that sometimes really makes everything click, as with the high moody backgrounds on "Quitters Anthem" as the band builds to a chorus. The whole feeling of The Shadow Gallery is something that is pretty familiar on the one hand, yet polished and assembled into something strong on its own, surprisingly alive and distinct from the get-go -- a good sign for whatever might be next.

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